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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: The WNT’s all-time scoring leader (61 goals heading into 2015) for a player who has played exclusively as a midfielder, Lloyd has scored many crucial goals for the USA during her career, most recently during the 2012 London Olympics – when she scored twice in the 2-1 gold medal victory vs. Japan -- and 2014 Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament.

2015: Has appeared in all six games for the U.S. so far this year, starting five of them and playing the second-most minutes on the team with 495... Notched both goals in a 2-1 win against Norway at the Algarve Cup on March 4... Played in  all four games during the Algarve Cup, helping the WNT win its 10th title... 2014: Had arguably her most productive all-around year with the National Team, starting all 23 games in which she appeared, tying her career high with 15 goals scored while adding eight assists and led the team in both goals and assists … Tied for the team lead in games played and led the USA in starts … Led the USA in minutes played and the only player to play more than 2,000 minutes (2,043) …  Captained the team on two occasions against France (6/19) and Guatemala (10/17) … Became the ninth player in WNT history to hit the 50-goal milestone when she scored a brace against China PR (4/10) … The only player to play every minute of all five games at the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, she scored five goals with four assists to help the USA book its ticket to the 2015 Women’s World Cup and was named MVP of the tournament … Had three two-goal games, vs. Russia, China PR and Mexico … Scored a hat trick at the end of the year vs. Argentina at the International Tournament of Brasilia … In a span of seven consecutive games at the end of the year, she scored 10 goals while scoring at least one in each game … 2013: Played 768 minutes in 11 games while starting nine and scored three goals with one assist … Scored against the Korea Republic, Australia and New Zealand … With her 45th and 46th career goals, she tied and then passed Julie Foudy to become the top scorer in U.S. WNT history for a player that has played exclusively in the midfield … 2012: Played in all 32 matches for the USA, one of just three players to do so, while starting 27 … She was once again a hero in an Olympic gold medal game, scoring both goals in the USA’s 2-1 victory against Japan in front of more than 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium … Became the only player – male or female – in the history of the Olympics to score game-winning goals in two consecutive Olympic gold medal games … Her 2,441 minutes played were the second-most in a year during her career … Her 15 goals were a career high for a calendar year and made her the third-leading scorer on the U.S. team … Did not start the first match of the Olympics against France, but came on early for an injured Shannon Boxx and scored the winning goal … She then started the remaining five games while scoring four total goals, good for second on the team in the Olympics behind Abby Wambach’s five goals … She never left the field again after coming into the France match in the 16th minute … Scored a slew of goals against top teams and registered her first career hat trick in a 3-0 victory against Mexico during Olympic qualifying to seal first place in the group for the USA … Started all five games of the Olympic Qualifying tournament in Vancouver, Canada, scoring six goals (tied for tops on the team) with one assist … Also scored in the 3-0 semifinal victory against Costa Rica that sent the USA to the Olympics … On the short list for the 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year and finished sixth in the voting … 2011: Tied for the team lead in games played with 19, starting them all, and led the USA in minutes played with 1,654 … Played all but 16 minutes of the Women’s World Cup in Germany, scoring one goal with one assist … The first World Cup goal of her career came against Colombia in group play on a shot from distance ... Tied for second on the team in scoring with six goals and three assists on the year … Scored three goals at the Algarve Cup, against Norway, Finland and then Iceland in the championship game … Also scored against Sweden and China at the Four Nations Tournament … Her six goals moved her into 15th place on the all-time U.S. scoring list with 28 goals … 2010: Suffered a broken ankle early in the WPS season but still played in 15 matches for the USA, starting 14 … She scored three goals with five assists and earned her 100th career cap in the final game of the year against Italy during the second leg of the FIFA Women’s World Cup playoff series … Scored against Germany in the Algarve Cup final … Started all five games at the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament, scoring two goals with five assists … Played every minute of both legs of the playoff series against Italy … 2009: Played in six games for the USA, starting five … 2008: Named the U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year … Was a fixture in the midfield for the USA, starting all 35 games in which she played, tying for the team lead in matches started during the year … Set a U.S. record for most starts in a year at 35 … Finished third on the team in minutes played with 2,781 … Had her best scoring year for the WNT, finding the net nine times with nine assists … Scored two huge goals during the 2008 Olympics, bagging the winner in the crucial 1-0 victory against Japan in group play and then scored one of the most important goals in U.S. history in the Olympic gold medal game as she netted the game-winner in the overtime victory against Brazil … Scored against Canada in the championship game of Olympic qualifying on a dramatic free kick in overtime … Scored the winning goal in a 3-2 stoppage time victory against Australia on April 27, in Cary, N.C. … Scored in both of the USA’s matches in Scandinavia, against Norway and Sweden … 2007: Established herself in a starting role in midfield … After scoring once in her first 24 matches, she scored four goals – one in each game – at the 2007 Algarve Cup, earning tournament top scorer and MVP honors … Scored her sixth career goal on a diving header in the USA’s 1-0 victory against Norway on July 14 and then registered her first two-goal game in a 6-1 win against New Zealand on Aug. 12, including one blast from 38 yards … Started 13 of the 23 matches she played … Played in her first Women’s World Cup tournament, starting three (all in the first round) of the five games she played … Had nine goals and three assists to finish third on the team in scoring … 2006: Earned her third career cap at the 2006 Four Nations Tournament … Earned the first two starts of her career at the 2006 Algarve Cup, gaining a place in the starting 11 against Denmark and in the championship game against Germany … Played in 19 games, starting 13, and scored one goal, that against Chinese Taipei … 2005: Earned her first two caps in 2005, playing against Ukraine and Mexico, a game in which she broke her wrist … 2004: Trained with the U.S. team during the 2004 Olympic Residency Training Camp … Youth National Teams: A member of four U-21 Nordic Cup championships teams, winning titles in 2002 in Finland, in Denmark in 2003, in Iceland in 2004 and in Sweden in 2005 … Scored three times in the 2005 Nordic Cup, including two against Denmark and one in the championship against Norway … Had two goals and an assist, starting every match, at the 2004 Nordic Cup ... Assisted on the lone goal in the USA’s 1-0 win against Denmark in the first round of the 2003 Nordic Cup ... First Appearance: July 10, 2005, vs. Ukraine ... First Goal: Oct. 1, 2006, vs. Chinese Taipei.

Professional / Club – 2014: Traded to the Houston Dash on Oct. 16 in exchange for midfielder Becky Edwards, defender Whitney Engen, and a third round pick in the 2016 NWSL College Draft … Started all 19 games in which she played for the WNY Flash during the 2014 season … Scored eight goals and had five assists … Named to the NWSL Best XI Second Team … Was third in the league in shots with 61 and sixth in shots on goal with 33 … Led the league in fouls committed with 51 … 2013: Allocated to the Western New York Flash for the 2013 NWSL season and played 1,296 minutes in 15 matches, starting 14 … Missed a few games at the start of the season due to injury, but returned to have an excellent year, scoring eight regular season goals, tied for third in the league with four other players … Scored both goals in the 2-0 playoff semifinal win against Sky Blue FC that sent Western NY to the first NWSL championship game … Finished fifth in the league in shots (53) … 2011: Signed with the Atlanta Beat for the 2011 WPS season, playing 800 minutes in 10 games while starting eight … Scored two goals for the Beat … 2010: Signed with her home state and WPS champion Sky Blue FC during the offseason … Played in just five games for Sky Blue in 2010 after suffering a broken ankle early in the season … Was out almost the entire season but returned to play the last two matches and logged just 200 minutes of action in the second season of WPS … 2009: Allocated to the Chicago Red Stars for the inaugural WPS season in 2009 … Played in 16 games for the Red Stars, starting 14, and scored two goals with one assist … Missed several games during the middle of the season after suffering a deep gash across her knee during national team training … Youth: Played for the Medford Strikers club team, winning the 1997 and 1998 State Cups ... Helped lead PDA Galaxy to the 2001 U-23 national title and earned MVP honors … Also trained with the WUSA’s Philadelphia Charge during the summer of 2003.


College / High School – As a senior, she started 18 of the 20 games she played at Rutgers and was named the 2004 Big East Midfielder of the Year … Became the first Scarlet Knight to earn First-Team All-Big East honors four times during her career (2001-04) … Ended her senior season with 10 goals and one assist to finish her career as Rutgers’ all-time leader in points (117) and goals (50) … A three-time NSCAA All-American who was also a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy … Also ranks first in career shots at Rutgers … As a junior, she started 20 matches and collected 13 goals and two assists for 28 points ... Was an NSCAA Third-Team All-American … Was named a Big East Academic All-Star … As a sophomore, she played in all 20 matches and had 12 goals and seven assists for 31 points to lead the Knights ... Was a finalist for the Hermann Trophy … As a freshman, she started every match for the Knights ... Was named an NSCAA Third-Team All-American ... Named to the All-Freshman Team by Soccer America ... Named the Big East Rookie of the Year, the first RU player to earn the honor ... Led the team with 15 goals and 37 points ... High School: Scored 26 goals and had eight assists as a senior at Delran High School ... Was named the 1999 and 2000 Girls’ High School Player of the Year by the Philadelphia Inquirer … Was a two-time selection to the Star-Ledger All-State First Team and was named to the 1999 and 2000 Parade All-America Teams ... Helped lead her team to an 18-3 record in 2000 and a state runner-up finish in Group II ... Was named the Courier Post Player of the Year and the South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association (SJSCA) Midfielder of the Year in 2000.

Personal – Full name is Carli Anne Lloyd … Earned a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and Sport Studies at Rutgers University … In 2013, she was named to the Rutgers University Hall of Distinguished Alumni … She was on the list of Bleacher Report Top 100 Athletes of 2012 … Also a 2012 Glamour Women of the Year … Favorite soccer players are Iniesta, Xavi, Lionel Messi and Steven Gerrard, and her favorite club teams are Barcelona and Liverpool … Says her best moment was scoring two goals in the 2012 Olympic final vs. Japan to help the USA win the gold medal … Lists biggest influence on her soccer career as personal trainer and mentor James Galanis … Is addicted to her Burt’s Bees lip balm … Had a flavor named after her at a local ice cream shop: “Carli’s Cake Batter Cookie Dough Kick” … Won the 2008 Native Son Award from the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association, only the second woman to earn the award since it was first awarded in 1991 (other winners include Mike Piazza, Eddie George and Rich Gannon) … Is a Philadelphia sports fan … Has a website at www.carlilloyd.com, a twitter account @carlilloyd and her Instagram is carlilloyd.

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