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Gallery: WNT Reps its New Nike Home Kit

Photos from the U.S. Women's National Team photo shoot in its new Nike designed home kit the players will wear at this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. 

The WNT 23: Depth, Versatility and Balance

Through the first six FIFA Women’s World Cups, 61 American players saw action in the tournament while representing the USA on the grandest stage of the sport. The seventh Women’s World Cup roster in U.S. history has now been set, and we can add eight new names who are hoping to join that elite club.

The eight Women’s World Cup debutantes -- Ashlyn Harris, Alyssa Naeher, Whitney Engen, Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg, Morgan Brian, Sydney Leroux and Christen Press – represent the main strengths of this roster: depth, versatility and a blend of tremendous experience with some extremely gifted young talent.

These young guns not only give U.S. head coach Jill Ellis options in the starting lineup (they have been in the first XI for 26 games combined this year) but like many of their teammates, several can contribute at multiple positions. And of course, they provide some remarkably important ingredients to any successful team; young legs and an influx of youthful energy and wonder.

Depth

This Women’s World Cup roster may be the deepest ever assembled for a U.S. team, with almost every player having shown she can start and produce in an important match. It’s no secret that depth will be a key component for the teams that find success this summer, as the tournament now requires seven games to lift the trophy.

It will take seven of the most pressure-packed and competitive matches of a player’s career over a 30-day span to win the Women’s World Cup, and it’s a big ask for any player to play every minute. Ellis and her staff will be able to navigate those difficulties with 20 field players who are all confident and ready for the challenge.

“The past six months we’ve absorbed some injuries, but that’s helped improve our depth, and I feel confident that any one of our 23 players can start a game in the World Cup if needed,” said Ellis. “We’ve been able to play challenging teams and that has allowed us to vet our younger players and get them some great experience.”

Although Hope Solo will likely play every minute in goal for the second Women’s World Cup tournament in a row, Harris has done well in her starts this year and Ellis’ stated goal of having at least two starters at every position seems to have come to fruition.

At center back, the USA has four legitimate starters, including of course captain Christie Rampone, who has played the lion’s share of her 304 caps in the middle. Becky Sauerbrunn has become the USA’s most consistent presence in the middle of the defense, bolstered by Whitney Engen and Julie Johnston, the latter of whom has recently shown her international chops with a tremendous performance in three games at the Algarve Cup. She has already captained a U.S. team to a World Cup title, leading the U-20s in 2012 in Japan.

The USA also has four outside backs ready for selection, three of whom – Meghan Klingenberg, Kelley O’Hara and Lori Chalupny – can play on both flanks. Ali Krieger, who was one of the USA’s best players at the 2011 Women’s World Cup, is solidly entrenched on the right side, but has played in the middle extensively with her club.

The USA could play any of several combinations of central midfielders with veteran Carli Lloyd, Lauren Holiday and 22-year-old Morgan Brian likely to see the most minutes. Thirty-eight-year-old Shannon Boxx makes her fourth and final World Cup team and could provide valuable minutes to lock down a match.

On the flanks, the USA’s experience is vast, with Heather O’Reilly, Tobin Heath, Megan Rapinoe, and recently, Christen Press, adding many valuable dimensions from both sides of the field.

Of course, the USA’s five forwards bring an array of strengths, all of them sure to cause trouble for opponents. The lethal finishing abilities of Abby Wambach inside the penalty box, the breakaway speed of Alex Morgan and Amy Rodriguez, the scoring guile and final third explosiveness of Christen Press and the tenacity and bravery of Sydney Leroux are all difficult for opposing defenses to deal with.

Versatility

Having depth is one thing, but having depth AND versatility among those players is another thing entirely. The combination of the two gives the coaching staff the ability to line up in different starting formations and to change tactics during the course of the game, with substitutions, with the players already on the field, or both.

As mentioned above, the USA has outside backs who can play on both sides as well as several other players who can play flank midfield or push more forward, most notably Press, who has 20 goals in her first 41 games, and wingers Heath and O’Reilly. Lloyd, who has also played a few games in a wider role, Brian and Holiday are equally comfortable in defensive and attacking roles in the midfield while the offensive chops of Boxx, long more of a defensive-minded player, have never been questioned. She has 27 international goals and 24 assists in her long career.

Ellis has often spoken of the importance of relationships on the field, and who plays where and with whom will of course be a key to the USA’s success this summer.

“We’ve had several players over the past six months who have familiarized themselves with different roles within the team,” said Ellis. “The players have a really good understanding of their role, but if needed, can play another one as well.”

Balance

Any successful team has a blend of veteran leadership, young pros with plenty of experience and wide-eyed twenty-somethings who are itching to make an impact while pushing the veterans. This U.S. roster seems to have that mix.

History has shown that older teams tend to more often win world championships, but dependence on just experience is a gamble, as a team never wants to have too many players with too many miles on their odometers. Although the U.S. Women’s World Cup roster averages a remarkable 101 caps per player (with Rampone’s 304, Wambach’s 238 and O’Reilly’s 217 skewing that figure a bit), the average age is 28 years old, seemingly a perfect number. That’s how a team can combine talent with experience and fitness, as the majority of the roster is in their prime for international players.

“With only three subs in a match, having good cover in positions in all major lines and being able to have flexibility in the lineup allows you to adjust and adapt,” said Ellis. “Having players with that versatility allows us to do that within a match. With the potential of several games in heat and all of them on turf, having a good balance at goalkeeper, defense, midfield and at forward allows us to potentially rest players or have fresh legs when we need them.”

Any successful team has players who not only know their roles and embrace their roles but also execute their roles to the overall benefit of the team. With tremendous depth, versatility and balance to the 2015 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team, the squad seems poised for another deep run in this tournament.

2015 U.S. Women’s FIFA World Cup Team: By the Numbers

By the Numbers…

2          Number of players in U.S. history to be named to Women’s World Cup rosters for non-consecutive tournaments: Brandi Chastain (1991, 1999) and Lori Chalupny (2007, 2015)

4          Number of players to have previously played in five Women’s World Cups: Kristine Lilly of the USA (1991-2007), Formiga of Brazil (1995-2011), Birgit Prinz of Germany (1995-2011) and Homare Sawa of Japan (1995-2011). Christie Rampone could join that group in Canada. Formiga and Sawa have a chance to play in their sixth tournaments this summer. Bente Nordby of Norway (1991-2007) was on five Women’s World Cup rosters but played in four tournaments.

4          Number of players on the WWC roster from the Chicago Red Stars and FC Kansas City, most of any NWSL teams.

6          Players on the roster who hail from California. Four are from New Jersey, two are from Georgia and two are from St. Louis, Mo.

7          Number of games it will take to win the 2015 Women’s World Cup, up from six in the previous six editions of the tournament.

8          U.S. players making their first Women’s World Cup roster: Ashlyn Harris, Alyssa Naeher, Whitney Engen, Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg, Morgan Brian, Sydney Leroux and Christen Press.

8          Number of players on the U.S. roster who have scored in a WWC tournament.

9          Former FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup champions on the 2015 WWC roster: Harris (2002), Naeher (2008), Lori Chalupny (2002), Johnston (2012), Klingenberg (2008), Brian (2012), Heather O’Reilly (2002), Leroux (2008), Alex Morgan (2008)

9          Caps for Johnston, the least of any of the field players to make the WWC team.

11        Number of players, out of 13, who played in the 2012 Olympic gold medal game who made this WWC roster.

13        Goals by Abby Wambach in Women’s World Cup play, a U.S. record.

15        Players on the roster have played for the USA in a FIFA Women’s World Cup at the         youth level.

18        Women’s World Cup matches played by Wambach, the most on the 2015 WWC roster. Rampone has played in 17 Women’s World Cup games while Boxx has 15. Other players in double figures in Women’s World Cup matches are Carli Lloyd (11), O’Reilly (11) and Hope Solo (10).

22        Age of Brian, the youngest player on the WWC roster. Johnston is 23.

23        Number of players on Women’s World Cup rosters, up from 21 for the 2011 tournament.

24        Number of nations that will participate, for the first time, in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, up from 16 that participated in the previous four editions. The 1991 and 1995 Women’s World Cups featured 12 teams.

27        Total Women’s World Cup goals scored by the USA’s WWC roster.

28        Average age of the USA’s WWC roster.

32        Goals allowed by the U.S. Women in WWC play.

36        Number of matches played by the USA in the WWC (27-4-5), most by any team.

39        Age of Rampone, the oldest player on the WWC roster. Boxx is 38.

98        Goals scored by the U.S. Women in WWC play.

101      Average caps per player on the WWC roster.

122      Number of Women’s World Cup matches combined played by the WWC roster.

304      Caps for Rampone, most of the Women’s World Cup roster, most of any active player in the world, and second most in soccer history.

Ellis Names U.S. Roster for 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team

CHICAGO (April 14, 2015) – With 55 days until the USA’s opening match of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 23 players who will represent the United States on women’s soccer’s grandest stage. The roster will not become official until it is submitted to FIFA on May 25, which is the deadline for all teams to submit their final squads.

U.S. captain Christie Rampone has been named to her fifth Women’s World Cup roster, tying Kristine Lilly for most World Cups for an American player, man or woman. Midfielder Shannon Boxx and forward Abby Wambach will be playing in their fourth World Cups while Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo and Heather O’Reilly make their third Women’s World Cup roster. Ellis named eight players who will be participating for the first time and nine who will be participating for the second time.

The roster, which features three goalkeepers, eight defenders, seven midfielders and five forwards, is the product of nearly 11 months of player evaluation since Ellis was named head coach in May of 2014. During that time, she has been on the bench for 23 international matches (including two as interim coach before being officially named head coach) and has seen 34 players in training camps, 29 in international matches and many more in NWSL matches. Ellis selected 14 players who were part of the 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning team in London.

“The players selected have the confidence, experience and desire to help us win a world championship,” said Ellis. “We had an excellent group to pick from and at the end of the last camp, I complemented all the players on how much they pushed each other and competed to make this selection challenging."

The Women’s World Cup roster will make up the squad for the USA’s final three matches before departing for Canada. The three-match Send-Off Series takes place in May and will start when USA faces 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 for its second Send-Off Series match, facing Mexico on Sunday, May 17, at 6 p.m. PT at StubHub Center in Carson, California. Both California matches will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1.

The U.S. heads 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 and WatchESPN. Fans can follow all the upcoming WNT matches on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp

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.

“It’s been a thorough process of evaluation, and we had a lot of good opportunities to see the players in highly competitive situations. I feel that this group of players can accomplish our goals,” said Ellis. “We have positional depth, versatility, and players that will give us balance on every line.”

The 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup runs from June 6-July 5 and all 52 games will be shown live on FOX, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and on tablets and mobile devices through the FOX Sports GO app and FOXSportsGO.com.

2015 United States FIFA Women’s World Cup Roster By Position: (Detailed Roster)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris* (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher* (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo*** (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (8): Lori Chalupny** (Chicago Red Stars), 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)
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* (Western NY Flash), Alex Morgan** (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press* (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez** (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach**** (unattached)

*        First Women’s World Cup
**       Second Women’s World Cup
***     Third Women’s World Cup
****   Fourth Women’s World Cup
*****  Fifth Women’s World Cup

Additional Notes:

  • The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be the seventh time FIFA stages the event and the first to include 24 nations, up from 16 that participated in the previous four editions. The 1991 and 1995 Women’s World Cups featured 12 teams.
  • With the addition of eight teams, the format now includes an additional knockout round game (Round of 16) and it will now require seven matches to win the tournament, up from six in the previous tournaments. In part due to the additional match, Women’s World Cup rosters now have 23 players (up from 21 in 2011).
  • Christie Rampone is poised to play in her fifth Women’s World Cup tournament. Four female players have previously played in five Women’s World Cups: Kristine Lilly of the USA (1991-2007), Formiga of Brazil (1995-2011), Birgit Prinz of Germany (1995-2011) and Homare Sawa of Japan (1995-2011). Formiga and Sawa have a chance to play in their sixth tournaments this summer. Bente Nordby of Norway (1991-2007) was on five Women’s World Cup rosters but played in four tournaments.
  • Rampone is the last remaining active player from the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship team.
  • Only two men have appeared in five World Cups: Goalkeeper Antonio Carbajal of Mexico (1950-1966) and midfielder Lothar Matthäus of Germany (1982-1998). Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was named to five teams but played in four tournaments.
  • Lori Chalupny becomes the second player in U.S. history to be named to non-consecutive Women’s World Cup rosters, following Brandi Chastain (1991, 1999). Chalupny was a member of the 2007 Women’s World Cup team.
  • Of the players named to the roster, Wambach has the most experience in the Women’s World Cup, having played 18 matches while scoring 13 goals, an all-time U.S. Soccer record. Rampone has played in 17 Women’s World Cup games while Shannon Boxx has 15. Other players in double figures in Women’s World Cup matches are Carli Lloyd (11), Heather O’Reilly (11) and Hope Solo (10).
  • The players making their first Women’s World Cup roster are: Ashlyn Harris, Alyssa Naeher, Whitney Engen, Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg, Morgan Brian, Sydney Leroux and Christen Press.
  • Johnston and Brian were a part of the U.S. team that won the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan.
  • Naeher, Leroux, Klingenberg, and Morgan were a part of the U.S. team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile.
  • O’Reilly, Harris and Chalupny were a part of the U.S. team that won the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Canada.
  • Fifteen players on the roster have played for the USA in a FIFA Women’s World Cup at the youth level.
  • Brian is the youngest player on the team at 22. Johnston is 23. Rampone is the oldest player at 39 and will turn 40 during the tournament on June 24. Boxx is 38.
  • All nine NWSL clubs are represented on the roster with the Chicago Red Stars and FC Kansas City having four players each.
  • Rampone is the most capped player on the roster with 304 games played. Johnston is the least capped field player, making the World Cup team after having only played in nine games so far, starting four.  She has scored twice already, once each in the last two matches.
  • Back-up goalkeepers Harris (6 caps) and Naeher (1) are the least-capped players on the roster.
  • The roster averages 101 caps per player and has a combined total of 122 Women’s World Cup matches.
  • The average age of the U.S. roster is 28 years old.
  • Eight players have previously scored in a Women’s World Cup tournament, totaling 27 goals.
  • Of the 13 players who played in the 2012 Olympic gold medal game, 11 were named to this Women’s World Cup roster.
  • Six players on the roster are from California, while four are from New Jersey, two from Georgia, and two are from St. Louis, Mo.

1Nation. 1Team. 23STORIES.

Watch "One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories." on ussoccer.com Starting April 29!
U.S. National Team: Her rise to the National Team is a unique story in that she made the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team without ever previously earning a cap (the only player in history to do so) … Uncapped heading into the final two pre-2003 WWC matches, she was one of the revelations of the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup … Developed into one of the world’s best defensive midfielders and had started every game but one that she played from her debut in 2003 until hip and knee surgeries sidelined her in 2006 … She finished third in the voting for the 2005 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year … She started 175 of her 186 career matches heading into 2015.


2015:
Saw action in a match for the first time since April 5, 2013, when she went in as a second-half sub during the USA's 3-0 win over Switzerland at the 2015 Algarve Cup... Played in three games during the Algarve Cup, helping the USA to its 10th title after defeating France 2-0 on March 11... Did not see any action but traveled with the team to Europe for the opening matches of 2015 against France on Feb. 8 and England on Feb. 13... 2014: Trained with the team as she came back from injuries and the birth of her daughter in February, but did not play any matches … Returned to training camp in June … 2013: Played in just six matches for the USA, starting them all, before a knee injury sidelined her, knocking her out for almost the entire NWSL season … She then got pregnant, keeping her off the field for the rest of the year … She scored twice in six games for the USA, tallying against Scotland in the opening match of 2013 and against Iceland to up her career goal total to 27 … 2012: Played in 27 games, starting 22, while scoring three goals with three assists … Suffered an injury early in the opening game of the 2012 Olympics and missed the next four games, but recovered in time to start and play the entire championship match at Wembley Stadium in London, playing a key role in the USA winning its third consecutive Olympic gold medal … Played in four matches during Olympic qualifying, starting three … Scored the winning goal against Australia in a 2-1 victory at The Home Depot Center … 2011: Once again had a stellar year in the center of the midfield for the USA, starting all 17 games she played while scoring one goal (against Finland at the Algarve Cup) with two assists … Played 1,344 minutes and became one of just 16 players to surpass 150 caps for the USA … Started five matches at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, playing every minute, and was named to the FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team … Made the first penalty kick in the dramatic shootout triumph against Brazil in the quarterfinal … 2010: Started all 18 matches the USA played, one of just two players to do so, and her 1,399 minutes were third on the team … Scored one goal, the 21st of her career, in a win against Mexico … Had five assists on the year … Started all five matches at the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament, registering two assists, and played all 180 minutes in the two-leg WWC playoff against Italy … 2009: Continued her consistent run in the center of the U.S. midfield by starting seven of the eight matches the USA played and playing in them all, scoring two goals … Scored the tying goal in regulation with just seconds left in the championship game of the Algarve Cup and opened the scoring with an early goal during a 4-0 win against Canada in Toronto … Led the USA in minutes played with 614 … 2008: Displayed the form that has made her one of the world’s best at her position, starting all 33 games she played … Finished second on the team in minutes played with 2,807… Scored just one goal, but it was a crucial game-winner in a 1-0 victory against China in January to give the USA the Four Nations Tournament title … Played every minute of all six matches at the 2008 Olympics and was one of the USA’s most important players … Assisted on the game-winning goal in the Olympic quarterfinal win against Canada … Was on the 10-player short list for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year … 2007: Returned to the U.S. team at the Algarve Cup after recovering from major knee surgery, starting against Finland in the second group match and playing 90 minutes before coming off the bench in the final two games … Tallied her first goal of the year, and first since her injury, against Japan with a header in a 4-1 win on July 28 at Spartan Stadium … Started 14 of the 18 games she played, scoring four goals with three assists … Scored against England in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal … She started four of the five games in the Women’s World Cup but was given a controversial red card in the semifinal against Brazil and was suspended for the third-place match … 2006: Started all three games at the Four Nations Tournament in China, helping the USA to the title, while scoring on a header against Norway … Started all four games at the Algarve Cup and was named Tournament MVP for the second time (also won the award in 2004) … After recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum in her hip, she tore the MCL and ACL in her right knee during practice in mid- July at Residency Training Camp and was out for eight months … 2005: Started all four games at the Algarve Cup, playing all but 23 minutes of the tournament … Started all nine games the USA played, was third in minutes played, and scored one goal (against Iceland) with one assist … 2004: Started 31 of the 32 matches she played and was second on the team in minutes played with 2,714 … Scored eight goals with five assists, including a goal in Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy’s last game on Dec. 8 … Scored her first career hat trick against Trinidad & Tobago at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Costa Rica … Started all six games at the 2004 Olympics, scored the opening goal of the tournament against Greece and had the game-winning assist against Japan in the quarterfinal … She captained the FIFA Women’s World All-Star Team against Germany in Paris in May, leading her team to a 3-2 victory … Named MVP of the Algarve Cup in March as the USA defeated Norway 4-1 in the title game … Finished seventh in the voting for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year … 2003: Played in the final two matches before the Women’s World Cup, her first two career caps and starts, and scored goals in both games … Started all five games in which she played at the 2003 Women’s World Cup … Scored against Sweden in the opening game of the tournament and also against Canada to help clinch the third-place match … She was one of three U.S. players named to the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team … Set a U.S. record by scoring in her first three matches, against Costa Rica and Mexico right before the Women’s World Cup, and then in the tournament opener against Sweden … 2002: Called into training camp in January in Charleston, S.C. … 2001: Participated in training camp in October in San Diego, Calif. … Youth National Team: A member of the U.S. Under-21 National Team pool during 1995-96 … First Appearance: Sept. 1, 2003, vs. Costa Rica … First Goal: Sept. 1, 2003, vs. Costa Rica.

Professional / Club2014: Played 245 minutes while starting four of the five games in which she played for the Chicago Red Stars at the end of the season after taking off the first part of the year to give birth to a new baby in February … 2013: Allocated to the Chicago Red Stars for the inaugural NWSL campaign, but ended up playing in just two matches, starting one, before a knee injury sidelined her for the rest of the 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 Athletica, playing every minute of six games while scoring 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 … Started 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 the 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 … Had 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.

College / High School – 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 five career categories – consecutive games played (101 – tied/fourth), total games played (101 – tied/sixth), assists (57 – sixth), points (135 – 13th) … She’s just outside the top-15 in goals with 39 … One of 12 players in school history with at least 30 career goals and 30 career assists, as well as 14 Fighting Irish players who did not miss a game in 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.

Personal – Full name is Shannon Leigh Boxx … Nickname is “Boxxy” … Gave birth to her first daughter Zoe in February of 2014 … Married to former college basketball player Aaron Spearman, who works on the PGA Tour as Director of ShotLink Productions, the comprehensive system of gathering and circulating statistical data … She 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 (who had a son three months before Zoe was born) 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… Favorite meal is Mom’s homemade chili … Always tries to eat banana pancakes (gluten-free, of course) on 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.

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