CHICAGO (Nov. 24, 2015) – The 2015 Women’s World Cup champions will conclude their Victory Tour with four matches in December. The WNT will take on Trinidad &Tobago on Dec. 6 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu (3 p.m. local/8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1/FOX Sports GO) and Dec. 10 at the Alamodome in San Antonio (8 p.m. CT on ESPN2/WatchESPN), before finishing one of the most successful years in program history with matches against China PR on Dec. 13 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (5 p.m. MT on ESPN2/WatchESPN), and Dec. 16 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans (7 p.m. CT on FOX Sports 1/FOX Sports GO).
The match in New Orleans will be the final game for retiring U.S. forward Abby Wambach, who is the world’s all-time leading international scorer with 184 career goals in 252 caps.
“It has been a fantastic and thrilling year and we are looking forward to ending it on a high note, and especially honoring Abby and her legendary career in New Orleans,” said U.S. head coach Jill Ellis. “T&T and China are very competitive teams and once again we’ll look to these games to continue the process of preparing for Olympic Qualifying, especially now that we know our path during the qualifying tournament in February.”
With the retirements of Lauren Holiday, Shannon Boxx and Lori Chalupny, who all played their final WNT matches in October, twenty players from the Women’s World Cup roster will be at all the venues. Ellis has once again added 2015 NWSL MVP and leading scorer Crystal Dunn to the roster. Dunn has scored three goals and added three assists for the USA while starting the last four matches of the Victory Tour.
Ellis has also called in seven additional players who will train with the U.S. team during the trip and are available to play in the matches.
Tickets for all of the December matches are on sale at ussoccer.com.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (10): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Jaelene Hinkle (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Emily Sonnett (Univ. of Virginia)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (Wisconsin), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (Western NY Flash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (7): Lindsey Horan (PSG), Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash), Stephanie McCaffrey (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (unattached)
- Of the eight players named to the roster who were not members of the 2015 Women’s World Cup winning team, two are getting their first call-ups: Danielle Colaprico, the NWSL Rookie of the Year and a midfielder from the Chicago Red Stars, and Rose Lavelle, a junior midfielder at Wisconsin, who was one of the top players for the USA at the 2014 Under-20 Women’s World Cup. Colaprico is 22 years-old and Lavelle is 20.
- In addition, Ellis gave second call-ups to defenders Jaelene Hinkle and Emily Sonnett, as well as forward Stephanie McCaffrey, all of whom are 22 years old and earned their first caps in October in matches against Brazil. McCaffrey also scored her first international goal, bagging the fourth and final score in stoppage time of the 4-1 win against the Brazilians on Oct. 25 in Orlando, Fla.
- Should the University of Virginia advance to the NCAA College Cup, Sonnett, who is a senior for the Cavaliers, would not join the U.S. squad until the match in San Antonio.
- Rounding out the younger players on the roster are forward Lindsey Horan, who is currently playing in France for Paris Saint-Germain and earned her third cap on October 25 vs. Brazil, and Western New York midfielder Samantha Mewis, who earned her fourth cap against Brazil on Oct. 21. The 21-year-old Horan will not be with the team in Hawaii due to club commitments, but will join the squad for the final three games.
- The match in Honolulu on the island of Oahu marks the first trip for the U.S. Women to the 50th state and the first international match hosted by U.S. Soccer in Hawaii.
- It will also be only the second soccer match between national teams staged at Aloha Stadium. The Philippines defeated Chinese Taipei 1-0 at the venue in 1976 in a match that was a part of a triple-header that also featured the Hawaii All-Stars against the San Diego Jaws (which played one season in the NASL) and the New York Cosmos against Team Honda from Japan, a match that featured four goals from Pelé.
- Hawaii will be the 32nd U.S. state (not including the District of Columbia) in which the American women have played since the program’s inception in 1985.
- The U.S. WNT has played T&T eight times in its history, most recently a 1-0 victory during group play of the qualifying tournament for the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Abby Wambach’s goal in the 54th minute was the difference. Five of the eight games have been in CONCACAF qualifying competitions.
- The U.S. Women have played 12 matches all-time in the state of Texas, including two visits to San Antonio. The USA played at the Alamodome in October of 2013, a 4-0 victory against Australia. The USA also played a pre-Olympic warm-up match in San Antonio in 1996 at Blossom Field, a 3-0 win vs. Sweden.
- The USA will be making its third visit to University of Phoenix Stadium, home to the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, after playing there in November of 2011 (1-1 tie with Sweden) and December of 2012 (2-0 win vs. Ireland).
- The match in Glendale marks a homecoming for U.S. defender Julie Johnston, who was named to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team. She hails from nearby Mesa, Ariz.
- China has been one of the most frequent opponents in U.S. history. The U.S. has played China 54 times, more than any country besides Canada.
- Since 1991 - a span of 24 years - the U.S. and China have failed to play a match in a calendar year only five times.
- The USA is 33-8-13 all-time vs. China.
- The USA’s most recent meeting with China came in the quarterfinal at the 2015 Women’s World Cup – a 1-0 win by the USA in Ottawa, Canada, on a goal from Carli Lloyd.
- The U.S. Women have played in New Orleans just once before. That match took place in 2003 at Tad Gormley Stadium. This one will be the first for the U.S. Women at the famed Superdome, home to the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.
- ussoccer.com –
CHICAGO (Oct. 16, 2015) – The 2015 Women’s World Cup champions will continue their Victory Tour with matches against Brazil on Oct. 21 in Seattle, presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance (7 p.m. PT on ESPN2/ WatchESPN), and Oct. 25 in Orlando (2:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1/FOX Sports GO). The matches are the fifth and sixth of the tour.
“We are looking forward to two competitive games against Brazil,” said U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis. “They are a highly motivated team and certainly they have some exciting and dangerous attacking players. These are the kinds of games where we get tested and it provides a chance to evaluate our player pool. The more matches we can play like this, the better.”
All 23 players from the Women’s World Cup winners will be at both venues in addition to NWSL MVP and leading scorer Crystal Dunn, who was added to the roster for the USA’s two September matches against Haiti and scored two goals with three assists over the two games.
Ellis has called in seven additional players who will train with the U.S. team during the trip and are available to play in the matches.
The October games will be the final international matches for midfielders Shannon Boxx and Lauren Holiday and defender Lori Chalupny, all of whom announced their international retirements earlier in the year. Boxx will play her final match in Seattle while Holiday and Chalupny will play their final matches in Orlando.
Tickets for both games are on sale at ussoccer.com. In the Seattle area, tickets are also available at all Ticketmaster ticket centers (including most Fred Meyer and Walmart locations) and the CenturyLink Field ticket office (open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). In Central Florida, tickets are also available at all Ticketmaster ticket centers (including most Walmart locations) as well as the Amway Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) [Note: Tickets are not sold at the Orlando Citrus Bowl except on the day of the event.]
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 (12): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Jaelene Hinkle (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Gina Lewandowski (FC Bayern Munich), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Emily Sonnett (Univ. of Virginia)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Shannon Boxx (unattached), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (Western NY Flash), Christine Nairn (Washington Spirit), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (7): Lindsey Horan (Paris Saint-Germain), Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash), Stephanie McCaffrey (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (unattached)
- Four of the players called up that were not members of the 2015 Women’s World Cup Team previously have earned caps with the senior side: forward Lindsey Horan (two caps at the 2013 Algarve Cup), who is currently playing professionally in France with Paris Saint-Germain; Samantha Mewis (three caps in 2014), a NWSL Rookie of the Year finalist with the Western NY Flash who started 20 games while scoring four goals with four assists; midfielder Christine Nairn of the Washington Spirit (two caps and a goal in 2009 when she was 18) who had five goals and four assists this past NWSL season; and Crystal Dunn, who is up to 15 caps to go with her two scores.
- Three players were called to their first WNT camp in 22-year-old defender Jaelene Hinkle, who played every minute of all 20 matches last season with the Western NY Flash; 22-year-old defender Emily Sonnett, a senior captain at the University of Virginia; and 30-year-old defender Gina Lewandowski, currently of FC Bayern Munich, who has played in Germany since 2007 and won a UEFA Champions League title with Ali Krieger and FFC Frankfurt in 2008. Lewandowski and Krieger are the only Americans to win a UEFA Champions League title.
- Forward Stephanie McCaffrey, who started 17 of the 19 matches she played this past season with the Boston Breakers while scoring three goals with three assists, previously trained with the U.S. team during an extended training camp last January.
- The U.S. Women have not played in Seattle since two Women’s World Cup Qualifying matches in 2002 that were played at SAFECO Field, home of the Seattle Mariners.
- The Seattle Reign of the NWSL features two stars of the U.S. team, Washington native and Women’s World Cup Golden Glove winner Hope Solo and midfielder Megan Rapinoe.
- The U.S. team has a long history in Orlando, which was the training base for the U.S. team for the 1995 and 1999 Women’s World Cups and the 1996 Olympics. The USA played two matches at the Citrus Bowl during the 1996 Olympics and most recently played there against Brazil in November 2013, a 4-1 victory in front of more than 20,000 fans.
- At the Women’s World Cup in Canada, Brazil won Group E over Korea Republic, Costa Rica and Spain but fell to Australia 1-0 in the Round of 16. Brazil is currently ranked sixth in the world.
THE WILD CHILD
Sydney Leroux challenged her mother from the very beginning. Her mother remembers playing in a softball game, glancing toward the sideline and doing a double take; there was three-year-old “Syd,” climbing to the very top of a “hugely, hugely tall” fence. “It was absolutely terrifying,” recalls Sandi.
“I was wild,” says Leroux. “That’s really the best way to describe it; I had to be doing something, pushing buttons.”
In school, she always ended up in the front office. “I was a pretty bad kid,” she recalls. “I would get up when I was supposed to be sitting down. I was in my own world and no one could be a part of that but me. Recess would end, everyone else would come in, but in my head, it wasn’t time for me to come in yet. I’d still be out there kicking the ball.”
On the behavior report cards, Leroux would white out the teacher’s grade and replace it with a good grade. “It would be obvious, childish handwriting. But I’d give it to my mom, totally thinking I could trick her. Plus I got home before my mom, so I’d just go through the voicemail, erasing all the voicemails saying “Syd did this or that.”
SOCCER STEADYING GROUND
At fourteen, Leroux moved by herself to the United States. “Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to play for the United States and I knew that I could – because my dad was American. I saw all those big names in ‘99, and I thought it was so cool - that was what I wanted. I wanted to be known for being a soccer player and doing something that I love.”
In Arizona, she found a coach and a team that would make her better. But it’s not easy to be on your own at fourteen. She lived in three different houses trying to find one that fit; she missed her mom, and she had a hard time fitting in. “You know, at that age, girls are mean, they don’t take into account how you make people feel. It was terrible,” says Leroux. “Everyone already had their group of friends. I was an outsider, an outcast. There were people who made it better, but it was hard. I’d sleep to pass the days. I’d call my mom crying.”
The field was Sydney’s relief, soccer was my outlet; it was the only thing that made me sane. I just dove right in. I’d go to the boys practice. Then I would go to the ‘89 boys, ‘89 girls, practice with the ‘90s; sometimes three practices a day. Eventually I got the call for the National Team camp – and it was all worth it.”
“I was very much a tomboy,” says Leroux. “I went through a stage, more than a stage actually – it was like years. I wanted to be a boy, so badly.” She convinced her mom to let her cut her hair really short and told people her name was Christopher. Leroux’s mother says, “The school would call my house and say, ‘She’s saying she’s a boy,’ and I would say, ‘Nope, she’s a girl. She’s just going through a stage, let her be.’”“It’s just kind of funny because now, everyone sees me as this girly girl, but back then, I took tomboy to a whole new level,” says Leroux.
U.S. National Team: A major attacking threat with pace, power and bravery to get to the ball first, Leroux first made waves in 2012 by scoring 14 goals, exclusively as a substitute … Since then, she has confirmed her goal scoring credentials as she continues to earn minutes in the USA’s deep pool of forwards.
2015: 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Champion... Named to the 2015 U.S. FIFA Women's World Cup roster, her first World Cup selection... Has played in 11 games this year, starting four... Made her first start of 2015 against Mexico on May 17 in the USA's second Send-Off Series game in Carson, California, and scored two goals to help the USA go on to win 5-1... Came in as a second-half sub during the USA's 4-0 win over New Zealand on April 4 in St. Louis, and provided the assist on Morgan Brian's goal late in the match... Saw action twice during the USA's run to its 10th Algarve Cup title, both times as a second-half sub while recuperating from a minor injury... 2014: Appeared in 21 games and set career highs in games started (15), minutes played (1,308) and assists (5) … Scored nine goals, fourth-best on the team, finding the net against Canada (twice), Russia, Japan, Denmark, China PR, France, Mexico, and in the USA’s 6-0 win against Costa Rica in the final of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship as she helped the team book its ticket to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup … 2013: Made a major impact on the U.S. attack, scoring 10 goals (second on the team) with four assists … Averaged a goal for every 83 minutes she was on the field … She played 835 minutes in 15 games, starting nine, which were her first nine starts after coming off the bench in the first 29 games of her career … Scored four goals – all in the first half and all in a row – in a 7-0 victory against Mexico on Sept. 3 in Washington, D.C. … Also scored against Scotland, China PR, New Zealand and the game-clincher in a 3-0 win vs. Canada in Toronto on June 2 … Scored twice in the 4-1 victory against Brazil on Nov. 10 in Orlando that finished the year … Tied for third for most goals for club and country (21) of any American player … Headed into 2014 with 24 goals in her first 43 games … 2012: Had a breakout year, playing in 27 games, all as a reserve, and set a U.S. record for most goals as a substitute with 14, which were the first 14 of her career … Averaged a goal for every 37 minutes she was on the field … In her second career cap against Guatemala at CONCACAF Olympic qualifying, she scored the first five goals of her career, all in the second half, in her hometown of Vancouver, Canada … She was the youngest player on the Olympic qualifying team while playing in three games as the USA won the regional title … Made her first world championship team at the senior level for the 2012 Olympics and played off the bench in four games … Scored her first Olympic goal against New Zealand in the quarterfinal, sealing the 2-0 victory in Newcastle … Scored the winning goal against Norway in a 2-1 victory in group play at the Algarve Cup … Also scored against Denmark at the Algarve Cup … Had a two-goal game against Ireland on Nov. 28 during the Fan Tribute Tour … Tied for third among players for most goals combined for club and country with 21 … 2011: A prolific scorer with the U.S. Under-20 WNT, she earned her first cap with the senior team at the beginning of 2011 … Made the roster for the Four Nations Tournament in China in January and came off the bench late in the game in the first match of the tournament against Sweden … Youth National Teams: One of the most dangerous forwards in the world at the U-20 level, finished her U-20 career as the USA’s most-capped player (39) and tied (with Lindsey Horan and Kelley O’Hara) for highest scorer at this level (24) … The USA’s all-time leading scorer in U-20 Women’s World Cups with 10 goals … Played in 18 international matches in 2010, including four at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, and scored 17 goals in those games … Scored against Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico, Germany, England, New Zealand, Japan, Ghana, Switzerland and Korea Republic in 2010… Scored a hat trick against Switzerland at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, just the third ever in a Women’s World Cup by a U.S. player … A member of the U.S. team that won the 2010 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship in Guatemala to earn a berth to the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, she scored the winning goal in the final minutes of the 1-0 victory against Mexico in the championship game … Started all five games in Guatemala and led the USA in scoring with six goals, scoring two each against Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago and two against Mexico, one in group play and one in the final … Also a key member of the U.S. team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile … She became the first American since Carin Gabarra in 1991 to win the Golden Ball as the tournament’s top player at a FIFA Women’s World Cup … She also won the Golden Shoe as the tournament’s top scorer with five goals, including the first in the 2-1 championship game victory against Korea DPR … At the age of 14, she was a member of Canada’s team that played in the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand, where she was the youngest player in the tournament ...Got clearance from FIFA to change associations to the USA in 2008 and went on to star at the U-20 Women’s World Cup … First Appearance: Jan. 21, 2011, vs. Sweden … First Goal: Jan. 22, 2012, vs. Guatemala (5 goals).