Solo named in US Olympic team
© AFP

Goalkeeper Hope Solo, who was swept up in a storm of controversy at last year's FIFA Women's World Cup, was named to the US women's football team for the Beijing Olympics on Monday.

Solo, then the United States' No1 keeper, publicly questioned coach Greg Ryan's decision to bench her in favor of Briana Scurry during the Americans' 4-0 loss to Brazil in the semi-finals of the women's championship last September.

Ryan and the team barred Solo from attending the bronze medal match against Norway, which the USA won 4-1.

A month later, Ryan was sacked and replaced by Pia Sundhage, who made the final selections for the 18-woman Olympic team following Sunday's 1-0 victory over Canada in the Peace Queen Cup championship game in South Korea.

Left off the squad was Scurry, who helped Team USA win two Olympic gold medals (1996, 2004) and capture the 1999 World Cup.

"There are many players that have lots of experience and are very competitive in practice," Sundhage said. "They really show up for every training and want to perform every time they are on the field."

Nine players named were members of the US team that won the gold medal four years ago in Athens, including co-captains Christie Rampone and Kate Markgraf.

Other 2004 Olympic gold medalists are Heather Mitts, Lindsay Tarpley, Shannon Boxx, Angela Hughes, Heather O'Reilly, Aly Wagner and Abby Wambach.

Six players were selected to their first Olympic team, including Solo. The other five are goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, defenders Lori Chalupny and Stephanie Cox, midfielder Carli Lloyd and forward Natasha Kai.

Three younger players - defender Rachel Buehler, midfielder Tobin Heath and forward Amy Rodriguez - will be playing in their first international competition on the senior level.