The U.S. captain is still one of her country's fastest, strongest and most tenacious players. The central defender became the first U.S. player to compete for four Olympic teams during the 2012 London Olympics. She also is the most-capped U.S. WNT Olympian, earning her record 17th cap during a 4-2 victory against France on July 25. The only mother on the team, she has two daughters and has rebounded strong from both pregnancies to seal her place as one of the most legendary players in U.S. history.
U.S. WNT head coach JILL ELLIS
Initial thoughts on the game and Alex Morgan’s performance:
“I think every time we step on the field I’m learning some things. I thought it was a great show of character tonight and obviously Alex is coming back (into form). In the second half we stepped it up a bit and solved a few things, but France is a great opponent. I was really pleased with some of the adjustments and some of the things that we did and our transition I thought was very good tonight.”
On Morgan’s recovery from an ankle injury:
“I wasn’t expecting a lot out of her when I initially came in. Through the camp she’s done really well. In the games, she’s improved. I’m really pleased for her. She’s worked very, very hard to come back from this.”
On what she has emphasized since taking over as head coach:
“There are some qualities that we want to try and look at. When you have the full team together, you want start to do some things. We want to work on attacking shape and look at defensive transition. Those are things that we’re starting to build on.”
On second half adjustment:
“We played a little higher out of the back. That allowed us to connect to the midfield a little bit more. I think overall our ball movement was much better in the second half and we set the line a little bit higher defensively and then in the attack I felt like we were able to play out a little bit better.”
On what she was looking for from the game:
“I think we wanted some answers, not just in how we want to try and play but also looking at players and looking at players in different spots. I was very pleased with some of the things we saw tonight.”
U.S. WNT defender CHRISTIE RAMPONE
On Jill Ellis’ impact on the team thus far:
“This is the first time I’ve had her as a head coach and she’s really taking charge. She’s defining roles and we’ve done a lot of film work. It’s been only a few short days but I think the team has really done well under her and we are more defined and clear-cut, and I think she’s done well in these last two games for us.”
On playing different formations in preparing for the 2015 Women’s World Cup qualifying:
“It’s a process. We are starting a new formation, a 4-3-3. It’s only an extra thing in our pocket because we’ve been playing a 4-4-2 for so long. It’s a process of learning how to defend and attack out of it. There are moments of the game that we are finding it to click, and then we go back on watch film. It’s a process over this next year to define it and get it at the right tempo and the right pace so that we’re ready.”
On Alex Morgan’s return and contribution:
“It’s great to see Alex coming back on after being gone for so long and scoring those two goals. She looked great, she’s in stride. It’s good to see.”
On the flow of the game and difference between the first and second halves:
“We were just a little tight in the first half and not really finding the spaces in between our lines and the pockets. I think in the second half we opened up our shape a little bit and found those seams. And also Alex, when she came in, she stretched them a little bit so that allowed us to find the pockets underneath and connect a little bit more. Our tempo was also a little bit better in the second half.”
U.S. WNT goalkeeper ASHLYN HARRIS
On the match:
“A really exciting game. A tough game. I would have loved to have won. I would have loved to have had a shutout. But this is the type of environment we want to be in. We want people to put us under pressure. We want people to challenge us. It was a great crowd tonight. It’s been a long camp, and it was our second game, so some heavy legs. Overall I’m really proud of the team. I think they dug deep, gritted it out in a really physical match and I’m really pleased.”
On preparing to start in place of Hope Solo:
“My job is to show up every day at training, give everything I have and if my name is called, I’m ready.”
On the physicality demanded of a goalkeeper:
“It’s tough. I come in with my hands; they come in with their feet. Sometimes it’s not a win-win. I just have to make myself as big as possible. If I take a knock, I’ve got to get back up and continue to do it. I’ve got to be as big as I can for my team. I knew coming out here today I was going to have to make some big saves and in doing that I have to put my body on the line.”
On the second goal scored by France:
“There was a lot of stuff going on, but at the end of the day we just needed to pressure harder. It took a deflection off Klingenberg’s calf. I was already leaning one way. It’s tough to get back and get down. The pitch got slick as the night wore on. It was a good goal, a good open opportunity for her, we’ve just got to tighten up here and there and make sure we don’t allow those types of shot at the top of the 18.”
On getting more time with the U.S. WNT:
“I’m super confident. Every day, playing with the best players in the world, our practices are absolutely top drawer quality. These players are insane. And they work and they work and they are always on the grind. It just makes me better every single day. I love being a part of it. I’m just a small piece of the puzzle, trying to climb my way up. These girls are great. They’re great people, great footballers. I think people are going to have a fun show watching these girls continue.”
U.S. WNT forward ALEX MORGAN
On jumping over the sign boards and celebrating with the fans after her first goal:
“I wanted to do something special actually. I thought about crying in the moment but it was still early in the game, no time for that. I just wanted to give appreciation to the American Outlaws for being here and coming out here tonight.”
On her first goal:
“To be honest, I don’t remember a lot of it. I just remember turning and seeing the far post open. I hit it as well as I could have and from there and I felt so happy.”
On how she feels about the team going forward:
“I just feel like, finally I’m back and doing what I am supposed to be doing; scoring goals. It feels good. This team has made a lot of progress in this formation under Jill. I see us continuing to improve and France gave their all. I think we played a really good team today and I’m happy that we fought back for the tie.”
On the process of returning from injury:
“The past few months have definitely been mentally draining and physically just trying to get my fitness back has not been the easiest. After getting a couple minutes the other night and 45 minutes tonight and hopefully a lot of minutes with my club team in the coming weeks, I think I’ll be back to 100 percent fit. I feel like my recovery is done, so I’m now looking forward to what else I can do to better myself on the field.”
On how valuable the two games against France were:
“It was a great game for the World Cup qualification tournament coming up in October. You can’t get a better team than France to come here to the U.S. and play us twice. It’s a great opportunity for us to try out new things, to see what works and what doesn’t. I think there’s a lot of positive to take from this moving forward into qualifiers.”
On her second goal:
“After the moment I thought it was a little similar to Clint’s (World Cup) goal, his first goal of the tournament when he cut the defender inside then slotted it. All I remember is being on the ground and the ball going in the back of the net and just feeling so happy to be able to tie the game up.”
U.S. WNT midfielder Carli Lloyd
On the match:
“I think we did some good things in the first half. We’re still working on things and I think we’re moving in the right direction. We’re slowly building. We had some good sequences. We just talked about a few tactical things in the first half. In the second half, we just went at them more. We had a little bit more grit and determination. We were tackling and scored some great goals. This is the first time in a really long time where we’ve played a team that’s pretty much up to our level. It was a fantastic night to play.”
On how playing France will help the team going forward:
“They were definitely throwing numbers at us. I think the first game we played them they did a really good job of countering us and I thought in the first half we did a good job of countering them in transition. They play good soccer. Anytime you give them space and time, they’re really good at moving the ball out, getting it out to the other side, playing in between those gaps and seams. The more we can stay compact, vertically and horizontally, the better off we’re going to be. This is Jill’s second game with us. I thought in two games in a 10-day span, we implemented some really good things and it’s only going to get better.”
On her presence as a leader on the field:
“I think I try to bring that every single game. We all lead in different ways. Hope leads in her way back there. Abby obviously is very vocal. I just try to lead by example and grit. Get the team going, set the standard with tackles and all of that. But obviously, those are two phenomenal players that we’re still missing on the pitch. So when we add those pieces in, we’re moving in the right direction that’s for sure.”
CHICAGO (June 2, 2014) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 26 players to the training camp roster in preparation for two games against France – currently ranked fourth in the world by FIFA – on June 14 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, and June 19 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. Both games kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ussoccer.com.
“Two matches against such a high-level team will give us a picture of where we are,” said Ellis, who was named the eighth head coach in U.S. Women’s National Team history on May 16. “Establishing how we want to play and integrating our philosophy is an important first step for a new coaching staff, but these types of matches will give us a wonderful opportunity to build on and keep testing out the player pool.”
Several players return to the roster after extended absences ranging from two months in the case of Kristie Mewis, who has recovered from an ankle injury, to much longer in the case of forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Shannon Boxx.
Boxx, who has 186 caps and 27 goals, is coming in for training and evaluation only and will not play in the matches as she mounts her comeback after having a daughter in late February. A three-time Olympic gold medalist, Boxx makes her return to the roster for the first time since March of 2013 at the Algarve Cup.
The availability of Morgan for the matches will be determined pending an evaluation by the team’s medical and performance staff of her progression toward international play. Morgan, who is at the tail end of her recovery from an ankle injury, has 44 goals in 70 matches, but has not appeared for the USA since November of 2013.
The roster features 25 players currently signed with National Women’s Soccer League clubs as Christen Press, Whitney Engen and Meghan Klingenberg have returned to the league after helping Tyresö of Sweden to the brink of the UEFA Women’s Champions League title. Tobin Heath’s French league season came to a close on June 1, but her club will play in the French Cup Final on June 7 against Olympique Lyon. Forward Sarah Hagen will complete her highly successful run with Bayern Munich on June 8 and then return to make her NWSL debut for FC Kansas City. The only non-professional on the roster is rising college senior Morgan Brian from Virginia.
- Jill Ellis will name 18 players from the 26-woman roster to suit up for each match.
- Portland Thorns FC midfielder Allie Long gets her second WNT call-up after earning her first cap against Canada on May 8 in Winnipeg.
- The U.S. Women’s National Team has launched its own Instagram account. Fans can now follow the U.S. Women’s National Teams at http://instagram.com/ussoccer_wnt.
- The USA is 6-2-2 in 2014.
- Two regulars are still injured and unavailable for selection in midfielder Megan Rapinoe (foot) and defender Rachel Van Hollebeke (ankle).
- U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo has 70 shutouts, one away from tying Briana Scurry for first on the USA’s all-time shutout list.
- Amy Rodriguez comes into the camp tied for the NWSL lead in goals with eight in 10 games.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (7): Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Houston Dash), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers)
FORWARDS (7): Sarah Hagen (FC Kansas City), Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)
CHICAGO (April 30, 2014) – U.S. interim head coach Jill Ellis has named 22 players to the U.S. Women’s National Team roster that will travel to Winnipeg, Canada, for the May 8 match at Investors Group Field. The game will be shown live on ESPN3 and espnW.com at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. local).
Investors Group Field, which opened in 2013, is located on the University of Manitoba campus and is home to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League. The stadium features an artificial field and has a capacity of just over 33,000. It is one of six venues that will be used for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“With World Cup qualifying in less than six months, each game against a quality opponent is significant for this group, but no question playing Canada in Canada stirs the emotions and gives it greater meaning,” said Ellis. “We have been scouting the NWSL games, and we have some injuries, so I think the roster is indicative of some of the top performers playing in the league at the moment. I am looking forward to getting the group to Winnipeg and having a few days of prep before the match.”
The roster includes 18 players currently in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in addition to all three Americans – Christen Press, Whitney Engen and Meghan Klingenberg – who helped Tyresö of Sweden advance to the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final with a 3-0 victory this past weekend against Birmingham of England in the second leg of the semifinal series. The trio will join their NWSL clubs following the Champions League Final against holders Wolfsburg of Germany on May 22 in Lisbon, Portugal.
The U.S. roster includes three players from Seattle Reign FC, which currently sits atop the NWSL standings, as well as three players from FC Kansas City, the Washington Spirit and Sky Blue FC. There are 21 professionals on the roster plus rising college senior Morgan Brian, the 2013 MAC Hermann Trophy winner at Virginia who is up to 10 caps in her young international career.
Two players return to a U.S. roster after extended absences in goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, as well as former Under-20 and Under-23 international Allie Long, who is off to a fine start with Portland Thorns FC. Long, who is tied for second in the league in scoring with three goals, came into one event under Pia Sundhage in 2010, but did not earn a cap.
In addition, Ellis has given a first senior team call-up to Portland Thorns FC defender Nikki Marshall, a former Under-20 and Under-23 international who was a member of the USA’s 2008 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup championship team along with two other players on the roster, Meghan Klingenberg and Sydney Leroux.
- Ellis will name 18 players from the 22-woman roster to suit up for the match.
- The U.S. Women’s National Team has launched its own Instagram account. Fans can now follow the U.S. Women’s National Teams exclusively at http://instagram.com/ussoccer_wnt.
- The U.S. WNT opened its 2014 campaign with a 1-0 win against Canada on Jan. 31 in front of 20,862 fans at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. Sydney Leroux scored the game’s only goal and the USA improved to 47-3-5 all-time against Canada.
- The U.S. and Canada have faced each other once before in Winnipeg, but that was almost 24 years ago, with the USA posting a 4-1 victory on July 27, 1990.
- The match in Winnipeg will mark the fifth between the two teams in Canada. The most recent match between the neighbors on Canadian soil came on June 2, 2013, a 3-0 U.S. victory at BMO Field in Toronto.
- Several injured players were unavailable for this match, including forward Alex Morgan, midfielder Kristie Mewis, midfielder Megan Rapinoe and defender Rachel Van Hollebeke.
- Defender Crystal Dunn returns to the roster and will be looking to see her first international action of the year after being sidelined with an ankle injury.
- U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo comes into the match having allowed just one goal in three NWSL matches to date, tied for best in the league. With 70 shutouts, Solo is one away from tying Briana Scurry for first on the USA’s all-time shutout list.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Tyresö), Meghan Klingenberg (Tyresö), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Nikki Marshall (Portland Thorns FC), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Virginia), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers)
FORWARDS (4): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)
A high-scoring forward in college, she converted to defender for the USA when she made her debut in 1997 ... Named captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2008 … Is one of two players from a small soccer school ever to make an impact on the National Team ... Formerly Christie Pearce, she switched the back of her jersey to her married name in 2004 … After the retirement of Kristine Lilly in 2010, she became the most capped player on the U.S. team and the only active player remaining from the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship team … Currently the most capped active player in the world … 2012: One of three U.S. players to play in all 32 matches, starting 31 … Has two assists during the year, upping her career total to 11 … Served her fifth year as captain and led the USA to its third consecutive Olympic gold medal … Played in her fourth Olympics, most of any U.S. player … One of three U.S. players to play every minute of all six games at the Olympics … Also played every minute of all five games at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament as the USA won the regional title in Vancouver, Canada … During 2012, she passed Julie Foudy and Mia Hamm to become the second most-capped player in U.S. and world history with a remarkable 276 games played and currently sits behind only Kristine Lilly (352) … 2011: Once again anchored the U.S. back line from her center back position, starting all 18 games she played while finishing third on the team in minutes played with 1,590 … Played in her fourth Women’s World Cup, joining just four other U.S. players to have accomplished that feat … She was the most capped player in the Women’s World Cup and ended the year with 244 games played, good for fourth all-time in U.S. history … Started all six games in Germany and was one of four players to play every minute … 2010: Gave birth to her second child, Reece, on March 6 and played her first club match exactly three months later on June 6 … Made her return to the U.S. lineup July 17, coming off the bench against Sweden in East Hartford, Conn., and slotted back into the starting lineup after that … Played 10 total games for the USA, starting nine, including all five at the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament, where she played every minute … Also played every minute of both legs of the Women’s World Cup playoff against Italy ….2009: Played every minute of all five matches she started before taking a break at the end of the summer due to her pregnancy … 2008: Earned her 200th cap against New Zealand in the final first-round match at the 2008 Olympics, becoming the sixth U.S. player to hit the 200-cap mark … Had a stellar year at centerback captaining the National Team, starting all 35 matches in which she played and setting a U.S. record for minutes played in a calendar year at 3,066 … She was the first player ever to play more than 3,000 minutes in a year … Missed some training time after recovering from surgery to remove her gall bladder in May but did not miss any game action … Started all six games at the 2008 Olympics, playing every minute … The Beijing Olympics was her sixth world championship for the USA … 2007: Started all 20 games in which she played, playing all but 59 minutes of those games … Was the most-capped defender and second most-capped player on the 2007 Women’s World Cup team … Started all six games of the Women’s World Cup, her third WWC tournament, but the first time she had played in every match of the competition … 2006: Made her return to the National Team and played against Norway at the Four Nations Tournament in China just 112 days after having a baby … Played in 20 games, starting 17 … 2005: Took the year off to have her first child, Rylie Rampone, who was born Sept. 29 … 2004: Had a stellar year for the USA, starting 26 of the 28 matches she played, including every minute of the five matches in which she appeared at the 2004 Olympics ... Became the fifth most-capped defender in U.S. history during the year … 2003: Continued her steady play after making a complete comeback from ACL surgery, starting 15 of the 17 games in which she played … Started all four Women’s World Cup matches in which she played, playing every minute of those games … Became the 15th U.S. player to earn 100 caps when she played against Brazil on July 13 in New Orleans … She captained the USA for the first time in that match … 2002: Called into two training camps but did not play for the USA while recovering from ACL surgery … 2001: Played in four matches for the USA during a limited schedule, starting two … Missed the 2001 Nike U.S. Women’s Cup after tearing her right ACL while playing for the New York Power … 2000: Was one of the USA’s most consistent players, earning the starting spot at right back … In a breakout year, she started 30 of the 33 matches in which she played, including all five games at the Olympics and played 2,540 minutes … Scored two of her four career goals, both against Iceland on April 5, in Davidson, N.C. … 1999: A member of the 1999 Women’s World Cup championship team, she played in one match against Korea DPR ... The versatile defender played in 18 matches for the USA in 1999, starting eight ... 1998: Solidified her position as a solid starter in the defense, starting 14 of her 19 matches ... Started both matches as the USA took the gold medal at the 1998 Goodwill Games ... 1997: Started 16 of 18 games for the USA in 1997, her first year with the National Team, finishing third on the team in minutes played ... First trained with the USA at training camp in San Diego in January ... Traveled with the USA to Australia in February of 1997, making her debut against the Matildas on Feb. 28 in Melbourne ... Played the second half in Melbourne, then all 180 minutes of matches in Bathurst and Canberra, and her international career was off and running ... Played right midfield in all three games at Nike U.S. Cup 1997, scoring the 100th U.S. Women’s Cup goal against Australia in Ambler, Pa. ... First Appearance: Feb. 28, 1997, vs. Australia ... First Goal: May 2, 1997, vs. Korea Rep.
2013: Allocated to her home state Sky Blue FC for the inaugural NWSL season … 2011: Signed with magicJack for the 2011 WPS season and played every minute of all 11 games she played in helping the club to a playoff berth … Had one assist … 2010: Played in 16 matches for Sky Blue, starting 14 … Named as a WPS All-Star Game reserve … 2009: Allocated to Sky Blue in her home state of New Jersey for the inaugural WPS season in 2009 … She helped lead underdog Sky Blue to the inaugural WPS championship, taking over as head coach with two games left during what was a tumultuous regular season and leading the team to one regular season win, the final playoff berth and three dramatic road wins in the playoffs to claim the title … Missed a few games early in the WPS season due to injury but ended up starting 14 games and was a WPS All-Star, starting in the All-Star Game … Named the WPS Sportswoman of the Year … Played a key role in shutting out a powerful Los Angeles Sol attack in the 1-0 WPS title game victory, all while almost three months pregnant … 2003: With the New York Power of the WUSA, started and played every minute of 18 matches, recording one assist … 2002: Recovered from ACL surgery at the end of the 2001 season to play 1,699 minutes over 19 matches, all of which she started … 2001: Was a founding player in the WUSA for the New York Power … Helped lead the Power to the WUSA playoffs before tearing her ACL just two minutes into the third to last match of the regular season … Started 18 matches for the Power and played every minute until her injury … 1998: Played several matches for the New Jersey Stallions of the W-League during the summer of 1998 … Youth: Played youth club with the Twin County Saints.
Full name is Christie Patricia Rampone (née Pearce) … Married Chris Rampone on Nov. 9, 2001, in Jersey City, N.J. … Graduated from Monmouth with a degree in special education and has her teaching credential ... Received an Honorary Doctorate from Monmouth in Public Services in May of 2005 … Also volunteered as a soccer coach and basketball coach at the middle school where she was student teaching ... Worked in classroom situations with communication-handicapped children ... A lifetime New Jersey resident, she moved to California for two years to train for the 2007 WWC and the 2008 Olympics but now is back home for good … Has a black Labrador named Tiger, who serves as her alarm clock and running buddy and a yellow lab named Murphy, who likes to escape from the backyard … Owns a self-storage facility in Manchester, N.J., called Airship Self Storage (call if you need a unit) … Is sometimes known as Captain America and the Ultimate Soccer Mom … Has a website at www.christierampone.com
Was a two-sport star at Monmouth University in New Jersey … Is the school’s all-time leading scorer in soccer … Was the starting point guard on the basketball team, but opted to miss numerous games during her senior season while training and traveling with the National Team ... Started all 80 games in her soccer career, scoring 79 career goals with 54 assists for 212 career points ... Was a First-Team All-Mid-Atlantic Region selection and 1995 and 1996 Northeast Conference Player of the Year in soccer ... Led Monmouth to a 51-11 mark over her last three seasons, including a 17-5 record as a senior ... Ranked third nationally in scoring as a senior with 75 points, fourth in goals with 29, seventh in assists with 17 and second in game-winning goals with nine ... Monmouth’s record holder for goals, assists and points in a season, she posted 10 multiple-goal games as a senior ... Finished eighth in the nation in 1995 with 19 goals and 15 assists for 53 points ... Co-captained the basketball team as a senior and was considered the quickest player on the team, a tenacious one-on-one defender and an excellent passer ... Played both the point guard and shooting guard positions for Monmouth ... Had a career-high 22 points vs. Rider during the 1995-96 season, picked up a career-high 13 assists vs. Marist that same season, and had a career-best 10 steals vs. Fairleigh Dickinson the year before ... Holds the school record for steals in a season (79) as well as in a game and a career ... Also played in two lacrosse games for Monmouth as a senior ... High School: Heralded as the finest athlete Ocean County has ever produced, earning all-league honors in basketball, soccer and field hockey ... As a senior at Point Pleasant Boro High School, she became the first person to lead the Shore Conference in scoring in soccer, basketball and field hockey ... Scored 2,190 career points in high school basketball ... Was named New Jersey Female Athlete of the Year by the New Jersey Nets as a senior.