Young players could be key for US women

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SOMERSET, N.J. (AP) -- With 13 World Cup newcomers on the roster, the U.S. women's team could be considered too inexperienced. Yet the veterans on the squad believe those "rookies" will play a major role in the tournament that begins later this month.

Among those youngsters are dangerous attackers Amy Rodriguez and Alex Morgan, defender Rachel Buehler and midfielder Tobin Heath. Team captain Christie Rampone, heading to her fourth World Cup, says those four -- and all the young players on the roster -- "are asked to play a bigger role now. We need you now and here."

Rampone and fellow veteran Abby Wambach strongly believe those kids can carry the Americans in Germany as they seek their first world title since the 1999 team memorably took the trophy at the Rose Bowl.