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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.

Photo Gallery: WNT Celebrates 10th Algarve Cup Crown

Photos from the WNT's 2-0 win against France at the 2015 Algarve Cup. Goals by Julie Johnston (her first career international score for the USWNT) and Christen Press handed the USA its 10th Algarve Cup crown, by far the most titles of any nation. 

The WNT next plays on April 4 against New Zealand at Busch Stadium in St. Louis (TICKETS). More than 30,000 tickets have already been sold for the match that will serve as the USA's 2015 home opener ahead of this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, which begins June 6. Fans can also follow all the action on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt@ussoccer_esp and Instagram @ussoccer_wnt

Highlights: WNT Claims 10th Algarve Cup with 2-0 Defeat of France

The WNT played in the championship game of the Algarve Cup in a rematch game against France.

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.”

U.S. National Team: A sleek, versatile attacker, Press has become a key piece for the WNT based on her prodigious scoring rate and ability to be effective both as a forward and midfielder.

2015:
Has appeared in all six matches for the U.S., starting five of them...Has made her presence felt up top, recording two assists so far this year and scoring a goal in the final, a 2-0 victory over France on March 11 to help the USA claim its 10th Algarve Cup title... 2014: Set a new career-high with the WNT in appearances with 23, which was tied for best on the team … Nearly tripled her minutes on the field compared to her first year, making 14 starts and playing 1,322 minutes … Scored a career-high 11 goals, including her first four-goal game, which came against Argentina during the International Tournament de Brasilia … Played in all five games at the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship with two scores and one assist to help the USA earns its Women’s World Cup berth … 2013: Earned her first 12 caps while starting five games and scoring eight goals, third most on the team … Played 554 minutes and averaged a goal for 69 minutes she was on the field … Also had two assists … No American player scored more goals for club and country in 2013 as she found the net a total of 45 times, including 23 in the Damallsvenskan … Scored twice in her debut on Feb. 8 against Scotland in Jacksonville, Fla., as she made her first start … Was the 17th U.S. player to score her in debut … Also scored in her second and fourth games to become just the fifth U.S. WNT player to score at least four goals in her first four matches … Also had a two-goal game against the Netherlands on April 9 in the Hague … 2012: Trained with the full U.S. team for the first time in April of 2012 in Bradenton, Fla. … Also traveled and trained with the U.S. team for two matches in Sweden in June … Named as an alternate to the 2012 Olympic Team without previously earning a cap and traveled with the squad to the U.K. … Youth National Teams: Attended training camp with the U-23s in October of 2011 … In July of 2010, she scored three times in three matches for the U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team, including in a 1-0 defeat of Sweden, as the U.S. won the Four Nations Tournament in England ... Traveled to Germany with the U.S. U-23s for a three-match tour in May of 2010 and started both matches which ended as 2-2 draws against Germany and South Korea ... Also played for the U.S. U-23s in 2009 and scored against an Irish select side during a U-23 two-match tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland ... Finished her U-23 career with five caps and three goals … Was a member of U.S. U-20 player pool in 2008 … First Appearance: Feb. 9, 2013, vs. Scotland … First Goal: Feb. 9, 2013, vs. Scotland (two goals).

Professional/Club2014: In 2014, she played the first half of the Damallsvenskan  season in Sweden’s premier women’s soccer league … It was her third and final campaign in Sweden and she helped Tyresö FF  to the Champions League Final, where it fell 4-3 to Wolfsburg of Germany … She set up one of the goals in the Champions League Final … In her final game in Sweden, Tyresö FF  beat eventual league champion FC Rosengård 2-1 and she scored both goals … In the semifinal series of the Champions League against Birmingham of England, she helped Tyresö FF  to a 3-0 aggregate victory (0-0 in England, 3-0 at home), scoring two of the goals and assisting on the other to Marta … In the quarterfinal series against Neulengbach of Austria, Tyresö FF  won 8-0 on aggregate (8-0 at home, 0-0 away) as she scored three goals and had three assists … Joined the Chicago Red Stars of the NWSL for the second half of 2014 season after completing her time in Sweden that ended with a Champions League Final appearance and the victory against FC Rosengård … Helped the Red Stars to the brink of the playoffs and the team finished with a 9-8-7 record … Despite only playing and starting in 12 matches for the Red Stars, Press led the team with six goals, while playing every minute of every match she appeared in … She was named to the NWSL Best XI Second Team … 2013: Signed with Stockholm-based Tyresö FF for her second season in Damallsvenskan, and became the first American to lead the league in scoring, winning the Golden Boot by finding the net 23 times in 20 games, all starts … Also scored nine goals in the Swedish Cup, once in the Swedish Super Cup and four goals in the UEFA Champions League to help Tyresö to two-leg victories over Paris Saint-Germain (Round of 32) and Danish club Fortuna (Round of 16) … She scored both goals in 2-1 victories in each of the first legs of the two series’… 2012: Played her first season in Damallsvenskan with Göteborg FC and finished second in the league in scoring with 17 goals … Helped Göteborg win the Swedish Cup in overtime, 2-1, against 2012 league champions and her future club, Tyresö while scoring one goal and assisting on the other … Played in 34 games (21 Damallsvenskan, six Champions League, one Supercup, and six Swedish Cup), starting 33 … Scored 25 goals in all competitions (17 Damallsvenskan, three in the Champions League and five in the Swedish Cup) … 2011: Selected with the No. 4 pick in the Women’s Professional Soccer Draft by the Washington Freedom which transitioned to the magicJack based in Boca Raton, Fla. … Played in 17 matches for magicJack spanning 1,173 minutes and scored eight goals, which included a hat trick against the Boston Breakers, and was named the league’s Rookie of the Year … 2009: Helped the Pali Blues to the W-League championship in the summer of 2009 … Youth Club: Played club for the Slammers FC of Newport Beach, Calif. ... Won the Golden Boot for most goals scored in the USYSA National Championship tournament … Her team won U-14 and U-16 national titles and were finalists as U-18s and U-19s.

College / High School – Had a brilliant college career at Stanford from 2007-10, breaking school records for career points (183), goals (71), assists (41) and shots (500) ... Set single-season school records for shots (180) and game-winning goals (10), and tied the mark for goals (26) ... In 2010, she became the second consecutive Stanford player to win the MAC Hermann Trophy, college soccer’s most prestigious award ... She received Pac-10 First or Second-Team honors all four years … Stanford had a 67-0-1 record when Press had a goal or assist during her collegiate career ... Is the Cardinal’s all-time scorer in NCAA Tournament play with 13 goals … As a senior in 2010 she not only won the MAC Hermann Trophy as the nation’s best player, but also won national player of the year awards from Soccer America and Top Drawer Soccer ... Was named the Pac-10 Conference Player of the Year and earned NSCAA First-Team All-America honors for the fi time … Was also a Soccer America MVPs First- Team selection for the second time ... Named to the NCAA College Cup All-Tournament team for the third consecutive season ... Named NSCAA All-Pacific Region First-Team ... An All-Pac-10 First-Team selection for the second time ... Was the national leader in goals (26) and points (60) while helping the Cardinal reach the College Cup fi while compiling a 23-1-2 record ... Her 26 goals tied the school’s single-season scoring record, set in 2009 by Kelley O’Hara ... Led Stanford to its second consecutive perfect conference season, sending the team to its third consecutive College Cup ... Scored her first collegiate hat trick in a 6-1 victory over Utah in Santa Clara on Sept. 17 ... Had either a goal or assist over a stretch of 18 consecutive matches ... Scored or assisted in 20 of Stanford’s 26 matches ... Had seven multi-goal matches in 2010 ... Scored on a curving left-footed shot in the 32nd minute to give Stanford its final lead against North Carolina (Aug. 27) in a 2-2 draw ... Broke the Stanford career scoring record on an unassisted 20-yarder in the 59th minute against USC (Oct. 8), breaking Sarah Rafanelli’s mark of 59 that had stood since 1993 ... Scored twice in a 2-0 victory over visiting Oregon State – the first on a full volley – to decide the Pac-10 title (Nov. 5) ... Scored twice in a 3-0 NCAA third-round victory in the rain against visiting UCLA (Nov. 19) ... Had a school-record 10 game-winning goals … As a junior in 2009 she scored a golden goal on a screaming 24-yarder in the 94th minute against UCLA in the NCAA College Cup semifinal in chilly and windy conditions in College Station, Texas, to give Stanford a 2-1 victory ... Had the second-highest scoring season in Stanford history to date, with 21 goals and 16 assists for 58 points ... Tied for the national lead in assists … Top Drawer Soccer’s National Co-Player of the Year with O’Hara ... Combined with O’Hara on 19 goals ... Press and O’Hara scored 47 of Stanford’s 80 goals and combined for 123 points, the most for a tandem in the country since 2005 ... Had seven game-winning goals ... Received her fi    All-America honor by being named to the NSCAA Second-Team ... Named to Soccer America’s MVPs First-Team … Named to the NCAA College Cup All-Tournament team for the second consecutive season ... Scored the fastest goal in Stanford history, only 23 seconds into Stanford’s 2-0 victory over BYU (Nov. 14) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament ... Named NSCAA All-Pacific Region First-Team and All-Pac-10 First-Team … As a sophomore in 2008, she had 16 goals and 11 assists (43 points), the second-highest single-season point total in school history at the time ... Named Second-Team All-West Region  and Second-Team All-Pac-10 ... Only Stanford player named to the College Cup All-Tournament team ... Had a goal or an assist in 19 matches ... As a freshman in 2007 she was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Second-Team All-Pac-10 and was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team ... Started in 18 of 21 appearances ... Led the team in assists (6) and was second in goals (8), points (22) and shots (60) … High school: A 2007 graduate of Chadwick School in Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif. ... A 2006 NSCAA High School All-American and a Parade All-American ... Was a two-year team captain and four-year starter ... Led Dolphins to two Southern Section Division IV titles ... Scored 128 high school goals, including a school-record 38 as a junior ... A two-time Southern Section Division IV Offensive Player of the Year ... A four-time Prep League Offensive MVP ... Also won letters in track and tennis.

Personal: Full name is Christen Annemarie Press … Double-majored in Communication and Psychology … As a senior at Stanford, she was named to the ESPN Academic All-America First-Team ... Selected as the Pac-10’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women’s soccer and named to the Pac-10 All-Academic First-Team ... As a junior, she was an Pac-10 All-Academic Second-Team Selection … As a sophomore she was Second Team All-Academic Pac-10 ... Father played football for Dartmouth … Has written a well-read and well-received blog for SoccerAmerica.com and her own website at footballschristenpress.blogspot.com … Has done freelance writing for several magazines … The middle of three daughters and says “we are like Alvin and the Chipmunks” … Loves the ocean and sunshine … Most days she can be found hiking or playing with her two puppies … Has volunteered at the Boys & Girls Club in Los Angeles … Lived in Madrid for three months during the winter quarter of her junior year – where she took classes only in Spanish – and taught English to Spanish-speaking kindergarten-aged children … Is fluent in Spanish … Also speaks some Swedish … Enjoys the sweeter things in life, especially chocolate … She is a daily meditator and active yogi.

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