BERKELEY (AP) – California forward Alex Morgan, whose late goal against China last week helped preserve the U.S. women’s nearly six-year unbeaten streak at home, is the only college player on the roster for the World Cup qualifying tournament later this month.
Veterans Kristine Lilly, the only player to play in all five women’s World Cups, and Abby Wambach are also on the 20-woman team announced Wednesday by U.S. coach Pia Sundhage. Morgan and defender Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt) are the only ones who don’t play in the Women’s Professional Soccer league.
World Cup qualifying begins Oct. 28 in Cancun, Mexico, and the defending Olympic champions will face Haiti, Guatemala and Costa Rica in the group stage of the tournament. The two finalists get automatic spots at the 2011 women’s World Cup in Germany, while the third-place finisher will play Europe’s fifth-place team for another berth.
The U.S. is 9-0-2 this year. It has won two women’s World Cup titles, but has not reached the final since 1999.
Goalkeepers: Nicole Barnhart (Gold Pride), Jill Loyden (Chicago)
Defenders: Rachel Buehler (Gold Pride), Stephanie Cox (Boston), Ali Krieger (Frankfurt, Germany), Amy LePeilbet (Boston), Heather Mitts (Philadelphia), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue), Becky Sauerbrunn (Freedom)
Midfielders: Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue), Shannon Boxx (Gold Pride), Kristine Lilly (Boston), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago)
Forwards: Lauren Cheney (Boston), Alex Morgan (California), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia), Abby Wambach (Washington).
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