Photo by ISIphotos.com
By TRAVIS CLARK
Thursday night marks the beginning of the U.S. Women's National Team's quest for a sixth conescutive appearance at the Women's World Cup.
The USWNT begin play in Group B of the CONCACAF Women's World Cup qualifying tournament in Cancun, Mexico. Grouped with Haiti, Guatemala and Costa Rica, the U.S. are once again favorites to advance to the semifinals, where they are likely to face either Canada or Mexico, both in Group A. The entire tournament will be broadcast in Spanish at CONCACAF.com.
They aim to achieve qualification with a somewhat inexperienced roster — at least in terms of qualifying experience. Only seven of the 20 women selected have appeared in previous World Cup qualifiers.
Coached once again by Pia Sundhage, and boasting players like Abby Wambach, Amy Rodriguez, Kristine Lilly and Megan Rapinoe, the U.S. Women will look to best their CONCACAF oppostion and secure another World Cup berth. They will be without goalie Hope Solo, out for the whole tournament with a shoulder injury.
Here's a look at the U.S. qualifying roster and schedule:
U.S. Women's National Team
Goalkeepers: Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Jill Loyden (Chicago Red Stars)
Defenders: Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (Washington Freedom)
Midfielders: Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), Shannon Boxx (FC Gold Pride), Kristine Lilly (Boston Breakers), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars)
Forwards: Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (California), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)
2010 CONCACAF Group B Qualifying Schedule
vs. Haiti, October 28, 8:30 p.m., CONCACAF.com
vs. Guatemala, October 30, 8:30 p.m. CONCACAF.com
vs. Costa Rica, November 1, 9:30 p.m. CONCACAF.com
Think the U.S. women can win the World Cup in 2011? Will they be upset in Mexico? Will you watch the tournament?
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