SI, SEPT. 10, 2007 At the end of a disappointing Women's World Cup last summer, U.S. captain Kristine Lilly (below) was coy about her future. The 36-year-old forward—who earned her first cap when she was 16—didn't rule out this summer's Beijing Olympics, but she didn't commit to it either. As it turned out, the decision was made for her. Lilly announced last week that she'll miss the Games because she is expecting her first child this summer with husband David Heavey, a Brookline, Mass., firefighter.
Lilly's departure comes at a time when the U.S. team is in flux. The 20-player roster that new coach Pia Sundhage chose for next week's Four Nations Tournament in China includes seven players who weren't on the team that finished third in the 2007 World Cup, including UCLA's Lauren Cheney, who scored for the U.S. in a friendly against Mexico last spring, and USC's Amy Rodriguez, who led the Trojans to the 2007 national championship. Those two forwards are in the mix for Lilly's spot in the starting lineup—but whoever wins the job might just be keeping the seat warm. "I'm not closing any doors," says Lilly, a fitness freak who played in 340 of the 398 games in U.S. national team history. "If one day I get the chance to play for Pia, that would be fantastic."