Benson, Mitts, Solo Earn U.S. Call

VILLANOVA, PA (February 5, 2003) – Charge defenders Jenny Benson and Heather Mitts and goalkeeper Hope Solo were among 24 players selected on Wednesday by U.S. National Team head coach April Heinrichs to train for five days in Charleston, S.C., before facing Iceland on Sunday, February 16, at Blackbaud Stadium.

Heinrichs is only expected to name 18 players to the roster for the Iceland match, which will kick off at 6 p.m. (ET) and will be broadcast live on ESPN2.

This will be the first time Solo will be wearing the Stars and Stripes as a member of the Charge. Philadelphia’s first draft pick (fourth overall) in this past Sunday’s WUSA Draft has appeared in 12 games with the U.S. in her career, with five of those appearances coming in 2002. The University of Washington product has a 3-4-1 lifetime record with the U.S. team, posting a 2-1 mark in 2002.

Solo is the Huskies’ all-time leader in every goalkeeping category, including shutouts (18), saves (325) and goals against average (1.02). She started 68 games in her career, amassing 325 saves. She was also one of 15 nominees for the Hermann Trophy in each of her last two seasons.

Benson helped the U.S. win the 2002 Gold Cup in November to clinch a spot in the 2003 World Cup. She most recently was on the U.S. team that won the Four Nations Tournament in China. Benson has made seven appearances with the women’s national team in her career, with six of those coming in the last year.

The 25-year-old Benson recorded three assists in 19 games with the Charge in 2002 and has registered one assist with the U.S. WNT in her career. The defender was a finalist for the WUSA’s 2002 Humanitarian of the Year Award, a Second Team All-WUSA selection and was named a starter for the WUSA All-Star Game.

Mitts has appeared in three games with the U.S. Team. She last appeared for the Americans Sept. 8 against Scotland. She had four assists for the Charge this past season, and is still seeking her first points for the U.S. squad

Charge midfielder and U.S. National Team veteran Lorrie Fair was not called in for camp, as she has decided to take some personal time leading into the WUSA season.

New Jersey high school star Heather O’Reilly, of East Brunswick, NJ, was called up for camp as well. O’Reilly has 12 caps with the national team and she is only 18 years old.