Krieger named to 2011 U.S. World Cup squad

Ali Krieger (Penn State Live)

CHICAGO, IL — Penn State women’s soccer alumnus Ali Krieger was named to the final roster representing the United States for the 2011 World Cup. The defender is one of 21 players on the squad that will head to Germany starting June 28.

Krieger joins Penn State head coach Erica Walsh, who is an assistant to U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage, as part of the U.S. contingent that will fight for its third World Cup title. Prior to the games in June, the U.S. will play Japan in a two-game series with the newly named squad that was 29 players when training camp started three weeks ago in Florida. Current sophomore Christine Nairn (Arnold, Md.) was part of that camp alongside Krieger.

The United State and Japan play May 14 at Crew Stadium in Columbus at 6:30 p.m. before a May 18 friendly in Cary, N.C. at 7:00 p.m. The final tune up will be on June 5 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. at 2:00 p.m. against regional rival Mexico. The squad will reconvene in mid-June, traveling to Austria for pre-World Cup training camp.

The United States is grouped with North Korea, Colombia and Sweden in Group C. The Americans take on the Koreans June 28 in Dresen, Germany before playing Columbia (July 2) in Sinsheim and Sweden (July 6) in Wolfsburg.

Krieger has been participating with the U.S. team in friendlies and the 2010 World Cup qualifying, which the Americans secured with a two-legged victory over Italy. Krieger has been an outside fullback for Sundhage’s side for quite a while and will fight for a starting spot in the backline during the world’s greatest women’s soccer tournament.

Her inclusion on this World Cup team is a bit of a homecoming for Krieger, who has played her club soccer with FFC Frankfurt for the past four years. The lone international club player on the team, Krieger speaks fluent German and has helped her teammates during World Cup qualifying to learn the language in preparation for their team in Europe. Krieger has made 15 appearances for the full team.

Krieger will be the third Nittany Lion to don her country’s colors at a World Cup. Carmelina Moscato and Erin McLeod represented Canada at the 2003 World Cup hosted in the United States before McLeod was part of the 2007 Canadian team in China.

The Canadian duo is in the hunt for World Cup roster spots of their own as they recently participated in a training camp in Italy during the month of April. According to Canadasoccer.com, Moscato is part of the team as of May 1, but no announcement about the full team has been made yet. Should the Nittany Lion pair make the squad, it will be the first time three Penn State alumnae have made World Cup teams.

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