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U.S. women

Capsules profile of World Cup team.

By Jerry Langdon
Gannett News Service

(Monday, June 14, 1999) The United States begins its 1999 Women’s World Cup Saturday with a match against Denmark at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Here are updated capsule profiles of the 20 members of the U.S. team, selected by coach Tony DiCicco.

1 -- Briana Scurry (goalkeeper): The starting goalkeeper for both the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup and the 1996 Olympics, she has six shutouts in 1999, upping her career total to 49. Known for her calmness under pressure, she is one of the most athletic goalkeepers in the world. Is 27, an alumna of University of Massachusetts, has 89 international appearances.

2 -- Lorrie Fair (defender): The youngest player on the World Cup team, and the only one that still has college eligibility remaining. She will play her senior season at North Carolina next fall. One of the most skillful players on the team and good in the air for her size, the reserve can play anywhere on defense and also at midfield. Is 20, a rising senior at University of North Carolina, has 47 internationals, 1 goal.

3 -- Christie Pearce (defender): One of the best athletes on the U.S. team and the only player on the roster from a small soccer school, the former college basketball point guard missed games during her senior college hoops season at Monmouth in New Jersey for a no-guarantees trial with the national team. One of the fastest players. Reserve is 23, has 49 internationals, 2 goals.

4 -- Carla Overbeck (defender): The captain is tough and steady. A tremendous header of the ball, the field leader is comfortable playing with three or four defenders in the back. While rare to see, she is effective when attacking and is a key component on set plays, both on offense and defense. Is 31, an alumna of North Carolina, has 142 internationals, 7 goals.

5 -- Tiffany Roberts (midfielder): She was a starter at right midfield at the 1995 Women's World Cup but now comes off the bench. Valued for her defensive tenaciousness and work rate, as well as her ability to nullify most any opponent one-on-one. Has good strength and speed for her size (5-4, 120 pounds) and is an aggressive tackler. Is 22, an alumna of North Carolina, has 72 internationals, 6 goals.

6 -- Brandi Chastain (defender): Ms. Versatile, she played forward on the 1991 Women's World Cup team, was left off the 1995 Women's World Cup squad but was resurrected at left fullback for the 1996 Olympics. More recently, she has seen time at holding midfielder and attacking midfielder, but will start at left back in the World Cup. Is 30, an alumna of Santa Clara, has 94 internationals, 20 goals.

7 -- Sara Whalen (defender): Very fast, she has worked hard to improve the past year and saw time on all three lines at the Algarve Cup last March. That versatility and speed won her a reserve spot on the Women's World Cup team. She excels at outside fullback, where she can use her work rate to make an impact on both ends of the field. Is 23, an alumna of Connecticut, has 33 internationals, 2 goals.

8 -- Shannon MacMillan (forward): The Olympic hero has found her form again, having scored five goals with seven assists on the year. A strong dribbler who possesses one of the hardest shots on the team, she has seen time both at striker in the 4-3-3 formation and at right midfield in the 3-4-3. Is 24, an alumna of Portland, has 77 internationals, 19 goals.

9 -- Mia Hamm (forward): The world's leading scorer has been heavily marked this year, but still has punched in eight goals and added a team-leading 11 assists. She will be counted to score and create this summer. She scored two goals in both the 1991 and '95 Women's World Cup and may be the most recognized female soccer player in the world. Is 27, an alumna of North Carolina, has 172 internationals, 108 goals.

10 -- Michelle Akers (midfielder): The 1991 Women's World Cup leading scorer heads into her third Women's World Cup. A thundering center-forward in '91, she dominated the tournament for the victorious Americans in China to earn the Golden Boot. She changed roles in the lead-up to the 1996 Olympics, dropping into midfield where her playmaking skills and composure with the ball could be more utilized while the beatings she took every game playing with her back to the goal would be greatly reduced. She now is the defensive midfielder, utilizing her feel for the game to establish rhythm, and her unparalleled talent to shoot from distance on offense, as well as her dominance in the air on defense. Her strong tackling and ball-distribution skills still make her one of the key impact players. Is 33, an alumna of Central Florida, has 141 internationals, 102 goals.

11 -- Julie Foudy (midfielder): The co-captain has thrived after her position change in the midfield, moving from a defensive role into an offensive one. Her attacking skills are adding punch to the forwards, and her goal scoring has been the best of her career. A starter in both the 1991 and 1995 Women's World Cup, she will enter her third tournament as the third most-capped player in the world. A vocal on-field leader, she is 28, an alumna of Stanford, has 154 internationals, 30 goals.

12 -- Cindy Parlow (forward): The 5-foot-11 striker may be a key to the U.S.'s offensive success. She is adept at holding the ball on the forward line, battles for all air balls and is deadly in the penalty box. With Hamm and Milbrett's slashing runs in the offensive third, Parlow's ability to combine with them, as well as run at the goal herself, gives the Americans a combination of speed and power up front. She was hampered by a hamstring injury for several months but appears near top condition. Is 20, an alumna of North Carolina, has 55 internationals, 21 goals.

13 -- Kristine Lilly (midfielder\forward): The world's all-time leader in international appearances, the left-footed, left-sided midfielder/forward has established herself as a superstar with consistently stellar and dynamic play. She leads the team in goal scoring this year with 13. She has started an amazing 175 of the 180 games she has played for the United States, missing only nine matches during that span. Is 27, an alumna of North Carolina, has 179 internationals. 74 goals.

14 -- Joy Fawcett (defender): Tagged by many as the best defender in the world, she is outstanding in diffusing dangerous situations and is also an extraordinary attacker from the back. She has been going forward much more as a flank defender in the 4-3-3 formation, but has also stepped into a role in the midfield on occasion. She is a prime example of the Americans' ability to attack from every position on the field. Is 31, an alumna of California, has 141 internationals, 18 goals.

15 -- Tisha Venturini (midfielder): Scored U.S.'s first goals in the both the 1995 Women's World Cup and the 1996 Olympics. She has come off the bench for most of 1999, adding invaluable depth and experience at the attacking midfielder position. Exceptional dribbler in tight situations. She has five goals in two world championships. A strong header, she is 26, an alumna of North Carolina, has 122 internationals, 41 goals.

16 -- Tiffeny Milbrett (forward): Smallest player on team at 5-2. She had four goals and two assists April 29 against Japan. An explosive dribbler and shooter, she is the top scorer this season with 12 goals, 10 assists. She had a four-goal/tournament MVP performance at the Algarve Cup in March, and her dynamic, break-neck style of play have made her a favorite of fans. Is 26, an alumna of Portland, has 117 internationals, 58 goals.

17 -- Danielle Fotopoulos (forward): The 5-foot-11 forward is deceptively fast and skillful for her size. She finished her four-year collegiate career (two years at Southern Methodist and then two at Florida) with 118 goals, including the game-winner in the Gators' 1-0 upset of North Carolina in the 1998 NCAA championship game. She demolished the NCAA all-time scoring record of 103 set by fellow U.S. teammates Mia Hamm and Tiffeny Milbrett. A reserve, she is strong and aggressive, 23, an alumna of Florida, has 22 internationals, 8 goals.

18 -- Saskia Webber (goalkeeper): The back-up on the 1995 Women's World Cup team played one World Cup match against Australia, but was dropped from the team for 1996 Olympic residency camp. She has worked her way up a back-up goalkeeper position. She allowed just one goal in 270 minutes this year. Is 28, an alumna of Rutgers, has 26 internationals.

19 -- Tracy Ducar (goalkeeper): Possesses the best kicking game of the goalkeepers and has seen action against Germany and Brazil. Has a great work ethic and has overcome the injury problems that kept her out of the mix for the Olympics to earn a spot as a back-up on the World Cup team. Is 26, an alumna of North Carolina, has 23 internationals.

20 -- Kate Sobrero (defender): An intense and physical defender, she came back from a broken jaw suffered in a collision with goalkeeper Tracy Ducar at a training camp in January 1998 to become a consistent starter in the central defense. She had a world-class performance against Norway, shutting down star striker Marianne Pettersen. She adds speed and youth to a veteran back line. Is 22, an alumna of Notre Dame, has 25 internationals, 0 goals.

Jerry Langdon is sports editor of Gannett News Service and can be e-mailed at jlangdon@gns.gannett.com.

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