FOX Soccer Exclusive
Sundhage names US Olympic roster
Seventeen members of the 2011 U.S. Women’s World Cup team filled out the 18-player Olympic roster named by head coach Pia Sundhage on Sunday, just hours before the team’s friendly against China at PPL Park in Chester, PA.
Exciting young forward Sydney LeRoux was the only player to make the team who wasn’t on last year’s World Cup side. Her inclusion meant that four members of the 2011 World Cup squad did not make the cut on a team that will be attempting to win a third-straight Olympic Gold Medal.
“As always, these players make it very difficult to select rosters, and for this Olympic team it was a long, productive and interesting process to cut the pool down these 18,” Sundhage said. “The team is a mix of very experienced players and several new fresh faces. All the players are versatile, which is extremely important when you have just 16 field players on a roster. This is a group that is focused on some very high goals and it will be a pleasure to coach them in the Olympics.”
Goalkeeper Jill Loydon, defender Ali Krieger and midfielders Lori Lindsey and Stephanie Cox were left out of the Olympic squad. Loydon wasn't likely to make the cut because of the smaller roster and need for only two goalkeepers rather than three, while Krieger was always a safe bet to miss out as she is still recovering from major knee surgery.
That left Lindsey and Cox, who lost out in the fierce battle for central midfield spots, with Carli Loyd and Shannon Boxx serving as the lock-down starters, and Megan Rapinoe providing a spark off the bench.
LeRoux’s inclusion gives the team a stable of dangerous forwards, led by Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach.
Christie Rampone will take part in her fourth Olympic Games and serve as captain, while Hope Solo returns to handle goalkeeping duties.
Sundhage also named four alternates. Loydon, Lindsey, midfielder Meghan Klingenberg and forward Christian Press are available to be called in if there are any injuries between now and the start of the Olympic Games, which kicks off on July 25th against France (in Glasgow, Scotland).
Here is the full 2012 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart, Hope Solo
DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler, Amy LePeilbet, Heather Mitts, Kelley O’Hara, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn
MIDFIELDERS (6): Shannon Boxx, Lauren Cheney, Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd, Heather O’Reilly, Megan Rapinoe
FORWARDS (4): Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Amy Rodriguez, Abby Wambach