US SoccerUS Soccer

Julie Johnston

Women's National Team
National Teams

Sermanni Names U.S. WNT Roster for Matches Against Canada and Russia

CHICAGO (Jan. 24, 2014) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Tom Sermanni has named a roster of 24 players for a three-game, three-week road trip as the USA opens its 2014 schedule.

The USA will play its first match of year on Jan. 31 against Canada at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas (8 p.m. CT on FOX Sports 1). The team then travels to Florida to face Russia on Feb. 8 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton (3:30 p.m. ET on web stream), followed by a quick trip to Atlanta to play Russia again on Feb. 12 at the Georgia Dome (7:30 p.m. ET on web stream). Sermanni will name 18 players to suit up for each of the matches.

“The players and staff are looking forward to playing matches,” said Sermanni. “We had productive training camps in December and January, but having three games in less than two weeks is a great opportunity for these players to continue to show their growth as individuals and as a team. This is the start of a year in which competition for places becomes much more critical, as does team performance and results.”

All the players named to this roster participated in the USA’s early January camp at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif. With the exceptions of forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Tobin Heath, both of whom are still recovering from injuries, the USA will bring its full complement of regulars into these first matches of the year.

The roster includes the first and third overall picks in the 2014 NWSL College Draft with defender Crystal Dunn going No. 1 to the Washington Freedom and midfielder Julie Johnston at No. 3 to the Chicago Red Stars.

Sermanni also gave a first roster spot to rising UCLA senior Samantha Mewis, who helped the Bruins to the NCAA title last fall. The 6-foot-tall Samantha is the younger sister of current U.S. WNT defender Kristie Mewis.

The Mewis sisters played together on both the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Team and the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Team, but this is first time they are on a full U.S. Women’s National Team roster together. The younger Mewis trained with the USA for a few days at the end of the January camp in Los Angeles.

The series of matches also marks the first that will see defender Rachel Buehler switch to her married name on the back of her jersey. Buehler, who was married in November of 2012, will now go by Rachel Van Hollebeke (pronounced “van HALL-ah-beck”).

U.S. Women's National Team Roster By Position – Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Tyresö), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Virginia), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC), Erika Tymrak (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)

Additional Notes:

  • The 2014 schedule begins with the 51st meeting between the USA and Canada. The USA is 42-3-5 all-time against the host of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • Seventeen players on the training camp roster played in the NWSL last season. Twenty-two of the 24 players have committed to play in the league during its second season in 2014.
  • It was announced this week that Megan Rapinoe has ended her tenure with French club Lyon and will be available to play for Seattle Reign FC for the entire NWSL season.
  • Three players on the roster were new allocations to NWSL clubs for the upcoming season: Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Whitney Engen (Houston Dash) and Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars).
  • All nine NWSL clubs are represented on the roster. FC Kansas City has the most players with five.
  • Since taking over as the U.S. Women’s National Team head coach in January of 2013, Tom Sermanni has seen 44 players called in to at least one training camp. Of those 44 players, 32 have earned at least one cap.
  • Sermanni has thus far also given 10 players their first caps.
  • After Abby Wambach, who has 163 career goals, midfielder Carli Lloyd is the top scorer on the roster with 46 career international goals, followed by Heather O’Reilly with 37.
  • Wambach finished second in the voting for the 2013 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year after winning the award for 2012.
  • 2012 Olympic gold medalist Kelley O’Hara, who was a late addition to the January camp roster, could return to game action for the first time since April 9, 2013, when she started against the Netherlands in The Hague.
  • The call-up of both Mewis sisters – Kristie and Samantha – marks the first time sisters have played together on the full U.S. Women’s National Team since 1998, when identical twins Lorrie (120 career caps) and Ronnie Fair (3 caps) played together.
  • Alex Morgan will be with the U.S. team for a few days during the middle of the trip, but only for rehabilitation and evaluation purposes as she continues to come back from her ankle injury.
  • Tobin Heath, who is currently in France with her club Paris Saint-Germain, is progressing well with her recovery from a foot injury but is not ready yet for National Team action.
  • The roster also includes the winner of the 2013 MAC Hermann Trophy as college soccer’s top player in University of Virginia senior Morgan Brian.

What's In A Name?

In soccer, everyone’s got a nickname, right? It’s just that the game happens so fast. As a player, you need a name that all your teammates can get out quickly and easily. Some nicknames are used only within the confines of the team while others have been adopted by fans and media.

On the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, the nicknames fall into many different categories.

Some players rarely, if ever, hear their given names. We can’t remember the last time someone used Nicole Barnhart’s first name. She’s always “Barnie.” (Unless an occasion arises when someone pulls out “Barnyard” or “Barnacles,” which actually happens more than you might think).

Likewise for Shannon Boxx as 99.9 percent of the time it’s just “Boxxy.” We’re pretty sure she might not even respond to Shannon. Kristie Mewis is “Mew” or “Mewie” and Meghan Klingenberg is of course “Klingy.”

But nicknames are not just adding about adding a “y” or an “ie” to someone’s name. Sometimes it’s initials. Heather Ann O’Reilly has long been known as “HAO” (pronounced hey-oh). Sometime “HAO” calls Kelley O’Hara “KO.” Christen Press is sometimes “CP.” Young goalkeeper Adrianna Franch is “AD.”

(Side note: New U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni did call O’Reilly “Hailey” a few times in his first week of camp -- a combination of HAO and O’Reilly -- but that doesn’t really count as a nickname. He quickly corrected himself.)

Nicknames can be maiden names as well. Christie Rampone hasn’t been Christie Pearce for years, but her teammates still often call her “Pearcie,” proving that nicknames can stick around a while.

Some nicknames are more connected to a style of play. One of the best ever is “The Buehldozer” for Rachel Buehler (sometimes shortened to just “‘Dozer”), whose propensity for plowing through opponents earned her that moniker. Alex Morgan rose to international soccer fame with a nickname that seemed a perfect fit for her galloping running style and youthful exuberance: “Baby Horse.” While it’s still a popular nickname with the fans and on Twitter, her teammates rarely use it nowadays. As Megan Rapinoe said during the 2012 Olympics, “I think she’s definitely a stallion now.”

Many times, you just shorten it up. Carli Lloyd is “Car.” Megan Rapinoe is “Pinoe.” Ashlyn Harris is “Ash.” Crystal Dunn is “Cris” and Sydney Leroux is “Syd” (you can add “the Kid” if you like). Becky Sauerbrunn is “Becks,” or one that has become very popular on the U.S. team: “Reba.” (Yes, her real name is Rebecca).

Julie Johnston is “Jules” or “JJ,” and Lauren Cheney is “Chens” (pronounced Chains). Whitney Engen is “Whit,” Tobin Heath is “Tobes” and Ali Krieger is “Kriegs.” Her club teammates in Germany called her “Warrior Princess” (Krieger means warrior in German), but that’s a whole other story.

Yael Averbuch has one of the most fun nicknames on the team. You can call her “Ya-Ya.”

However, some players just don’t have nicknames. While in reality Jill is a nickname for Jillian, don’t call Jill Loyden “Jilly” (although U.S. goalkeeper coach Paul Rogers sometimes does).

Hope Solo is usually just Hope. Both her names are so cool that she doesn’t need a nickname.

And Abby Wambach is almost always Abby. Of course, when you’ve scored 154 career goals, you can go by one name. There is that rare occasion -- and this does happen -- that someone decides to use her real name: Mary Abigail. We’re not sure why it’s always funny when someone calls her “Mary” or “Abigail,” but it just is.

Alex Morgan Named 2012 Female Athlete of the Year

CHICAGO (Dec. 3, 2012) – For their excellence at the highest levels of the sport, U.S. Soccer announced U.S. Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan as the 2012 Female Athlete of the Year and U.S. Under-20 WNT defender Julie Johnston as the 2012 Young Female Athlete of the Year.

The U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award is the highest honor awarded to soccer players in the United States. Online votes registered on U.S. Soccer’s Facebook Page counted for 50 percent of the total votes, while the other 50 percent was represented by votes compiled from members of the national media and U.S. Soccer representatives, including National Team coaches and members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors.

The Female Athlete of the Year award is the first for Morgan and it comes in the Diamond Bar, Calif. native’s first time on the ballot. The forward leads all U.S. scorers in 2012 with 28 goals which is good for third-best all time in a calendar year behind Abby Wambach (31 in 2004) and Michelle Akers (39 in 1991). Morgan has also compiled a team-leading 19 assists in 2012, the fourth-most in a single year. She still has three matches left to play as the USA finishes the Fan tribute Tour, presented by Panasonic, which matches against China on Dec. 8 in Detroit, Dec. 12 in Houston and Dec. 15 in Boca Raton, Fla.

Morgan’s exploits have also earned her a place on the FIFA Ballon d’Or shortlist. The winner for FIFA’s top honor will be announced on Jan. 7, 2013.

U-20 WNT defender Julie Johnston took home the Young Female Athlete of the Year award in one of the tightest races in the award’s history, just edging out her U-20 teammates Kealia Ohai, who scored the winning goal in the U-20 Women’s World Cup Final, and midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo.

The U-20 WNT captain was instrumental in helping the team win the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan, starting all six games on the backline and earning the Bronze Ball as the tournament’s third-best player, an extremely rare feat for a defender. The Mesa, Ariz. native also made an impact with Santa Clara, where the junior was the team’s leading scorer with eight goals and five assists in 14 appearances.

Morgan and Johnston complete this year’s list of winners for U.S. Soccer Athletes of the Year in 2012. Last month Clint Dempsey was announced as the Male Athlete of the year, Rubio Rubin the Young Male Athlete of the Year, and Felicia Schroeder the Disabled Athlete of the Year.

1985: Sharon Remer
1986: April Heinrichs
1987: Carin Jennings
1988: Joy Biefeld
1989: April Heinrichs
1990: Michelle Akers
1991: Michelle Akers
1992: Carin Gabarra
1993: Kristine Lilly
1994: Mia Hamm
1995: Mia Hamm
1996: Mia Hamm
1997: Mia Hamm
1998: Mia Hamm
1999: Michelle Akers
2000: Tiffeny Milbrett
2001: Tiffeny Milbrett
2002: Shannon MacMillan
2003: Abby Wambach
2004: Abby Wambach
2005: Kristine Lilly
2006: Kristine Lilly
2007: Abby Wambach
2008: Carli Lloyd
2009: Hope Solo
2010: Abby Wambach
2011: Abby Wambach
2012: Alex Morgan

1998: Cindy Parlow
1999: Lorrie Fair
2000: Aly Wagner
2001: Aleisha Cramer
2002: Lindsay Tarpley
2003: Cat Reddick
2004: Heather O’Reilly
2005: Lori Chalupny
2006: Danesha Adams
2007: Lauren Cheney
2008: Kristie Mewis
2009: Tobin Heath
2010: Bianca Henninger
2011: Sydney Leroux
2012: Julie Johnston

Q & A with U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year Julie Johnston It was a fantastic year for the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team. What are some of your memories the World Cup in Japan?
Julie Johnston: “Winning the World Cup was just amazing. I think about it all the time. We played for each other and seeing all the hard work we did behind the scenes pay off was the best feeling ever as an athlete. After the whistle blew in the final, I just collapsed on the field. I kept dreaming of cool things to do if we won, and all I did was drop on the ground. I was at the bottom of the big dog pile. It was such an intense game, I was just so tired and so happy at the same time. I started crying right away and flashed back to all the camps we had and all the extra running we did and then I saw the team run out from the bench and it was just unreal.” There have been some great players to win this award in the past. What does it mean to you to be added to that list?
JJ: “It’s an amazing honor to be listed with those players. Seeing what some of past award winners did after their youth careers really drives me to want to go further. Being selected for this award makes me feel like other people see a future for me and that’s really motivating for me as well.” You are just the third defender to win the Young Female Athlete of the Year (along with one goalkeeper). Is it nice to be recognized for your hard work in the back?
JJ: “I am willing to do whatever the team needs me to do. To get recognized for playing defense is tremendous. It means a lot that people saw the hard work we did in Japan and it feels great that people recognized my passion to help the team in any way possible.” Three of your U-20 teammates were nominated for this award (Crystal Dunn, Kealia Ohai and Vanessa DiBernardo). They all had fantastic performances as the World Cup as well.
JJ: “I was so excited to see the other players nominated. They are some of my best friends and they worked just as hard as I did. I’m happy for every one of them and they all could have easily been selected for this award.” The U.S. youth programs have long been among the strongest in the world. How was your overall experience with the U-20s this year?
JJ: “The dedication and resources that U.S. Soccer has given to our youth women’s programs have been tremendous. We are all so appreciative of the opportunities we’ve been given and I feel blessed to have gone to all these camps and played for some fantastic coaches who have taught me so much and helped me love the game even more.” It was a great year for the U-20s and you still have one more year of college soccer at Santa Clara. What does the future hold?
JJ: “The U-20s can be a big a step to the full team considering that some of the players from the other countries like Germany, North Korea and Nigeria are already playing for their full team. It gives us a glimpse of what may lie ahead and pushes people to become better during and after a World Cup experience.” How much did the coaching staff for this year’s U-20 WNT help in your development?
JJ: “I loved Steve Swanson our U-20 coaching staff. Without them, none of this would have been possible. I learned so much from them and each one helped me individually. (U.S. Soccer Women’s Technical Director and former WNT captain) April Heinrichs really motivated me. She just demanded more from everyone, and especially me, as a leader, since she was one herself. It was great to have someone with the same passion and vision there supporting and motivating.”

Voting Begins for 2012 Female and Young Female Athlete of the Year Awards

CHICAGO (Nov. 26, 2012) – U.S. Soccer has announced the opening of polls for the 2012 Female and Young Female Athlete of the Year awards. Fans can vote for finalists in each category on U.S. Soccer’s Facebook page throughout the week. The winners will be announced Monday, Dec. 3.

Vote Now on U.S. Soccer’s Official Page on Facebook
• Read Bios Athlete of the Year Nominees: Female | Young Female

The list of Female Athlete of the Year finalists includes three previous winners: midfielder Carli Lloyd (2008), goalkeeper Hope Solo (2009) and Abby Wambach (2003, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2011). The past winners are joined by first-time nominees midfielder Megan Rapinoe and forward Alex Morgan.

Goalkeeper Jane Campbell, midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo, defender Crystal Dunn, defender Julie Johnston and forward Kealia Ohai all earn their first nominations for Young Female Athlete of the Year. Nominees must be age eligible for any of the Youth National Teams and can only win the award once in their career.

The U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year awards are the oldest and most prestigious awards of their kind, dating back to 1984 for the men and 1985 for the women, while the Young Male and Young Female awards were added in 1998. This was the first year U.S. Soccer named a Disabled Athlete of the Year.

Earlier this month Clint Dempsey was named 2012 Male Athlete of the Year and Rubio Rubin named Young Male Athlete of the Year. Felicia Schroeder earned the 2012 Disabled Athlete of the Year award.

Online votes for the Athlete of the Year awards are equivalent to 50 percent of the total votes. As in years past, the other 50 percent will be represented by votes compiled from members of the national media and U.S. Soccer representatives (from National Team coaches to the National Board of Directors).

U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year Finalists
Carli Lloyd, Midfielder
Alex Morgan, Forward
Megan Rapinoe, Midfielder
Hope Solo, Goalkeeper
Abby Wambach, Forward

U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year Finalists
Jane Campbell, Goalkeeper
Vanessa DiBernardo, Midfielder
Crystal Dunn, Defender
Julie Johnston, Defender
Kealia Ohai, Forward

World Cup Final Quote Sheet: U-20 WNT vs. Germany

U.S. U-20 WNT vs. Germany
2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup – Final
Tokyo National Stadium; Tokyo, Japan
Sept. 8, 2012

U.S. head coach STEVE SWANSON
On the resilience of the U.S. team:
“Obviously, we are thrilled. What a great performance by the team. I would say that this is a reflection of many people’s efforts and we just have a very together team. We faced some adversity in group play, but I think true to this team’s nature they really rebounded well, learned lessons and put it all out there tonight.”

On how wining the World Cup was a team effort:
“I look around our program and I see a very committed and hard-working group. We’re a team all the way through. We have a wonderful coaching staff that works together extremely well. We have a wonderful team who doesn’t care who gets credit. It’s about success, it’s about performing and it’s about winning and I think our character showed through tonight. Our team was very strong and together and that made the difference.”

On the organization of the World Cup:
“Japan did a wonderful job organizing this tournament and there was tremendous atmosphere out there tonight. I am very grateful for everything this organizing committee put together to create this tremendous World Cup.”

On what tactics changed from the game against Germany in group play:
“I think we felt in the first game we played a little too central. We felt there was some space on the flanks we could exploit. We wanted to get Maya (Hayes) into some space and I thought she did a good job staying wide and looking for runs in behind and we felt there was some space in there last game that we didn’t take advantage of as much as we could have. We looked to penetrate a little more than we did in the first game which I think helped us. From the coaches perspective, we wanted to use the width a little more and get behind their back line a little bit more.”

On the U.S. team playing some excellent skillful soccer throughout the tournament:
“The kind of programming we have put in place has really emphasized the technical side. Certainly I think we can be better overall, but I think it has improved a great deal in the U.S. Hopefully you could see a determination by our team to play, to try to possess the ball and build attacks. We’ve made that a priority with this team. It’s a challenge for our country that we are working on and something that we are emphasizing.”

On learning from each game:
“We did have a lot of difficult games and it speaks to the competitiveness of the tournament and the game worldwide that there are no longer just a few teams that can compete here and I think that’s great for the women’s game overall. One thing about our team is that they are good students. They learn. They play hard together, they have a great resolve, but I think the biggest thing for us and what separated us, is that we applied the lessons from previous games and I think you need to do that in a tournament like this.”

On learning from the other teams in the tournament:
“I think there are a lot of things our team and our country can take away from this tournament in terms of the areas we can improve on. There are still some things we can get better at and I think we are striving for that. I think our youth national teams are set up right now so there is a vision and a philosophy that permeates all the programs. That was needed and that will help us even more now. The technical side is an area we can get better at and there are a lot of things we can learn from Nigeria, from Germany and from Japan, which had a wonderful, technical and organized team. Hopefully, the other countries can take some things from our team as well.”

On how losing to Germany in group play motivated the players:
“The thing you have to understand about American teams and American players is there’s nothing better for our players than to come up with a challenge. We were beaten in that first game against Germany and I think our players had it in their minds to get after it this game. We knew that we played well against Germany but that the result didn’t go like we wanted. I think there were a lot of positives to be taken from that first game Germany game and to be able to play them again to have the mentality our players had made a big difference.”

On the USA’s defense throughout the Women’s World Cup:
“Our defense really improved throughout the tournament. In these last three games they deserved an awful lot of credit. To play the three group winners and come out with a victory in each game says a lot about our team, but especially our defense. I thought they were magnificent and I include our goalkeeper in that. One of the things that is tough to do against the Germans, and certainly the Nigerians because they are so fast, is just to stay compact. I felt that in the first game against Germany we got a little stretched in the second half and they are very good at exploiting space and that was something we talked about at the beginning of the game and at halftime. They have some very good attacking players and they really push the line and at times our defense got stretched a little bit, but our midfield worked really hard to compensate and I thought we got a great effort from our forwards as well so we needed everyone to play well and play hard defensive and we got that and I think that was a key to our win.”

U.S. defender CRYSTAL DUNN

On rebounding from some adversity early on in the tournament:

“We had some struggles in the beginning and that could have easily broken us, but I think coming out of group play we had to learn from our mistakes and I think they really gave us a push through the quarters to the semis to the final.”

On Germany starting all of its matches strong:
“We knew Germany is a high-pressing team and off the bat, we knew they would push in the first 30 minutes we had to handle it. We got the goal at the end of the first half really settled us down, kept us focus and we held them off until the end of the game.”

On getting forward into the attack and setting up the game-winning goal:
“I like to wait for my chances. I’m an outside back so I have to stay connected with my back line, but if I see some space there I am going to take it. On the goal, I saw the defender kind of isolated and her nearest cover was kind of far back so I took her on and once I got past her I just tried to find one of our players in the box.”

On lessons learned from facing Germany in group play:
“We all felt good coming into the game. We knew what Germany was about. Playing them in group play obviously gave us a good perspective of what they can bring. Yes we lost 3-0, and it was very shocking to us, but we learned from our mistakes. Just marking tight in the box and not letting them get any chances they didn’t really deserve.”

On the USA scoring the first and only goal Germany gave up in the tournament:
“We knew going into this game they had not given up a goal, so they defensively they were very organized and compact and we had to find ways in and around their back line, so it was a great feeling scoring on them.”


On the rematch with Germany:
“We had one goal, and that was to win. This was a team that was standing in the way. We had to play smart, but we knew their tendencies, we knew how they played and how they scored on us (in group play). It was our job to play better than we did before and I think that showed.”

On the match:
“We knew Germany was never going to let up. They are a team that never stops working hard and we need to match them or do better. We came in to the game with heart, with a passion for our sport and gave it everything we had.”

U.S. forward KEALIA OHAI

On the support the full U.S. WNT has shown for the U-20s through emails, tweets and videos:
“It’s been incredible to watch the full team win the Olympics. They are our idols and we look up to them so much. Being in this tournament and getting so much support from them has been a dream.”

On scoring the winning goal:
“They’re really tough on defense and their goalie is incredible so it was an honor to be able to play in that game and score that goal.”

On lessons learned from the group play:
“Our group was really tough, so coming out of that, we realized that we needed to fix some things, mostly psychologically. We also need to fix our shape and some other things, but I think that loss really helped us.”

On the importance of getting the first goal against Germany:
“One of our biggest points was that they’ve never been down. We’ve been tied, we’ve been down and we’ve had to fight our back. You don’t know how you will react to that until you’ve been in that situation so we felt if we could score a goal, they’ve never been in that spot, so scoring the first goal was really big. In the second half they were coming hard so we knew we just needed to weather the storm because they’re front-runners are really good and our goalie came up huge.”

On the team’s belief heading into the Women’s World Cup Final:
“We believed we would win. Going into the game, we didn’t care if they beat us 3-0 or they were better than us, today they’re not going to beat us. We truly believed that going in and that’s one of the reasons we ended up winning the whole thing.”

On the team’s experience in Japan:
“It was an amazing experience and we’ve learned so much about this culture and we are so honored to be able to play here in Japan. It means the world to us.”

On the journey to the Women’s World Cup title:
“It’s been incredible. It’s been a long journey. We’ve been together a year and half, but everything is worth it. All of our sacrifices, all the beep tests, it’s just hard to describe in words.”

On her goal:
“I saw Crystal taking it down the flank and I knew she would get something off so in my head I was thinking, ‘you’ve got to get in the box.’ I sprinted as fast as I could, got in the box, it went past Stengel and I shot it and I just couldn’t believe it.”


On the last 30 minutes when Germany was pushing hard for an equalizer:
“That last half hour was crazy. They were coming at us, shooting the ball, crossing the ball, and my defenders were sliding all over the place, heading the ball away. They came up big and we pulled through it.”

On the match:
“Germany hadn’t given up a goal the whole tournament so I am so proud of the forwards that scored a goal, but to not let Germany score in a full 90 minutes after they beat us 3-0 in group play. I am so proud of our backs. They’re my girls.”

On what she did at the final whistle:
“I have envisioned that moment in my head so many times and I never really knew what I would do. I kind of saw myself with my arms in the air running around, but I just jumped on my center-back because she played awesome. Then we dog-piled. It was awesome.”

U.S. midfielder MORGAN BRIAN

On winning the U-20 Women’s World Cup:
“It was more than I’ve ever dreamed about. Once we got on that podium and got handed the medal it all became so real.”

On getting another crack at Germany:
“Going into group play we hadn’t played them since last year and I think we were kind of surprised and made some mistakes, but we fixed them this time and won when it mattered.”

On the tactics for the Final:
“We wanted to turn their backs and beat them on the outside and that’s what happened on the goal.”

On the journey to winning the U-20 Women’s World Cup:
“It’s been an amazing journey. We’ve put a lot of effort into it and I love this team and I love these girls.”

The 2012 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year  … A member of the full WNT and U-23 WNT player pools … The captain of the U.S. team that won the 2012 U.S. Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan … Won the bronze ball as the third-best player in the tournament, a rare honor for a defender … marshaled a U.S. defense that defeated three extremely talented group winners in the knockout rounds of the tournament, downing Korea DPR, Nigeria and Germany in the quarterfinal, semifinal and final, respectively, while allowing just one goal … Started all six games of the U-20 Women’s World Cup and played all but 32 minutes of the tournament  … A member of the team that won the 2012 CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship and earned a berth to the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan … Played in three games in the qualifying tournament and scored three goals, including one in the 4-0 semifinal victory over Mexico that sent the USA to Japan … Scored a goal against Switzerland at the La Manga tournament in Spain this year … Heading into the Women’s World Cup, she has 13 U-20 caps and four goals … Attended U.S. Under-18 Training Camps in 2010 and 2011 … Attended the U.S. Under-14 National Identification Camp in 2006. First cap: None. First goal: None.

Played U-9 through U-12 for Arsenal GSC … Played U-13 through U-19 for Sereno Soccer Club … Won the state title nine times with Sereno Soccer Club … Was the captain at Sereno. 

Full name is Julie Beth Johnston … Nicknames are JJ, Jules, Ju … Majoring in Communications … Enjoys cooking and baking, travelling, hanging out with friends and family and doing Pilates … Favorite foods are almond/peanut butter and chicken … Favorite dessert is anything chocolate … Favorite movies are Bridesmaids, The Notebook, and Superbad … Favorite TV shows are Modern Family and Family Guy … Sister plays Melanie plays soccer at Grand Canyon University … Father David played football at Louisiana State University … She was a member of the National Junior Honor Society and the National Honor Society at Dobson HS.

As a junior, and despite missing the team's first seven games while leading the USA to the U-20 Women’s World Cup title, Johnston was a First-Team All-WCC selection while leading the team in goals with eight and points with 21 … She added five assists and had three game-winning goals … She finished second in the conference in goals per game (0.53) and points per game (1.40) … She was named NSCAA First-Team All-American and a MAC Hermann semi-finalist for the second year in a row … As a sophomore, she was a MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist, an NSCAA First-Team All-American and All-WCC First-Team … Started all 21 games and led the Broncos with nine goals and four assists... Scored four game winning goals (at Cal Poly, vs. WSU, vs. Cal and vs. Nevada) … As a freshman, named the 2010 WCC Freshman of the Year, Second-Team All-West Region, First-Team Soccer America All-Freshman, Second-Team All-WCC and WCC All-Freshman ... Played in 20 games, starting 16 and totaling 1,519 minutes played ... Led the team with five assists … Opted not to play soccer at Dobson High School, but rather volunteered as a student athletic trainer.