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Megan Rapinoe

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Back at Home, WNT Preps for Final Stretch Before World Cup

After playing six consecutive matches in Europe and winning the Algarve Cup in Portugal, the U.S. WNT has come home for a final stretch of four games leading into the Women’s World Cup. A sign that the World Cup is close? The players knocked out the final Beep Test of the year.

Ellis Names 25-Player Roster for Next Stretch of World Cup Prep

CHICAGO (March 20, 2015) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named a 25-player roster that will train in Los Angeles for a week before traveling to St. Louis for the USA’s first domestic match of the year against New Zealand on April 4 at Busch Stadium. Ellis will name 18 players to suit up for that game.

The roster includes the same 25 players who were in Portugal earlier this month to help the USA win the 2015 Algarve Cup, the program’s 10th title at the prestigious annual tournament, after defeating France 2-0 in the championship game. Additionally, there are two St. Louis natives in the roster: Becky Sauerbrunn, who was an All-American at Ladue High School and the 2003 Missouri Player of the Year, and Lori Chalupny, who was an All-American at Nerinx Hall High School.

The USA’s training camp will take place at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California, from March 23-30. The team will then depart for St. Louis, where it will train for three days before facing New Zealand. The game will be shown live on FOX Sports 1 at 2:30 p.m. CT/3:30 p.m. ET. More than 31,000 tickets have already been sold. (TICKETS)

“Having the initial training period in L.A., when we can go a bit harder and then tapering into the match in St. Louis will be excellent preparation for a New Zealand team that always gives us a highly competitive game,” said Ellis. “This will be an excellent test for us. They are aggressive, athletic and like to press. We’ll see some similar tendencies that we could see in our first group match at the World Cup and certainly the crowd will be tremendous. It will be nice to be back at home.”

The match against the Kiwis begins a four-game run-up to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup that includes three Send-Off Series games in May.

The U.S. Women will begin the Send-Off Series against the Republic of Ireland on Sunday, May 10, at 11:30 a.m. PT at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California, the new home of Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes. From there, the USA will travel down the coast to face fellow CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifier Mexico on Sunday, May 17, at 6 p.m. PT at StubHub Center in Carson. Both California matches will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1, with the Mexico game also available on Univision Deportes.

After a short break, the U.S. team will head to the East Coast to conclude the Send-Off Series against Korea Republic on Saturday, May 30, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. The match will kick off at 4:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN, WatchESPN and Univision Deportes. Fans can follow all the upcoming WNT matches on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp.

SEND-OFF SERIES TICKETS

USA vs. Republic of Ireland (May 10 in San Jose, Calif.)
Tickets for the USA vs. Ireland are available starting March 27 at 10 a.m. through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area (including Walmart and Chavez Supermarkets).

USA vs. Mexico (May 17 in Carson, Calif.) (TICKETS)
Tickets for USA vs. Mexico on May 17 are available now through ussoccer.com, by calling 1-888-929-7849, and at the StubHub Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.).

USA vs. Korea Republic (May 30 in Harrison, N.J.) (TICKETS)
Tickets for USA vs. Korea Republic go on sale starting March 20 at 10 a.m. ET and are available through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area (including many Walmart stores), as well as the Red Bull Arena ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.

This summer, the USA will face Australia, Sweden and Nigeria in Group D at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. The USA opens against Australia on June 8 at Winnipeg Stadium, followed by Sweden on June 12 in Winnipeg and Nigeria on June 16 at BC Place in Vancouver.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (10): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (Unattached)

Additional Notes:

  • The USA last faced Ireland on Dec. 1, 2012, a 2-0 victory in Glendale, Arizona.
  • The U.S. outscored Mexico 15-0 over a span of three games in 2014. The CONCACAF foes embarked on a two-game set in September with the USA scoring four goals in each half for an 8-0 win on Sept. 13 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Five days later, the WNT nabbed a 4-0 victory at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester, New York. The teams also met on Oct. 24 at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, during the semifinal of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship where the USA picked up a 3-0 win to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • The USA most recently played the Korea Republic on June 20, 2013, also at Red Bull Arena, earning a 5-0 victory in a match that saw Abby Wambach score four times to surpass Mia Hamm’s all-time goal scoring record of 158. Wambach currently has 178 goals.
  • While the match at the brand new Avaya Stadium will be the first for the WNT, the U.S. Women have played 10 matches at StubHub Center, going 10-0-0 at the home of MLS champion LA Galaxy.
  • The U.S. WNT played six matches in San Jose from 1997-2007, all at Spartan Stadium.
  • The match against the Korea Republic will mark the third for the U.S. Women at Red Bull Arena, home to MLS’s New York Red Bulls.

Algarve Quote Sheet: Jill Ellis and Players Discuss WNT's 2-0 victory over France

U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis:

On the Algarve Cup Final:
“I’m obviously pleased with the result. I think it was a competitive match with two good opponents. It was good for our confidence to get on the board early, but France put us under a tremendous amount of pressure. Having Hope [Solo] back with us and settled in was great and obviously she did very well. Now it’s about what are the takeaways, and what do we need to continue to work on? Because obviously June is the target.”

On the continued development of the team:
“For me and my staff – which haven’t been on the job as long as other staffs – I think what we had to do was kind of accelerate the process. We continue to believe in the process and this was a nice result and good for the momentum which can start to build. It was good for the players to get this result.”

On what she saw during the play that led to the USA’s second goal by Christen Press:
“It was a run with confidence. She’s been picking up those balls underneath and it’s a great spot for her to get the ball. I think she saw a gap and she’s got the acceleration going and the technique to get through. It was a world-class goal in transition.”On the aggressive play from the team:

“We started the game on the front foot and obviously got a goal, which was great. We knew it was going to be a 90-minute battle but I thought our physical presence was solid. I thought we got numbers around the ball and we limited the space better than we did before when we played them. The aggression and the defensive battles for 50-50 balls were really important to the outcome of this game so, I was really pleased.”

On the play of young center back Julie Johnson:
“She’s had an amazing tournament. Opportunity has knocked and she’s responded really well. It makes our job hard but in a way makes our job easy because now we’ve got great depth at that position and now she’s gained experience that she didn’t have in these games. I’m really, really proud of her and happy for her. “

On the play of Hope Solo:
“The minute she rejoined the team she’s had a focus. I was really pleased with giving up just one goal in this tournament and she’s a big part of that. I thought today her distribution was tremendous, her presence was excellent and obviously she had the big save on the penalty kick that was massive for us to maintain the two-goal advantage.”

On the takeaways from the tournament and what comes next for the team:
“We want to enjoy this for a day certainly but, we’re going into camp again in a matter of days. For me, the fitness piece and continuing to build that is important. I think our legs are getting there and this tournament was good in terms of getting a lot of players’ experience. It was a big tournament for Morgan Brian, Meghan Klingenberg, Christen Press and Julie Johnston in terms of getting experience at this level. I said to them at the beginning of camp, it’s really about finding ways to win and, sometimes you have to find ways to win when you don’t play well. Sometimes you win pretty or ugly. This has to be our mindset moving forward to gain the advantage.”

U.S. WNT goalkeeper Hope Solo

 On today’s game and the team as whole moving forward:

“France is a very good opponent and one of the best teams in the world. Jill had a great game plan, we stuck to it, and had an organized defense, which led to our counterattacks and we came out on top.”

On the continued development of the team:
“We’re on the right track to peak for the World Cup which is still three months away. We’re not at our best yet but we’re getting there. I was a very tactical game, but we had an organized defense, we were on the same page and we knew what we were doing.”

On her penalty kick save:
“It’s one of those things that you never know what you’re going to do when you step on the line. I stayed calm, I stayed relaxed and made the save,”

U.S. WNT midfielder Carli Lloyd

On what the tournament did for this team in terms of World Cup preparation:

“I think it’s a huge confidence booster. We’ve struggle a little bit in our previous games and we played against top contenders and it’s been really good. We came here with a certain game plan, certain things we wanted to work on and today we executed the game plan and scored two fantastic goals. We closed out the tournament on a high note which was a good boost for us.”

On the differences between this game against France and the one form a month ago:
“France came out and played well. They missed a penalty kick, which was a great save by Hope and a great follow up clear by Julie. We may not have did not created a ton of chances like we did in last game (in Lorient), but we took our chances well this time, had two great opportunities and put them away. It’s always good to play a top team and I think we can take a lot away from this. We can still improve. We still have some months to prepare, get ready and improve on a lot of things.”

On getting to return to the United States to play a home match for the first time since last October, which will be attended by more than 30,000 people in St. Louis:
“It’s been a while since we’ve played at home. It will be good to play in front of a home crowd. Thirty thousand tickets is an amazing number. It’s tremendous to see that, especially heading into the World Cup. These couple of games that are left before the World Cup are big preparation for us. We’ll be in Canada before we even know it.”

U.S. WNT midfielder Megan Rapinoe

On the impact this tournament had on the team:
“I think we got some confidence. I think we’re clicking more in all cylinders, especially defensively. We’re looking stronger by only giving up one goal in the first game. The team is feeling good.”

U.S. WNT defender Julie Johnston

On how it felt to score her first goal with the WNT:
“Happiness for sure. (Assistant coach) Tony (Gustavsson) gave me exactly the role that I needed to play on in set pieces so I was going to make sure that I did what he said I needed to do. They were happy and I was really happy to have my first goal.”

On Lauren Holiday’s cross that lead to her goal:
“It was a phenomenal ball; driven, perfect for a header. It was a great ball.”

On the experience of playing in her first big games for the WNT:
“The experience was great. I’m very thankful to even have the opportunity to be on the field and be able to play. I’ve learned a lot watching these players and playing with them every single day, so to be able to play with them in games like these is unbelievable. It’s definitely a dream come true.

U.S. WNT forward Christen Press

On her goal:

“It’s always hazy looking back on it, but I remember getting the ball in the pocket between the defensive line and midfield line and having a little bit of space as the defender was dropping off. Sometimes, as an attacking player, you see the little hole through the back line that you can try to wiggle through. Honestly, it doesn’t often work out so I’m glad it worked out today, and it was a great game to have it.”

On what getting that early goal lead did for the team:
“I think it was great for our momentum after having just played them and getting a difficult result. This time we came out and we took the power. We were able to settle down, play our style and dictate the tempo of the game and impose ourselves on the game. Towards the ends it changed because they were trying to push the goal and we were trying to hold them off but for a big part of the game we were able to play in a better style with more power and more influence in the game.”

On having a goalkeeper like Hope Solo:
“She’s a rock. We never doubt her. She knows what she’s doing. We listen, trust and respect her. The best part is that other teams do too and she imposes herself in every game. She’s huge for us and she makes the saves when we need her.”

Photo Gallery: WNT in High Spirits Ahead of Iceland Match

Photos from the WNT's Sunday training session ahead of its final Group B match against Iceland at the 2015 Algarve Cup. The game against Iceland kicks off at 1:30 p.m. ET and fans can follow all the action Twitter @ussoccer_wnt, @ussoccer_esp and Instagram @ussoccer_wnt

WNT vs. Switzerland: Highlights - March 6, 2015

The U.S. WNT played the second game of the 2015 Algarve with a 3-0 shutout win over Switzerland.

U.S. National Team: One of the USA’s most skillful attackers and goal scorers, she (and her hair) gained instant fame for sending in the cross that Abby Wambach headed home in the dying seconds of extra time against Brazil in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal … Her two-goal performance in the epic semifinal match of the 2012 Olympics further cemented her star status.

2015:
Has played in three games so far for the U.S. Women...Made her first start of the year at the Algarve Cup and played in two more games during the tournament after missing the opening matches against France on Feb. 8 and England on Feb. 13 with a knee injury suffered during January camp... Came in as a second-half sub during the U.S.'s 2-0 victory over France on March 11 to earn her 99th cap and help the WNT's to its 10th Algarve Cup title ...  2014: Played in 21 games for the USA, starting 16 and logging in 1,253 minutes … Scored six  goals and had seven assists … Scored against Switzerland, Mexico, China and Denmark in the Algarve Cup; against Guatemala in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, and against Brazil in the Brasilia International Tournament to close out the year … Helped the U.S. win the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship and book its ticket to the 2015 FIFA World Cup … Was one of four players to play and start all five matches of the tournament…  2013: Played 614 minutes in just seven games, mostly due to club commitments in France, but still scored four goals with three assists … Scored against Scotland, China, Germany and New Zealand … Assisted, off a corner kick, on Abby Wambach’s 159th career goal that broke Mia Hamm’s world all-time international scoring record on June 20 against Korea Republic at Red Bull Arena … In 2013 she became the 34th player in U.S. WNT history to play 75 or more matches … 2012: Had her best year to date for the U.S. WNT, playing 1,649 minutes in 29 games while starting 20, the highest yearly totals of her career … Scored eight goals with 12 assists, also career highs … Her 12 assists were third highest on the team … Started all six games of the 2012 Olympics, her first Olympic tournament, while scoring three goals with four assists … Her four assists at the Olympics were tied for tops on the team … One of her assists came on Carli Lloyd’s game-winning goal in the 2-1 Olympic gold medal game victory against Japan … Scored the game-winning goal against Colombia in group play and also scored two spectacular goals against Canada in the Olympic semifinal, twice drawing the USA even in a match it would win 4-3 in the final minute of extra time of overtime … Her first goal against Canada came directly off a corner kick and the second was a brilliant strike from outside the penalty area … Played in four games at CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying, starting one and had one goal and one assist … Was on the short list for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year and finished 10th in the final voting … 2011: Played in 18 games, starting 13, and scored three goals with five assists over her 1,085 minutes … Was a starter for most of the year, but became a reserve just before the Women’s World Cup, where she played her role extremely well coming off the bench, getting one goal with three assists … Played in all six games in the World Cup, starting the group match against Sweden and the World Cup Final … Her three assists came in the final three games of the World Cup, crossing the ball that was famously headed home by Abby in the quarterfinal against Brazil, setting up Alex Morgan’s game-clinching goal in the semifinal victory against France and Morgan’s score in the World Cup Final against Japan … Also scored against England and Japan during the year … 2010: Recovered from illness to work her way back into the U.S. lineup, starting eight of the 10 games she played … Scored four goals with two assists, one of which came in the second leg of the Women’s World Cup playoff series against Italy that set up Amy Rodriguez’s game-winning goal … Started both games in the playoff series … Scored against Sweden and China, and twice against Guatemala at the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament, in which she played three games … 2009: Made a big impact in her return to the WNT for the first time in two years, playing in seven games and starting six while scoring two goals with one assist … Scored against Norway in the Algarve Cup in a 1-0 victory and also added a goal against Canada in Toronto … 2007-08: Did not play for the USA as she recovered from two ACL injuries … 2006: Trained with team at 2006 Residency Training Camp in Carson, Calif. … Came into training with the USA early in 2006 and played in four matches, scoring her first two career goals against Chinese Taipei on Oct. 1, but returned to her college team and suffered an ACL injury just four days later … Youth National Teams: Was one of the standout players on the U.S. team that finished third at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Thailand … She had an excellent tournament, scoring three goals, tied for the team lead, including one in the third-place match victory against Brazil … Ended her U-19 international career with 21 caps and nine goals … First camp with the U-19 WNT was in January of 2003 in Chula Vista, Calif. … Played in three matches at the 2004 CONCACAF U-19 Qualifying tournament, scoring three goals … Scored her first goal with the U-19s against Mexico on March 1, 2003 … Scored against Canada in 6-1 victory on May 27, 2003 … Traveled with U-19s on European tour to Netherlands and Germany in July of 2003 … Played in USYSA International Tournament in Houston in May of 2003 … Played with the U-16 GNT in 2002 and traveled with the U-16s to France and Houston … First Appearance: July 23, 2006, vs. Ireland ... First Goal: Oct. 1, 2006, vs. Chinese Taipei (two goals).

Professional / Club2014: Despite only playing nine games for the Reign, she scored four goals and recorded one assist as Seattle went on to win the NWSL regular season title with a 16-2-6 overall record … Scored the sole goal for the Reign in the 86th minute of the 2-1 loss to FC Kansas City in the NSWL Championship Game … 2013: Signed with two-time European Champions League winners Lyon for the second half of the French league season and played in six games while scoring twice … Played in five UEFA Champions League matches for Lyon, scoring two goals, against Rosengård and Juvisy … Helped Lyon reach the 2013 UEFA Women’s Champions League Final where she started and played 46 minutes as her team fell 2-1 to German club Wolfsburg … Allocated to the Seattle Reign for the inaugural NWSL season but did not join the team until late June after the end of her French season with Lyon … Ended up playing 1,023 minutes in 12 games, starting 11 and scored five goals with one assist … Her impact on the Reign was such that despite playing only half the season, she was named to the NWSL Second XI … Finished second in the NWSL in shots with 65 and shots on goal (27) despite playing at least six games less than the other leaders ... 2011: Signed with the Philadelphia Independence for the 2011 WPS season after the Chicago Red Stars ceased operations but was traded to magicJack in exchange for cash considerations on June 22 during the Women’s World Cup … Ended up playing 10 WPS matches, starting six, with two goals and two assists over 641 minutes … Played all 90 minutes of magicJack’s two playoff matches, scoring in the quarterfinal victory against Boston … 2010: Struggled with illness and fitness, but played in 20 games, starting 19 and scoring one goal on the last touch of the last game of the season … 2009: Taken second overall in the first round of the 2009 WPS College Draft by the Chicago Red Stars … Started 17 of the 18 games she played for the Red Stars, scoring two goals with three assists … Was named as a WPS First-Team All-Star … Youth club: She played with the Mavericks from U-12 to U-14, then played with Elk Grove United until she went to college … Won State and Regional Champions with Elk Grove United in 2003 … National runner-up in 2003.

College / High School – Played just three full seasons at Portland as her junior year was cut short after two matches due to an ACL injury … Had one more season of college eligibility remaining, but opted to enter the WPS draft … As a senior in 2008, she started all 22 games for the Pilots and was named a Soccer America First-Team All-American and an NSCAA Second Team All-American … Voted the WCC Player of the Year and was All-WCC First Team … She led the team and the WCC in assists (13) … Also became the eighth player in school history to get 30 goals and 25 assists in a career … Her 88 career points (30 goals, 28 assists) are 10th-best in school history despite playing just 60 total games due to injuries … As a junior in 2007, she appeared in just two matches off the bench early in the year before suffering season-ending knee injury for the second consecutive season … Was granted a medical hardship waiver by the NCAA, but never used it … As a sophomore in 2006, she was among the nation’s leading scorers with 10 goals and two assists in 11 matches before suffering a season-ending knee injury against Washington State on Oct. 5 … She joined Tiffeny Milbrett and Shannon MacMillan as the only Pilots to score 25 goals and 15 assists in just two years … In 2005 as a freshman, she helped the Pilots to an undefeated season and the NCAA championship. … She was an NSCAA First-Team All-American and was on the Soccer America First Team Freshman All-American list ... She made the College Cup All-Tournament Team and was the WCC Freshman of the Year ... An All-WCC First Team and All-WCC Freshman Team selection ... She played and started all 25 games as an attacking midfielder, scoring 15 goals and adding 13 assists for 43 points … Also recorded seven game-winning goals … Did not play college soccer in what would have been her freshman season in order to play in the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand … High School: Did not play high school soccer, opting for club instead … Parade and NSCAA All-American as a junior and senior … A McDonald’s All-American in 2004.

Personal – Full name is Megan Anna Rapinoe … Nicknames are “Pinoe,” “Rapinho “or “Rapinohdinho”… Enjoys playing guitar, the beach, coffee, music and shopping … Majored in sociology with a minor in sociology and political science  … Has a twin sister, Rachael, who also played soccer at Portland … Is the youngest of six children … Prefers living in a city … Lists “The Shawshank Redemption” as one of her favorite movies … Competed in track as a freshman and sophomore, and basketball as freshman, sophomore and senior in high school … Was on the honor roll every semester of high school … Enjoys traveling … Her favorite cities are Sydney; London; San Francisco; Phuket, Thailand; Chicago and Boston … She cannot travel without gum, beanie, her computer, neck pillow, iPod, and toothbrush … Her favorite musical artists are currently Florence and the Machine, Black Keys, Gillian Welch, Sam Cooke, Bonnie Raitt,  Caribou, Willie Nelson, Eagles and Sam Smith.

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