New England Soccer Today

Four Breakers World Cup bound

Four members of the Boston Breakers were among 21 players selected on Monday for this summer’s Women’s World Cup in Germany.

Defenders Rachel Buehler, Stephanie Cox, Amy LePeilbet, as well as forward Lauren Cheney, were named to U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage’s  World Cup roster for the tournament.  The United States, ranked first in the world, will compete in Group C along with Sweden (5th), Colombia (30th), and Korea DPR (8th).

Cox is a veteran of the USA’s 2007 FIFA World Cup run in China, appearing in all seven matches.  But Buehler, LePeilbet, and Cheney will all be making their World Cup debuts.

Although this will be her first World Cup, Cheney has scored 13 international goals, including seven in 2010. This year, Cheney (39 total caps), started five of the seven games she appeared in and notched two goals and an assist.

“Lauren Cheney is a force on the field.  She can hold the ball up top with the best in the world, and I’m sure is going to score key goals for the USA in Germany,” said DiCicco, who coached the 1999 U.S. Women’s National Team to a World Cup title.

Buehler (56 caps) played 666 minutes in 2011, the most of any field player this year on the National Team. She started seven of the eight games she appeared in.  Though this is Buehler’s first World Cup, she logged two matches for the gold-medal winning US team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

“Rachel Buehler is an amazing competitor who can win head balls, serve long balls, and duel with any attacker,” DiCicco said.

Cox, the wily wingback, leads domestic Breakers players  in international experience with 71 caps.

“Stephanie Cox is an exceptional server of the ball from the left side who will likely link up with Abby Wambach on some of those serves,” DiCicco said. “She is also a smart defender and a real student of the game.”

LePeilbet (47 caps) started all three matches she played in for the U.S. in 2011. She started all 17 matches she appeared in during 2010, playing 1,439 minutes.

“Amy LePeilbet is an exceptional defender who takes such pride in her craft,” DiCicco said. “She has the ability to defend speed or strength and is one of the best 1v1 defenders in the world.”

The USA opens the World Cup to Korea DPR on June 28 in Dresden.  The USA’s group has an average rank of 11, is on paper the second toughest group in the tournament.  Group A (Germany, Nigeria, Canada, France) is ranked the toughest while Group B (Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, England) and Group D (Brazil, Norway, Equatorial Guinea, Australia) follow the USA’s group.

The four World Cup-bound Breakers have a combined 213 caps and 14 goals for the United States.

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