- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 17, 2011

CARY, N.C. (AP) - Heather O'Reilly is back where she became one of the stars of women’s college soccer. She only wishes one of her former North Carolina teammates could join her.

Instead, the U.S. team is learning to play without former Tar Heel Lindsay Tarpley, who will miss the upcoming Women’s World Cup with a knee injury.

The Americans’ first game without the versatile midfielder comes Wednesday night when they play Japan in their next-to-last tuneup before the World Cup.

O'Reilly says Tarpley is “one of the best teammates out there” and the Americans need to collectively raise their level of play to make up for her absence.


Tarpley will miss 6-8 months after tearing her right anterior cruciate ligament last weekend in an exhibition win over Japan.