Six players with Bay Area ties including Santa Clara junior Julie Johnston have been invited to training camp by new U.S. women's national soccer coach Tom Sermanni.

Cal graduate Alex Morgan is returning in 2013 to lead the Olympic champions with former Stanford players Nicole Barnhart, Rachel Buehler and Kelley O'Hara. Another former Stanford star Christen Press is getting a chance to make her senior national team debut. Press was second in scoring in Sweden's First Division last season, getting 17 league goals and 25 in all 2012 competitions for FC Göteborg. She recently transferred to Tyresö FF.

Sermanni, who has replaced Pia Sunhage in October, called in 29 players in preparation for exhibitions next month against Scotland. Seventeen players return from leading the United States to a gold medal at the London Games. But the new coach also is looking at the next generation such as Johnston, a defender who won the bronze ball as the third-best player at last year's under-20 World Cup.

Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865 and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond



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