By Dave Kiefer
Stanford Sports Information
Stanford grads Nicole Barnhart and Rachel Buehler were named to the United States team that will play in the Women's World Cup in Germany this summer. But a third former Stanford star, Kelley O'Hara, was among the final cuts.
All three were part of a 29-player camp from April 18-May 6 in West Palm Beach, Fla., but that number was whittled to 21 by coach Pia Sundhage and announced Monday by U.S. Soccer.
"The opportunity to represent your country and compete at the World Cup is the highest honor in soccer," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "Everyone at Stanford is very proud of Rachel and Barnie and we wish them the best of luck in Germany.
"Although Kelley did not make the final cut, I expect her to have a long and successful international career."
Barnhart, the goalkeeper who set the Stanford record for career shutouts (35) and goals-against average (0.45) from 2000-04, has received most of the U.S. action over the past year as Hope Solo recovered from a shoulder injury. Both players are on the roster and should contend for the starting spot. For Barnhart, who has been a Stanford volunteer assistant coach since 2005, this will be her second World Cup. She also played with Buehler on the 2008 Olympic team.
Buehler and Barnhart were teammates at Stanford in 2003 in Ratcliffe's first season, as well as with the FC Gold Pride, the 2010 Women's Professional Soccer champion. Barnhart now plays for the Philadelphia Independence and Buehler with the Boston Breakers.
Buehler, who played at Stanford in 2003 and 2005-07, shares the U.S. captainship with Christie Rampone and will be playing in her first World Cup, though she played in two U-19 Women's World Cups, in 2002 in Canada and in 2004 in Thailand.
Buehler has 56 national-team caps and Barnhart 39.
O'Hara, who won the Hermann Trophy as college soccer's best player in 2009, was not one of the seven midfielders selected. She had been an active part of the U.S. team's preparation to this point.
The FIFA World Cup takes place June 26-July 17 in Germany. Stanford is expected to be represented by five current or former players. Besides former stars Barnhart and Buehler for the U.S., Ali Riley (Stanford 2006-09) is the captain of the New Zealand team, and current junior Teresa Noyola and sophomore Alina Garciamendez are expected to be named to the Mexico squad.
The U.S. arrives in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday to begin training for a two-game series against fellow World Cup qualifier Japan, May 14 in Columbus and May 18 in Cary, N.C. The U.S. will then play Mexico on June 5 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. The U.S. team will leave for Austria in mid-June for a pre-Women's World Cup training camp.
The U.S., which has been drawn into Group C with South Korea, Colombia and Sweden, opens its tournament on June 28 in Dresden against the Koreans.
Stanford is one of four schools to be represented by more than one player on the U.S. team, joining North Carolina, Portland, and Virginia.