Birgit Prinz, Kerstin Garefrekes, Nadine Angerer, Sandra Minnert, Renate Lingor and Steffi Jones were already unavailable to travel east due to a combination of work and injury-related reasons, before SC 07 Bad Neuenahr striker Isabell Bachor pulled out with a knee complaint to be replaced by Melanie Behringer of SC Freiburg.
World Cup target
Neid, whose side will be defending the World Cup in China, will lead her team against the United States on Friday, the hosts on Sunday, then England two days later. "Of course we are looking ahead to the World Cup," said Neid, for whom this is a first tournament as head coach. "We will do anything to have a successful tournament and started preparing long ago. This tournament in China is an important test on our way to the World Cup."
She added: "We are meeting top sides in China. The USA are ranked second in the world, China are ninth and England are 12th. And they are all in the World Cup. However, we should take into account that we are in our winter break and will not be in our best shape. But I expect us to pick up some useful pointers. From the organisational point of view, this is a good test for the World Cup. It is a good opportunity to get information about the things we will find there."
Much to do
Germany can have high hopes after another good year in 2006, yet Neid has warned that there is still work to be done. "We only lost one match, which was against China, and we didn't even play badly," she said. "We have discovered some aspects which need improving and which must be improved. Among other things, an improvement in our general play in defence is needed, as well as our passing and movement. There is a lot to do."
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