Jan. 7, 2004
CHICAGO - The U.S. Women's National Team's road to Athens, Greece, will start on Jan. 12 at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., as it kicks off a busy 2004 schedule with a 12-day training camp followed by a trip to China for the annual Four Nations Tournament.
U.S. WNT head coach April Heinrichs has called in 27 players for the training camp and will choose a roster of 20 to travel to China, where the USA will participate in a tournament that features three of the four semifinalists from the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup. All six matches of the tournament will be played in Shenzhen, China, located just north of the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong in southern China.
Of the 27 players named to the training camp roster, three are former Broncos and one is a current SCU team member. Alumni Kylie Bivens, Brandi Chastain and Aly Wagner will welcome current junior midfielder Leslie Osborne to the National Team mix. Osborne was a star on the U21 and U19 teams, and earned her second call-up to the full National Team.
Following the Four Nations Tournament, the U.S. will return to action for the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament, taking place in Costa Rica from February 25-March 7, 2004. Following that tournament, the USA will travel to the Algarve Cup in Portugal in mid-March.
The U.S. won the Four Nations Tournament in January 2003, defeating Norway and eventual Women's World Cup champion Germany, while falling to China, a loss that was avenged in the championship game of the 2003 Algarve Cup. The meeting with China at the Four Nations will be the first for the two countries since that Algarve Cup and the meetings with Sweden and Canada will be the first with those countries since the Women's World Cup.