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USA: Few surprises on WWC qualifying roster

The usual suspects are on coach Pia Sundhage’s roster for CONCACAF’s qualifying tournament for next year’s Women’s World Cup, including local products Shannon Boxx and Amy Rodriguez.

Boxx and Rodriguez are among 20 players called in for the Oct. 28-Nov. 8 in Cancun, Mexico. The finalists will qualify for the WWC, which will be played next summer in Germany, and the third-place team will face Europe’s No. 5 team for an additional berth.

The U.S. won the 1991 and 1999 WWCs and finished third in 1995, 2003 and 2007. Germany is the two-time defending champion and will be the favorite again next year.

Boxx (Redondo Beach/South Torrance HS) made her U.S. debut at the 2003 WWC, which the U.S. staged after the SARS epidemic forced FIFA to pull the tournament from China. Rodriguez (Lake Forest/Santa Margarita Catholic HS and USC) played for the gold medal-winning side in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Diamond Bar’s Alex Morgan (Diamond Bar HS) is the only collegian on the team. The University of California senior debuted for the U.S. last spring.

Hermosa Beach resident Abby Wambach and former UCLA All-American Lauren Cheney also are on the roster, as is former L.A. Sold defender Stephanie Cox.

There are three significant omissions, only one of them somewhat unexpected.

Forward/midfielder Lindsay Tarpley, who lives in Hermosa Beach and is married to UCLA women’s assistant head coach B.J. Snow, returned to the U.S. roster for last week’s games against China. Tarpley played in Women’s Professional Soccer this season after she was sidelined by a torn ACL suffered last year.

First-choice goalkeeper Hope Solo is out until next spring following shoulder surgery, and defender/midfielder Lori Chalpuny has not been cleared by U.S. national team doctors following a concussion nearly two years ago, although she played in WPS this season.

The U.S., which plays in Group B, is an overwhelming favorite to win the CONCACAF tournament, with Group A’s Canada and Mexico expected to battle for the other berth. The second-place team in Group A likely will face the U.S. in the semifinals.

U.S. ROSTER

Goalkeepers

Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride)

Jillian Loyden (Chicago Red Stars)

*Ashlyn Harris (Washington Freedom)

Defenders

Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride)

Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers)

Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt/Germany)

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 (University of California)

Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence)

Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

x -- will travel with team but be eligible only if another goalkeeper is injured

SCHEDULE

Group A

Oct. 29: Trinidad & Tobago vs. Canada, Mexico vs. Guyana

Oct. 31: Canada vs. Guyana, Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago

Nov. 2: Guyana vs. Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico vs. Canada

Group B

Oct. 28: United States vs. Guatemala, Haiti vs. Costa Rica

Oct. 30: United States vs. Guatemala, Haiti vs. Costa Rica

Nov. 1: United States vs. Costa Rica, Haiti vs. Guatemala

Second phase

Semifinals: Nov. 5

Final/third place: Nov. 8