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Beat Players Ready for Tuesday's USA World Cup Opener

June 27, 2011 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Atlanta Beat News Release

KENNESAW, GA (June 27, 2011) Atlanta Beat players, Heather Mitts and Carli Lloyd, are switching gears as they join the U.S. Women's National Team in Germany for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. The tournament kicked off on Sunday, June 26, and the USWNT plays their first match on Tuesday, June 28 against North Korea.

Lloyd is no stranger to the big stage having started all three group matches in the 2007 World Cup and gaining minutes in the quarterfinal and semifinal matches. "Looking back now, I think I'm way different than I was back then," says Lloyd. "I'm going in with a little more confidence this time because I've prepared so much in the last couple of years." She says that her main goal is to play good soccer and that wants to show the world what she has to offer by scoring goals, creating chances on the offensive side, and being a strong presence on the defensive end.

Mitts hopes to this year make her first-ever FIFA Women's World Cup appearance. She participated in the 2007 National Team residency program but was unable to compete in the World Cup due to a torn ACL. She has so far earned 108 caps with the USWNT.

Both Lloyd and Mitts are both valuable assets to the home team, and they serve as leaders to the younger players by contributing a great deal during the game. Lloyd is one of the top goal scorers this season and Mitts is an integral part of the defensive line. "We are going to miss their presence in the locker room and on the field, but at the same time we're very happy for them and wish them both the best of luck," said Beat head coach, James Galanis.

The USWNT is in Group C and will face Korea DPR in their first match on June 28. The match will be televised on ESPN at 11:30 a.m. (ET). They will also face Sweden on July 2 (ESPN - 11:30 a.m. ET) and Colombia (July 6 - 2:30 p.m. ET) in the first round of group play.

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