Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com
The CONCACAF Olympic Women's qualifying tournament takes place later this month, and we now know who will be representing the U.S. women's national team in it.
Head coach Pia Sundhage has named a 20-player squad for the eight-team tournament in Vancouver, B.C., and all but one of them were on the U.S. team that reached the Women's World Cup final in Germany in 2011.
Here's the roster as well as some other women's olympic qualifying tidbits:
GOALKEEPERS: Nicole Barnhart (out of contract), Hope Solo (out of contract)
DEFENDERS: Rachel Buehler (Atlanta Beat), Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt), Amy LePeilbet (Atlanta Beat), Heather Mitts (out of contract), Kelley O'Hara (Atlanta Beat), Christie Rampone (out of contract), Becky Sauerbruno (Sky Blue FC)
MIDFIELDERS: Shannon Boxx (out of contract), Tobin Heath (out of contract), Lori Lindsey (Western New York Flash), Carli Lloyd (Atlanta Beat), Heather O'Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (out of contract), Amy Rodriguez (out of contract)
FORWARDS: Lauren Cheney (out of contract), Sydney Leroux (Atlanta Beat), Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash), Abby Wambach (out of contract)
The lone player who was not on the roster for last year's World Cup team is 21-year-old forward Sydney Leroux, who was just drafted as the first overall selection of the WPS Draft on Jan. 13 by the Atlanta Beat.
The U.S. team is scheduled to arrive in Canada on Monday, Jan. 12. It will open its qualifying campaign against the Dominican Republic on Friday, Jan. 20 before playing Guatemala two days later. The United States wraps up group play versus Mexico on Tuesday, Jan. 24.
All of those games will be played at B.C. Place, and will be televised live on the Universal Sports Network.
Should the United States advance, it would play the pivotal semifinals match on Friday, Jan. 27. A win there against one of the Group A teams (Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Haiti) would secure qualification for the Olympics. The championship game of the tournament will be played on Sunday, Jan. 29.
The U.S. team is attempting to qualify for its fifth consecutive Olympic Games. It won the Olympic qualifying group in 2008 and went on to claim the gold medal in Beijing.
What do you think of the roster? Expecting the women's team to qualify for the Olympics? Who do you think will shine in the tournament? Hope to see Alex Morgan in a starting role?
Share your thoughts below.