CARSON, Calif. -- Goalkeepers Hope Solo and Briana Scurry, who were at the center of a World Cup firestorm, were invited to the U.S. women's national team training camp by new coach Pia Sundhage.
The camp marks the beginning of the run to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The United States plays in the CONCACAF finals for Olympic qualifying April 2-13 in Chihuahua, Mexico. Two countries from the six-team tournament will advance to China.
It was in China where Solo was benched for the World Cup semifinals by then-coach Greg Ryan, who started veteran Scurry instead. The Americans played poorly, Scurry was beaten four times in a shutout loss to Brazil, and Solo bitterly criticized Ryan for the move.
Solo then was dismissed from the team, which won its third-place game.
Ryan subsequently was replaced by Sundhage, who invited 24 players to the training camp Dec. 8-12. The first games under Sundhage will be at the Four Nations Tournament in China early next year.
The minicamp roster features 16 players from the 2007 Women's World Cup squad, along with seven players who recently finished their collegiate seasons. Defender Heather Mitts returns from a torn knee ligament last May that required surgery and caused her to miss the World Cup.
Longtime star and recent captain Kristine Lilly was not on the roster; Lilly has yet to decide if she will continue playing next year.
"It's a short camp, but it will be valuable time spent together as a team and a unique moment for me to have a chance to work with the best players in the United States for the first time," Sundhage said. "It will give us the chance to get to know them as players a little bit more, they'll get the chance to learn my style and I'll also get the chance to get to know them off the field. It will be a good start to something new."
GOALKEEPERS: Nicole Barnhart, Briana Scurry, Hope Solo.
DEFENDERS: Rachel Buehler, Marian Dalmy, Kate Markgraf, Heather Mitts, Christie Rampone, Cat Whitehill.
MIDFIELDERS: Yael Averbuch, Shannon Boxx, Lori Chalupny, Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd, Leslie Osborne, Aly Wagner, Nikki Washington, Angie Woznuk.
FORWARDS: Michelle Enyeart, Natasha Kai, Casey Nogueira, Heather O'Reilly, Lindsay Tarpley, Abby Wambach.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press