U.S.Women's First Match a Friendly Against Japan

Times Staff Writer

The world champion United States women's soccer team kicks off its World Cup year with a friendly against Japan at 1 p.m. today at the University of San Diego.

There are 26 players in camp for Coach April Heinrichs, who will spend several months putting together her roster for the Women's World Cup, which takes place from Sept. 23 to Oct. 11 in China.

The pool of players is a mix of old and new, from 18-year-old striker Heather O'Reilly to some of the usual old-timers who have led the United States to the two previous Cup titles, including Joy Fawcett and Brandi Chastain.

Missing from this group are veterans Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and Julie Foudy, all of whom are taking this month off to rest.

Heinrich will use today's game as a tune-up for China's Four Nations Tournament, which begins Jan. 23 and will bring together the world's four best teams, including Germany and Norway.

The U.S. then plays Iceland on Feb. 16 in Charleston, S.C., and will compete in the Algarve Cup in Portugal in March.

The U.S. training camp roster: Goalkeepers -- LaKeysia Beene, Siri Mullinix, Jaime Pagliarulo, Briana Scurry. Defenders -- Jenny Benson, Thori Bryan, Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, Jena Kluegel, Heather Mitts, Christie Pearce, Cat Reddick, Kate Sobrero. Midfielders -- Kylie Bivens, Lorrie Fair, Devvyn Hawkins, Angela Hucles, Tiffany Roberts, Aly Wagner. Forwards -- Shannon MacMillan, Tiffeny Milbrett, Heather O'Reilly, Cindy Parlow, Lindsay Tarpley, Abby Wambach, Kelly Wilson.

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