MIAMI -- Palm Beach County is the epicenter of American women's soccer. The U.S. women's national team is in town for a three-week camp in preparation for the Women's World Cup in Germany, and Magic Jack, the Women's Professional Soccer team formerly known as the Washington Freedom, has relocated to Boca Raton, Fla.
Magic Jack is named for the Internet phone service invented by Palm Beach, Fla.-based team owner Dan Borislow . It opened its season recently with a 1-0 victory over the Boston Breakers in front of about 1,000 fans at Florida Atlantic University. That was a remarkable crowd considering the team did very little advertising and doesn't even have a website. The team features seven members of the U.S. national team, including star forwards Abby Wambach and Lindsay Tarpley . Rookie Christen Press, Stanford's career scoring leader, also is a player to watch.
Other national team members on Magic Jack are Shannon Boxx , Meghan Klingenberg , Christie Rampone , Becky Sauerbrunn and goalkeeper Hope Solo . No other WPS team has as many players from the national team. U.S. coach Pia Sundhage decided to hold her camp in West Palm Beach so that players could train together Monday through Friday and then play for their WPS club teams on weekends. With so many of the players on Magic Jack, or playing against Magic Jack during this month, it works out nicely.
The U.S. roster features all 23 players who traveled to the United Kingdom for a 15-day training camp and match against England in London. Goalkeeper Jill Loyden is back in camp for the first time since sustaining a broken hand in January. Defender Heather Mitts is also back after being injured.
The team is preparing for two World Cup tune-ups, May 14 against Japan at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, and May 18 against Japan at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
Players in camp: Goalkeepers (four)-- Nicole Barnhart (Philadelphia Independence), Ashlyn Harris (Western New York Flash), Loyden (Magic Jack), Solo (Magic Jack). Defenders (eight)-- Rachel Buehler (Boston Breakers), Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), Whitney Engen (Western New York Flash), Ali Krieger (out of contract), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Mitts (Atlanta Beat), Rampone (Magic Jack), Sauerbrunn (Magic Jack). Midfielders (12)-- Yael Averbuch (Western New York Flash), Boxx (Magic Jack), Tobin Heath (Sky Blue FC), Klingenberg (Magic Jack), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Atlanta Beat), Kristie Mewis (Boston College), Christine Nairn (Penn State), Kelley O'Hara (Boston Breakers), Heather O'Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Rapinoe (Philadelphia Independence), Tarpley (Magic Jack). Forwards-- Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Sydney Leroux (UCLA), Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash), Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Wambach (Magic Jack).
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho is in hot water with European soccer officials. They are investigating his "inappropriate" rant after his team lost to Barcelona 2-0 in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals Wednesday. Mourinho suggested UEFA had a conspiracy to help Barcelona and was particularly upset about midfielder Pepe being ejected. The case will be heard Friday. The rivals play the second leg of the semifinal Tuesday in Barcelona.
Real Salt Lake was trying to become the first Major League Soccer club to advance to the Club World Cup in Japan but came up short in front of a sellout crowd of 20,378 at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday. Salt Lake lost 1-0 to Monterrey of Mexico. It was the first continental title in Monterrey's 66-year history.
"I told our players if you fall asleep for one minute, this team can punish you," Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis said. Humberto Suazo scored in stoppage time at the end of the first half.