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Olympic residence camp to start next month at Chula Vista training center.

(Thursday, March 2, 2000) -- The United States women will open residency training camp in mid-April at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. as coach April Heinrichs continues the process of choosing her 18-player roster for the Summer Olympics in Australia in September.

This will mark the fourth time that the U.S. Soccer Federation has sent the U.S. Women's National Team into a residence. The three previous times -- prior to the 1995 Women's World Cup, the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 1999 Women's World Cup - the women were based at the Seminole County Sports Training Center outside of Orlando, Fla.

The West Coast was selected this time to put the team in closer proximity to Australia, where the women will travel twice in the next seven months.

Between 25 and 30 players will be invited into camp at the five-year-old Olympic Training Center, nestled near the California-Mexico border in southern San Diego County. Because of the busy travel and competition schedule for the U.S. team through the six months leading up to the Olympics, the U.S. will train in Chula Vista in separate blocks from April to June totaling approximately five to six weeks. Previous residency camps for he women have lasted about six months.

The Olympic Training Center features four world-class soccer fields as well as two buildings dedicated solely to U.S. Soccer, providing both a team room and office space. All of USSF national teams have utilized the OTC, including the under-20 men prior to participating in the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championships in Malaysia.

"We value the tremendous relationship that the USOC has always had with all our national teams," said Brian Fleming, general manager of the U.S. women's team. "The USOC has made the transition into our next residency camp a smooth one and has given us a great tool to help us compete for another gold medal. Combine that with the consistent weather, beautiful fields, proximity to airports, and the availability of competition for scrimmages in Southern California, it made Chula Vista an ideal place to bring the team."

The U.S. women have conducted numerous camps at the OTC since it opened in 1995. The training center has also supported almost all of the U.S.'s up-and-coming women's soccer talent by hosting many training camps all youth national teams, from under-14 to U-21.

"I'm ecstatic about the opportunity to train the USA in Chula Vista," Heinrichs said. "It's a world class facility to train world class athletes. The weather is perfect year round and it provides the players an environment where they can really focus on the game of soccer, on beautiful fields and with a great support staff in every area of the center."

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