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 ISLAND INFLUENCE
Morgan Brian grew up on St. Simon’s Island, a tiny barrier island off the coast of Georgia, three miles wide, 11 miles long, with a huge soccer culture. “Everybody played,” says Morgan.
In spite of the soccer culture, the tiny island population meant there just weren’t enough players, so Morgan played up four or five years. “I was nine; we were playing with kids that were 14. I hadn’t grown yet.” Her tiny size earned her the nickname ‘Plankton;’ the character from her then favorite show, SpongeBob SquarePants. “He’s the evil one, but I like to think they just called me that because I was small…but, well, I was really competitive, and I guess I’d get mad at people…so,” Morgan laughs, “maybe that was a part of it.” Even though she’s now taller than most of her friends, they still to this day call her ‘Plankton.’
Eventually Morgan got to the age where she had to go play for a club team off the island. Everyone on the island played club with teams that were far away, making the long car rides a couple times a week, playing pickup with the other island kids the rest of the time.
Her entire club team tried out for the Florida State ODP team (which St. Simon’s Island fed into). Florida had an ‘A,’ ‘B,’ and ‘C’ team, so every player on her team made at least one of those rosters – except for Brian.
“My club coach was like, ‘You can either pout about it or use it as motivation,” says Morgan. “And in retrospect, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.” Morgan started training constantly and devoted all her time to playing. The next year she made the ‘A’ roster state team, and then she made the regional team, and then she made the National Team. “I couldn’t believe it,” says Brian.
Morgan’s coach had his players each fill out a goal sheet, what they wanted to work on now, and what they wanted long term. “I think I wrote the least-aspirational goals on the team; they were just not very lofty because ever since I didn’t make that ODP team, I just didn’t think I was very good,” says Brian.
One of her goals was “start for my club team”; Morgan’s coach pulled her aside and said, “What are you doing? You should put, be on the Women’s National Team.” And Brian was like, ‘You’re a psycho. That’s not within reach.’ He made me put it and I just wrote it off to the side and I looked at him and said, ‘You’re crazy.’
The 22-year-old is now the youngest member of the Women’s National Team headed to this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Canada.
U.S. National Teams: A rising star in central midfield for the WNT, Brian has shown the tremendous skill that made her one of the USA’s best youth national team players of the recent generation and she is already pushing for increased playing time in a deep and talented U.S. midfield.
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 ... Made her first World Cup start of her career against Sweden on June 12, 2015...Has played in 16 matches for the USA, starting 12 so far this year... Scored her first goal of 2015 during a 4-0 win against New Zealand in St. Louis on April 4...Helped the USA to its 10th Algarve Cup title providing a strong presence in center midfield throughout the tournament... 2014: Earned 16 caps to the National Team while also leading her college team at UVA to the NCAA championship game … Was named the U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year … Played in every international tournament in which the WNT participated in 2014, including the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship where she helped the USA qualify for the 2015 Women’s World Cup … Played in three games during qualifying, starting one, and scored one goal with one assist … 2013: Earned first three senior team caps in 2013 as the youngest player on the WNT … Her first call-up to the full National Team came during the USA’s June friendlies against the Korea Republic … She earned her first cap on June 15 against Korea, entering the game in the 77th minute for Lauren Cheney at Foxboro Stadium … Scored her first goal in her second cap, finishing the scoring in a 7-0 victory vs. Mexico at RFK Stadium … Youth National Teams: Most recently played with the U.S. Under-23 WNT in 2013 … A key member of the U.S. team that won the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan … Started all six games in the tournament and played all but 18 minutes … She scored the first goal in the 2-0 victory vs. Nigeria in the semifinal … Finished her U-20 career with 21 caps and four goals … A member of the team that won the 2012 CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship to earned a berth to Japan … Played in four games in qualifying and totaled 337 minutes … Had one goal and one assist during qualifying, scoring in the 4-0 semifinal victory over Mexico that earned the USA its berth to the Women’s World Cup … Scored a goal against Switzerland in La Manga, Spain in February of 2012 … The youngest player named to the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup roster, she played in one match against Paraguay, going all 90 minutes as a defender… She was also the youngest player on the CONCACAF Qualifying team, seeing action in three matches and scoring against El Salvador … Captained the U.S. U-17 team during the 2009-10 cycle and had seven goals at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament as the USA out-scored its opponents 38-0 but failed to qualify for the U-17 Women’s World Cup after falling in a penalty kick shootout during the semifinal … Finished her U-17 international career with 22 caps and 15 goals … Called up from the U.S. U-15s to the U-17s in 2008 … Participated in the U.S. Soccer Under-14 I.D. Camp in 2007 and played some matches with the U-14s that year as well. First cap: June 15, 2012, vs. Korea Republic. First goal: Sept. 3, 2013 vs. Mexico.
Professional / Club: 2015: Taken #1 overall by the Houston Dash in the NWSL Draft … Youth club: Played for the Ponte Vedra Storm from U-12 to U-19 … Won state championships at the U-18 and U-17 levels with the Storm and was the national runner-up as U-17s … Storm won the U-19 national title in the summer of 2012.