Boxx has been one of the best defensive-oriented midfielders in the world since her excellent performance at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but has also been a vitally important part of the U.S. attack for her scoring and ability to set the team's ball-possession rhythm. Boxx surpassed 150 career caps in 2011 and started five matches at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, making the FIFA Women's World Cup All-Star Team.
CHICAGO (June 2, 2014) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 26 players to the training camp roster in preparation for two games against France – currently ranked fourth in the world by FIFA – on June 14 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, and June 19 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. Both games kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ussoccer.com.
“Two matches against such a high-level team will give us a picture of where we are,” said Ellis, who was named the eighth head coach in U.S. Women’s National Team history on May 16. “Establishing how we want to play and integrating our philosophy is an important first step for a new coaching staff, but these types of matches will give us a wonderful opportunity to build on and keep testing out the player pool.”
Several players return to the roster after extended absences ranging from two months in the case of Kristie Mewis, who has recovered from an ankle injury, to much longer in the case of forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Shannon Boxx.
Boxx, who has 186 caps and 27 goals, is coming in for training and evaluation only and will not play in the matches as she mounts her comeback after having a daughter in late February. A three-time Olympic gold medalist, Boxx makes her return to the roster for the first time since March of 2013 at the Algarve Cup.
The availability of Morgan for the matches will be determined pending an evaluation by the team’s medical and performance staff of her progression toward international play. Morgan, who is at the tail end of her recovery from an ankle injury, has 44 goals in 70 matches, but has not appeared for the USA since November of 2013.
The roster features 25 players currently signed with National Women’s Soccer League clubs as Christen Press, Whitney Engen and Meghan Klingenberg have returned to the league after helping Tyresö of Sweden to the brink of the UEFA Women’s Champions League title. Tobin Heath’s French league season came to a close on June 1, but her club will play in the French Cup Final on June 7 against Olympique Lyon. Forward Sarah Hagen will complete her highly successful run with Bayern Munich on June 8 and then return to make her NWSL debut for FC Kansas City. The only non-professional on the roster is rising college senior Morgan Brian from Virginia.
- Jill Ellis will name 18 players from the 26-woman roster to suit up for each match.
- Portland Thorns FC midfielder Allie Long gets her second WNT call-up after earning her first cap against Canada on May 8 in Winnipeg.
- The U.S. Women’s National Team has launched its own Instagram account. Fans can now follow the U.S. Women’s National Teams at http://instagram.com/ussoccer_wnt.
- The USA is 6-2-2 in 2014.
- Two regulars are still injured and unavailable for selection in midfielder Megan Rapinoe (foot) and defender Rachel Van Hollebeke (ankle).
- U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo has 70 shutouts, one away from tying Briana Scurry for first on the USA’s all-time shutout list.
- Amy Rodriguez comes into the camp tied for the NWSL lead in goals with eight in 10 games.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (7): Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Houston Dash), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers)
FORWARDS (7): Sarah Hagen (FC Kansas City), Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)
Should the diagnostic procedure confirm a loose piece or pieces of cartilage, that issue will be cleaned up during the surgery. Boxx should be out 4-6 weeks, pending the results of the procedure, and will likely be unavailable for the USA’s June 2 match against Canada at BMO Field in Toronto.
Boxx, who has 186 caps for the USA, has played in six of the national team’s eight matches so far in 2013, scoring two goals with one assist, but decided to undergo the procedure in order to get back on the field for the Red Stars and the USA as soon as possible.
“I would have loved to continue playing during the start of Red Stars season as well as be available for the game in Canada,” said Boxx. “But the pain was not subsiding, so in talking to all my coaches and athletic trainers on both teams, it seemed like the best time to get the procedure done so I can be one-hundred percent and pain-free again for both club and country.”
In soccer, everyone’s got a nickname, right? It’s just that the game happens so fast. As a player, you need a name that all your teammates can get out quickly and easily. Some nicknames are used only within the confines of the team while others have been adopted by fans and media.
On the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, the nicknames fall into many different categories.
Some players rarely, if ever, hear their given names. We can’t remember the last time someone used Nicole Barnhart’s first name. She’s always “Barnie.” (Unless an occasion arises when someone pulls out “Barnyard” or “Barnacles,” which actually happens more than you might think).
Likewise for Shannon Boxx as 99.9 percent of the time it’s just “Boxxy.” We’re pretty sure she might not even respond to Shannon. Kristie Mewis is “Mew” or “Mewie” and Meghan Klingenberg is of course “Klingy.”
But nicknames are not just adding about adding a “y” or an “ie” to someone’s name. Sometimes it’s initials. Heather Ann O’Reilly has long been known as “HAO” (pronounced hey-oh). Sometime “HAO” calls Kelley O’Hara “KO.” Christen Press is sometimes “CP.” Young goalkeeper Adrianna Franch is “AD.”
(Side note: New U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni did call O’Reilly “Hailey” a few times in his first week of camp -- a combination of HAO and O’Reilly -- but that doesn’t really count as a nickname. He quickly corrected himself.)
Nicknames can be maiden names as well. Christie Rampone hasn’t been Christie Pearce for years, but her teammates still often call her “Pearcie,” proving that nicknames can stick around a while.
Some nicknames are more connected to a style of play. One of the best ever is “The Buehldozer” for Rachel Buehler (sometimes shortened to just “‘Dozer”), whose propensity for plowing through opponents earned her that moniker. Alex Morgan rose to international soccer fame with a nickname that seemed a perfect fit for her galloping running style and youthful exuberance: “Baby Horse.” While it’s still a popular nickname with the fans and on Twitter, her teammates rarely use it nowadays. As Megan Rapinoe said during the 2012 Olympics, “I think she’s definitely a stallion now.”
Many times, you just shorten it up. Carli Lloyd is “Car.” Megan Rapinoe is “Pinoe.” Ashlyn Harris is “Ash.” Crystal Dunn is “Cris” and Sydney Leroux is “Syd” (you can add “the Kid” if you like). Becky Sauerbrunn is “Becks,” or one that has become very popular on the U.S. team: “Reba.” (Yes, her real name is Rebecca).
Julie Johnston is “Jules” or “JJ,” and Lauren Cheney is “Chens” (pronounced Chains). Whitney Engen is “Whit,” Tobin Heath is “Tobes” and Ali Krieger is “Kriegs.” Her club teammates in Germany called her “Warrior Princess” (Krieger means warrior in German), but that’s a whole other story.
Yael Averbuch has one of the most fun nicknames on the team. You can call her “Ya-Ya.”
However, some players just don’t have nicknames. While in reality Jill is a nickname for Jillian, don’t call Jill Loyden “Jilly” (although U.S. goalkeeper coach Paul Rogers sometimes does).
Hope Solo is usually just Hope. Both her names are so cool that she doesn’t need a nickname.
And Abby Wambach is almost always Abby. Of course, when you’ve scored 154 career goals, you can go by one name. There is that rare occasion -- and this does happen -- that someone decides to use her real name: Mary Abigail. We’re not sure why it’s always funny when someone calls her “Mary” or “Abigail,” but it just is.
2013: Allocated to the Chicago Red Stars for the inaugural NWLS season … 2011: Signed with magicJack for the 2011 WPS season and played 833 minutes in 10 games while starting them all … Helped the club make a run to the playoffs in the second half of the season and win the quarterfinal match against the Boston Breakers … Played all 90 minutes for magicJack in both playoff matches … 2010: Started the season with St. Louis Athletic, playing every minute of six games while scored one goal with three assists, but after the team ceased operations, she signed with FC Gold Pride, helping the squad to the WPS regular season title and championship … Ended up starting 19 of the 20 total games she played … Totaled one goal with five assists on the season … A WPS All-Star Game starter and the fifth overall vote-getter … 2009: Allocated to Los Angeles Sol for the inaugural WPS season in 2009 where she was the team captain … Started 18 of 19 matches she played for the Sol, scoring three goals with three assists … Named to the WPS First Team and played in the WPS All-Star Game … Her tremendous play in midfield all season long helped the Sol to a first place finish during the regular season with a 12-3-5 record and a berth in the WPS Championship Game … 2003: Had her best WUSA season with the New York Power, starting all 21 games and scoring one goal … Named to the All-WUSA First-Team … Named to the WUSA All-Star Team … 2002: Played in 20 games, starting 15 for the San Diego Spirit … Recorded two goals and two assists … Traded to the New York Power on Sept. 30 … 2001: Was drafted in the third round, 19th overall in the 2001 inaugural draft by the San Diego Spirit … The iron-woman of the Spirit, Boxx started all 21 matches and missed only 20 minutes of action all season long … Led the team in fouls committed (48) and fouls suffered (42) … Scored three goals and added five assists for 11 points … Captained the Spirit in the one match Julie Foudy missed due to National Team commitments. … Etc.: Played with women’s club Ajax of Los Angeles in 1994 when she was in high school and in 2000 and 2005 … Also played with the Boston Renegades in 1999 … Did a stint with Saarbrücken of the German Women’s Bundesliga in 1999-00 … Played youth club with the Torrance United Waves from 1988-94, helping the team to regional titles in 1993 and 1994, earning tournament MVP honors both years.
Full name is Shannon Leigh Boxx … Nickname is “Boxxy” … Graduated from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters in 1999 with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and African-American studies … Revealed in 2012 that she had Lupus, but has coped with the disease extremely well and has become a spokesperson for the cause … Her sister Gillian won a gold medal in softball at the 1996 Olympics and is now a firefighter in San Jose, Calif. … She and her sister have identical Olympic rings tattoos on their ankles … Also played softball, volleyball and basketball in high school … The Ocean League Scholar Athlete in 1995 and her high school’s female athlete of the year … A three year honor roll member in both high school and at Notre Dame … Participated in the Avon 3-Day Walk for Breast Cancer Research from Santa Barbara to Malibu, Calif. … Favorite meal is Mom’s homemade chili … Always tries to eat banana pancakes the morning before a game … Loves stale Peeps … Favorite non-soccer athlete is Michael Jordan … Prior to breaking into the National Team, she was accepted into a master’s program for clinical psychology at Pepperdine in Malibu, Calif.
Attended Notre Dame from 1995-99 … Led Fighting Irish to 89-8-4 record during her four-year career … Ranks among top 15 in school history in six career categories – consecutive games played (101 – tied/third), total games played (101 – tied/fourth), assists (57 – sixth), points (135 – 12th) and goals (39 – 15th) … One of 12 players in school history with at least 30 career goals and 30 career assists, as well as 11 Fighting Irish players who have appeared in every game of their Notre Dame careers … A member of the Soccer America All-Freshman Team in 1995 and an All-Big East selection in 1995, 1996 and 1997 … As a freshman in 1995, she helped Notre Dame to its first NCAA women’s soccer title in addition to College Cup berths in 1996 (title game) and 1997 (semifinals) and four Big East titles … Earned Big East Scholar-Athlete Award in 1998 … High School: Attended South Torrance High School from 1991-95 … A Parade High School All-American in 1995.