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USA Women's Roster Set

Pia Sundhage has finalized her 20-player roster for the Olympic women's qualifying tournament, which begins this week in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Hope Solo makes the squad, Briana Scurry does not. The Americans will face Jamaica on Friday, Mexico on Sunday and, assuming they advance, play for an Olympic berth in the semifinals next Wednesday vs. Canada, Costa Rica or T&T.

By Steve Goff  |  March 31, 2008; 11:12 AM ET
Categories:  Women  
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Comments

It's hard to believe that the US squad even has to go through Olympic Qualifying at this point. They're practically the reason that there is Women's Soccer in the Olympics.

Posted by: TCompton | March 31, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

No Heather Mitts :-(

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 31, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Abby Wambach
112 Caps
89 Goals

That's an impressive strike rate, no matter the competition.

Posted by: Goals | March 31, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

No Heather Mitts :-(
========================================

The alternative is Mitts risking her recovery from whatever's been ailing her, a risk that seems unnecessary against these CONCACAF minnows.

Posted by: tri-village | March 31, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

How many players does Sundhage get to take to China? 20? 21? 22? (Ditto for Nowak.)

Posted by: tri-village | March 31, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

* Mitts tore her ACL less than a year ago.

* Brazil has not qualified yet. They have to beat Ghana to get in.

* I think Australia's move to Asia cost them a spot. Too bad, they're fun.

Posted by: WNT fan | March 31, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Mitts was on the Algarve Cup roster, but did not play. Which probably means that her knee isn't recovering as well as expected.

Assuming we win Group A and Canada wins Group B, who are we likely to face in the semi-final round, Costa Rica or T&T? I haven't a clue about those two?

Brazil v Ghana: What's with the Brazilian WNT? They underperformed prior to the WWC. Do they sandbag until the real tournament to make their opponents overconfident?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 31, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

O boy. Is Solo going to be really ticked off when she gets replaced by Scurry now.....

Posted by: Kim | March 31, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"We might get official word of the USA women's friendly at RFK in May . . . "

==================================

Any news on this, Senor Goff? Your prediction -- May 10-11? May 17-18?

Posted by: WNT fan | March 31, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Yo Goffman,

Your link to the Post mainpage/headlines hasn't worked for a couple of days.

Posted by: JMR | March 31, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

* I think Australia's move to Asia cost them a spot. Too bad, they're fun.
=========================================

To elaborate: The AFC's qualification process closely resembles CONCACAF's, except that the two qualifiers are taken directly from group play in two different groups, without the second-place finisher in one group being given the chance to challenge the winner of the other group. Australia and North Korea were placed in the same group, which cleared the way for Japan in the other group. If they'd followed the CONCACAF model, there would have been an Australia-Japan showdown. Interestingly, the two Koreas would have duked it out for the other spot.

Posted by: tri-village | March 31, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I was just about to post a comment to explain that whole Australia thing, but without all the words and such.

Posted by: sitruc | March 31, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

In addition to Australia, I would mourn Denmark's absence, especially given their recent strong performance in Portugal, but with only three Euro slots, it's tough.

Posted by: tri-village | March 31, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff,

As always - great stuff from you. Thanks for all the effort you pour into this thing. On a broader level - will the SuperLiga or the CONCACAF Champions League have an English Language Broadcast partner? I imagine SuperLiga is headed for some combo of ESPN2/Deportes and FSC (as DC United's Schedule cards say) - is this true? And given the already crowded set-up for the fall on the Disney family of networks - will CCL be on FSC?

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | March 31, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The Olympic roster allows for 18 players.

Posted by: GLB | March 31, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

The Olympic roster allows for 18 players.
=========================================

That sounds awfully low (as a number for the entire tournament, as opposed to any individual match). What is your source?

Posted by: tri-village | March 31, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I found a source for the roster size question:

http://www.fifa.com/womenolympic/organisation/documents/index.html

The answer is a bit complicated. The teams (both men's and women's) take 22 players to China. However, players 19 through 22 are only available as alternates in the event of injuries during the course of the tournament. Otherwise, the teams are expected to carry on with players 1 through 18, which sounds pretty grueling.

There is other interesting stuff in the tournament rules, such as: "In the event of any discrepancy in the interpretation of the Laws of the Game, the English version shall be authoritative." So the Brits have been shut out of the fun and games as surely as South Africa was during the apartheid era, but they are still there in spirit.

Posted by: tri-village | March 31, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The men's side only had 18. that is why Cuba was in a bind when so many players defected. They had to play their second game with only ten because 7 players defected and one had a red from the US game.

It is kinda low, but I think he is right.

Posted by: therealfootball | March 31, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The men's side only had 18. that is why Cuba was in a bind when so many players defected.
=========================================

But the USA had 20 players for the men's regional qualifying, just as Sundhage will be using 20 players in the coming week, as Goff just told us. CONCACAF makes up the rules for the pre-China competition. Presumably Cuba could have brought 20 players, had they seen fit to do so.

Posted by: tri-village | March 31, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I hope Sundhage buries Scurry so deep that they'll have to dig into the Earth's core to find her.

All those who participated in the group gang-bang against Solo will have to pay. First, Ryan. Now, Scurry. Later, Lilly and Wambach.

Posted by: Joseph D'Hippolito | March 31, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

mitts was in portugal to train, not on the official roster. probably not worth risking her knee at this point when we have so many other options and against weaker competition. we'll see her in the olympics is my guess.

Posted by: troy | March 31, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Yecch. Still WAY too much of the old guard, although leaving Scurry home is a step in the right direction. I was hoping Pia was going to move away from the tiresome, lumbering oafs who embarassed themselves and their country with their unimaginative kickballing display at the World Cup.

Posted by: Hmmm | March 31, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

O boy. Is Solo going to be really ticked
off when she gets replaced by Scurry
now.....
Posted by: Kim | March 31, 2008 12:29 PM

Very nice, Kim. This made me laugh.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 31, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I was hoping Pia was going to move away from the tiresome, lumbering oafs who embarassed themselves and their country with their unimaginative kickballing display at the World Cup.
=========================================

Are there specific people whom you wanted to see on the roster? Also, at least some players who heretofore have appeared to be rather pedestrian may show another side when they are in the right environment with the right coach.

Posted by: tri-village | March 31, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

"Old guard . . . tiresome lumbering oafs"

Average age is 24. Average age of the 6 new players not in China for WWC 07 is 21. Two players in their 30s are Wambach at 30 has 89 goals in 112 caps and captain Rampone who at 33 remains one of the fittest and fastest players on this or any other team.

Why don't you wait until we can see Pia-ball on TV or in person before you spew such junk. Goff hinted that they may play decrepit RFK in May.

"Always with the negative waves, Moriarity, always with the negative waves."

Posted by: WNT fan | March 31, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I think Hmmm hmmmissed the Algarve cup threads.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 31, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I agree that we need to see them on TV and/or Estadio RFK before passing judgment. But perhaps we can make a tentative list of players who seemed to have lost a step or two at the WWC, and who need to show that they've regained that step. I would start with Markgraf and Whitehill in central defense, and perhaps Boxx in front of them.

Also, I've looked over the roster once more, and I notice the absence of Aly Wagner. I wonder whether this is significant and/or permanent.

Posted by: tri-village | March 31, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Two players in their 30s are Wambach at 30 has 89 goals in 112 caps and captain Rampone who at 33 remains one of the fittest and fastest players on this or any other team.
==========================================

Actually, Boxx and Rampone are the thirtysomethings, with Hucles on the doorstep.

Posted by: tri-village | March 31, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Yes, my mistake. Boxx had an ACL shortly before China as I recall.

Wagner is hurt again I think.

Posted by: WNT fan | March 31, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

@Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 31, 2008 12:28 PM

actually, to anyone fmailiar with the women's game, Brazil played WELL over their normal standard in the World Cup against he US. That was only the second time they ever beat us in something like 40 tries and if you watched the final, Germany basically owned them in every possible way and pounded them into submission.
The gushing for the Brazilian WNT is a bit much quite honestly. Marta is a skilled player but she is vulnerable. They have potential, but they aren't quite up to the level of other nations just yet. USA and Germany are still the class of the world in women's soccer.

Posted by: papa bear | March 31, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

While checking the roster I noticed that the team has two male massage therapists. Does anyone have the name of a) a qualified hitman and b)a resume service?

Posted by: grotus | April 1, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

actually, to anyone fmailiar with the women's game [...]
Posted by: papa bear | March 31, 2008 08:33 PM
===============

If you are so familiar with the women's game, why didn't you just tell me that the 2006 South American Women's Championship served as the qualifier for both WWC07 and OG08?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | April 1, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I-270: By bringing up the 2006 CONMEBOL championship, you may have answered your own question. If you look at this summary of the tournament (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Sudamericano_Femenino), what is most striking is Marta's absence. I wonder where she was. This may be less a case of sandbagging that of the Brazilian federation's benign neglect. I believe that after grabbing silver (and darn near gold) in 2004, the program was inexplicably put into mothballs, and the Canarinhas went into the 2006 tournament with the benefit of few if any warmup matches.

Posted by: tri-village | April 1, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks tri-village. That actually answered my question.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | April 1, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

From Mitts' blog -- from Algarve in March

"After taking an entire week off to get the quad strain healthy from the previous camp, my knee acted up after a good solid slide tackle on the second day to keep me out another week of action. It was really unfortunate and frustrating but once again Pia to save the day! Since I wasn't playing in the games there we decided not to push it and to just keep fine tuning my body for the big picture which is the Olympics."

Posted by: WNT fan | April 1, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

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