There are a handful of players on the roster who would have gone to Australia regardless of whether the veterans had been on strike or not. This trip was to have been the start of their integration into the team.
Seven of the 18 players have never played for the national team and only one, Wagner, has scored a goal for the U.S. at this level.
Twelve of the 18 played college soccer last fall and three are in high school. Despite their inexperience at the full international level most have significant international experience at the under-18 and under-21 levels.
On the roster are two local players, midfielders Heather Aldama of Redlands and Veronica Zepeda of Riverside.
Gregg called Aldama "the most versatile player on this team."
"Although we intend to use her up front, she can truly play in the back and midfield as well," she added. "From any of these positions, she gives a wonderful attacking presence and quickness to the team."
According to Gregg, Zepeda has developed tremendously as a player in the last year while playing for the Claremont Stars.
"She brings a composure and a savvy on the ball, either out of midfield or as a forward," Gregg said. "She's difficult to dispossess, and that will be important against the higher-level opponents we'll be facing in Australia."
The full U.S. roster, with college where applicable:
Goalkeepers: Lakeysia Beene, Notre Dame; Siri Mullinix, North Carolina.
Defenders: Thori Bryan, North Carolina State; French, Portland; Kelly Lindsey, Notre Dame; Nandi Pryce; Danielle Slaton, Santa Clara.
Midfielders: Aldama, Santa Clara; Cramer; Jenny Mascaro, Notre Dame; Mary Frances Monroe, Connecticut; Nikki Serlenga and Wagner, Santa Clara; Zepeda.
Forwards: Bush, North Carolina; Clemens, Santa Clara; Sherrill Kester, Duke; Christie Welsh, Penn State.
The national teams of Guatemala and Armenia will play at the Coliseum on Sunday at 4 p.m. . . . Iran, which plays the United States at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 16, will play Mexico on Sunday in Oakland and Ecuador at the Coliseum on Jan. 12 at 8 p.m.
The U.S. men's under-23 national team begins a 15-day training camp Friday at the Olympic training center in Chula Vista. On the team is the Galaxy's DaMarcus Beasley. The U-23s will play Armenia at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 16, after the U.S.-Iran game. . . . The U.S. men's team under Coach Bruce Arena opens training camp in Claremont on Friday.
The U.S.-Norway women's game Feb. 6 in Fort Lauderdale will be televised live on ESPN at 11 a.m. PST and will be followed by a women's college all-star game featuring the top seniors of 1999.