USWNT Olympic Opponent: France’s Semi-Official Final Roster, Plus Training Schedule

Earlier today, French WNT head coach Bruno Bini announced his team’s roster for the 2012 Summer Olympics, along with their training schedule. The most notable roster change from the 2011 Women’s World Cup is the inclusion of goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi, who is generally regarded as France’s best ‘keeper, but has had issues on and off the pitch , which led to her exclusion in 2011.

France’s Schedule:

  • June 5-8: Recuperation on the island of Oleron (Wiki)
  • June 18-22: Light training camp, Alsace (“stage de reprise”)
  • June 27-July 5: Training camp, Clairefontaine
  • July 4: Friendly versus Romania, in Orleans
  • July 9-15: Training camp, Clairefontaine
  • July 11: Friendly versus Russia, in Beauvais
  • July 18-20, Training camp, Clairefontaine
  • July 19: Friendly versus Japan, in Paris
  • July 20: Travel to Glasgow…

Source: “Le programme de préparation des Bleues,” FFF.fr

* * *

FRANCE’S ROSTER

The official roster is not due until early July, so changes, whether due to injury, perfrormance reasons, et cetera, could still be made.

Goalkeepers:
Bouhaddi, Sarah
Deville, Céline (2011 WWC)

Defenders:
Bompastor, Sonia (2011 WWC)
Franco, Corine (2011 WWC)
Georges, Laura (2011 WWC)
Meilleroux, Ophélie (2011 WWC)
Renard, Wendie (2011 WWC)
Sabrina, Viguier (2011 WWC)

Midfielders:
Abily, Camile (2011 WWC)
Boulleau, Laure (2011 WWC)
Bussaglia, Elise (2011 WWC)
Catala, Camille
Necib, Louisa (2011 WWC)
Soubeyrand, Sandrine (2011 WWC)
Thiney, Gaëtane (2011 WWC)

Forwards:
Delie, Marie-Laure (2011 WWC)
Le Sommer, Eugénie (2011 WWC)
Thomis, Elodie (2011 WWC)

Alternates:
Gadéa, Kelly {DF}
Makanza, Marina {FW}
Philippe, Laëtitia  {GK} (2011 WWC)
Soyer, Julia {DF}

Also, two additional players were called up, in case of injuries to the above 22:
Benameur, Karima  {GK}
Plaza, Mélissa  {MF}

Changes from 2011 WWC

The two “new” players in the eighteen player roster are goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi who was left off the 2011 WWC roster for disciplinary reasons and 21 year-old midfielder Camille Catala who is a veteran of France’s 2008 U-17 WWC (where she played against the USA) and 2010 U-20 WWC squads.

One of the supposed reasons that Bouhaddi had been left off the 2011 WWC roster is that, according to ESPN commentator Kate Markgraf, Bouhaddi and team captain Sabrine Soubeyrand hate each other (source: tracingthetree.wordpress.com), which is likely related to a 2009 French league incident between the two when they were teammates at Juvisy: words were exchanged and Soubeyrand apparently punched Bouhaddi after the match (bigsoccer.com). After that season, Bouhaddi moved to Olympique Lyonnais.

Soubeyrand is also controversial due to her head-to-head collision with now-retired Swedish star forward Hanna Ljungberg at the 2006 Algarve Cup.

Bouhaddi-Ljungberg Collision (low quality video):

As a result of the collision, Ljungberg had a concussion and had to be stretchered off the pitch, while Bouhaddi was red-carded.

The USWNT has played in two matches versus Bouhaddi, but both were back in 2006, at the Algarve Cup (a 4:1 win), and the Four Nations Tournament in China (a 0:0 draw). Also, in 2006, the U-20 USWNT played against Bouhaddi in the U-20 WWC (a 1:0 win, group stage match).

The two most notable absences are now-retired goalkeeper Berangere Sapowicz and  defender Laure Lepailleur who is injured. Lepailleur played 411 minutes over five matches in Germany (FIFA.com).

The other two players left out of the mix are forward Sandrine Bretigny and midfielder Caroline Pizzala, who were only used as substitutes in one match a piece (FIFA.com).

Sources:
AFP story on the roster announcement (in French)
FFF.fr: Full roster, with photos and links to bio pages (in French)
FFF.fr: short item confirming the alternate and supplemental players (in French)

One thought on “USWNT Olympic Opponent: France’s Semi-Official Final Roster, Plus Training Schedule”

  1. Sapowicz was a serious liability for the French at the WWC. A solid keeper for them in the semi v. the US & it may have been them in the final. Goalkeeping is presently the biggest factor in the success of the USWNT. The world is catching up, but not in goal!

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