Jones is tied for third in the U.S. point standings, which would put her on the team automatically. But health problems could endanger her position, so Lopez came up with a backup plan.
'She's had some trouble with her neck and back,' Lopez said. 'If she can't play, she'll be my assistant captain.'
If the 45-year-old Jones does make the team, Lopez will go with Hall of Famer Donna Caponi as the assistant coach for the Sept. 9-11 matches at Crooked Stick Country Club in Carmel, Ind.
'She loves the players, and they all respect her very much,' Lopez said of Caponi.
The Solheim Cup is the women's equivalent of the Ryder Cup, matching the top players from the United States and Europe. The Europeans won two years ago in Sweden by seven points -- the largest margin of victory in Solheim history.
Jones has a herniated disc in her back, but she still has four top-10 finishes in her first five tournaments this year. She is virtual lock to make the team if her back holds out.
'I am thrilled to be named assistant captain,' Jones said. 'I hope to be playing, but if not, I will be there in a different capacity and I am looking forward to it.'
Jones first played in the Solheim Cup in 1990, and she's been on the last five U.S. teams. Her career record is 10-9-0.
Cristie Kerr, who ended Annika Sorenstam's record-tying streak of five straight LPGA Tour victories last weekend, leads the U.S. standings with 582 points. Meg Mallon (355) is second, followed by Jones and Juli Inkster (317.5 each).
The top 10 make the team, and Lopez also gets two captain's picks. The U.S. lineup will be announced Aug. 28 following the Wendy's Championship in Ohio.
'My team is doing great,' Lopez said. 'There's a lot of Americans finishing in the top 10, the top 20, every week. I love it. We're beating a lot of people out there.'
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