Former Stanford soccer standouts earn 'all-pro' status from the WPS


Three former Stanford players -- all teammates for the Women's Professional Soccer champion FC Gold Pride -- were named to the league's Best XI, signifying all-pro status.

Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, and defenders Rachel Buehler and Ali Riley, were among five Gold Pride players named to the team. Reigning FIFA World Player of the Year Marta, and forward Christine Sinclair were the others.

Barnhart led the WPS in goals-against average (0.77) and shutouts (8) in regular-season play, and shut out the Philadelphia Independence in the championship final. Barnhart, a current Stanford volunteer assistant coach, played for the Cardinal from 2000-04 and holds career records for GAA (0.45) and shutouts (35).

Buehler, who played at Stanford from 2003-07 captained the Gold Pride and has provided leadership to not only her club, but to the U.S. national team, in which she serves as captain as well.

Barnhart and Buehler are both vital players on the U.S. National Team. Both started for the U.S. in a 1-1 friendly against China on Wednesday in Chester, Pa., and are preparing for the 2011 World Cup.

Riley, the reigning New Zealand and Oceania Federation player of the year, is in Auckland, N.Z., with her national team. New Zealand is playing Papua New Guinea on Friday in the grand final of the Oceania Nations Cup. The winner earns a berth in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.

New Zealand reached the final by beating Vanuatu 14-0, the Cook Islands 10-0, and Tahiti, 7-0, to win Group A. The Football Ferns then beat the Solomon Islands, 8-0, to advance to the final.

-- Stanford Sports Information

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