Abby Wambach returns to U.S. team
CHICAGO -- Star forward Abby Wambach will return to the U.S. women's team in preparation for the prestigious Algarve Cup in Portugal.
Coach Pia Sundhage chose 24 players Thursday who will train for one week in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Wambach is back from a heel injury that forced her to miss January's Four Nations Tournament in China, which the Americans won.
Wambach looks to add to her career total of 117 goals for the national team. The Americans have won the tournament seven times, including last year against two-time World Cup champion Germany in the final.
The U.S. roster for the event that begins March 2 is stocked with veteran players, led by captain Christie Rampone, Shannon Boxx, the 2004 and 2006 Algarve Cup MVP, Wambach, Carli Lloyd, Lindsay Tarpley and Heather O'Reilly. Lloyd was the MVP of the 2007 Algarve Cup after scoring in all four games. O'Reilly will be playing in her team-leading ninth Algarve Cup.
Goalkeeper Hope Solo will attend her ninth Algarve Cup but is not yet cleared for game competition as she recovers from major shoulder surgery. Sundhage is taking four keepers to training camp.
The Americans open against Japan on March 2, then play Norway on March 4 and Finland on March 7. The championship game is March 9.
Other women's soccer powers in the Algarve Cup are Sweden and China.
Goalkeepers: Nicole Barnhart, Ashlyn Harris, Alyssa Naeher, Hope Solo.
Defenders: Rachel Buehler, Stephanie Cox, Whitney Engen, Ali Krieger, Amy LePeilbet, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn.
Midfielders: Yael Averbuch, Shannon Boxx, Tobin Heath, Lori Lindsey, Carli Lloyd, Kelley O'Hara, Heather O'Reilly, Megan Rapinoe, Lindsay Tarpley.
Forwards: Lauren Cheney, Alex Morgan, Amy Rodriguez, Abby Wambach.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press