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Keelin Winters Called To USWNT

Coach Pia Sundhage has named 27 players for a training camp being held in Bradenton, FL. This camp will take place from April 18th to the 30th. That does impact all of the Seattle Sounders Women who are on the USWNT, as well as a new call up for Keelin Winters. Not only will this serve as an intense training time, with no games attached, but it will also serve as an evaluation time for Coach Pia. She must trim the roster to only 18 players for the Olympics. There are several excellent players that may find themselves left off the London roster, simply because there are too many talented players and not all can go.

According to the US press release this camp will be intense.

It’s a camp where we do a lot of training, fight through it and see how hard we are working," said U.S. midfielder Shannon Boxx. "We don’t have to taper for a game during this camp so we can do a lot more double days and spend some more hours on the field. We know we are going to feel tired at times, but this is a great chance to push ourselves and get more fit, as well. This camp will be about mentality, about improving fitness and having the time to work on specific things to continue to build our team.

This call up for Keelin is her 5th time trying out for the full team. This is the first time that she has been invited so close to a major international tournament. According to the Sounders press release, Keelin stated that the game is much faster at that level.

In November, my first camp with the national team, I experienced how much your game has to rise," Winters said. "It’s a whole ‘nother level. My game rose to a level that I’ve never experienced. The speed of play is so much faster.

This has been a busy couple of weeks for Keelin. She had just returned from Germany the night before the last exhibition game against Seattle University. Even severely jet lagged, she managed to score a goal. She has signed with the German Bundesliga, and will be leaving the Sounders prior to the Olympics. Her contract starts on July 1, 2012. Keelin is a dominant midfield player, and she should do well in the German league. Her decision making is only going to get better. Last year she won the WPS Rookie of the Year. She says that the rest of the USWNT is excited about the amount of fans turning out for the Sounders Women games so far.

"All the girls here (with the USWNT) are asking how the game went," Winters said just an hour before the first practice in Florida. "It’s cool to tell people here that we had 4,000 plus for just exhibition matches… 4,000 is above average attendance at WPS, so all the girls are a little surprised and excited for what it means for women’s soccer that we are getting these fairly big crowds out to watch."

There is also a three-team tournament in Sweden in June. Sweden will be playing the USWNT on June 16th, and the USWNT will be facing Japan once again on June 18th. This has not been confirmed on the US website, but it is on the Swedish site, so we'll go with it.

The US will face China in Pennsylvania on May 27th (purchase tickets here), and Canada on June 30th at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah(purchase tickets here). The June 30th game is being called the team’s "send off" which I am interpreting to mean that the Sounders will not see those team members again this summer unless they are left off the list of 18.

The 27 players called up are as follows:

GOALKEEPERS (4):Nicole Barnhart, Ashlyn Harris, Jill Loyden, Hope Solo
DEFENDERS (9): Rachel Buehler, Stephanie Cox, Whitney Engen, Meghan Klingenberg, Amy LePeilbet, Heather Mitts, Kelley O’Hara, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn
MIDFIELDERS (9): Shannon Boxx, Tobin Heath, Lori Lindsey, Carli Lloyd, Kristie Mewis, Heather O’Reilly, Megan Rapinoe, Amy Rodriguez, Keelin Winters
FORWARDS (5): Lauren Cheney, Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Christen Press, Abby Wambach

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