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Becky Sauerbrunn

Women's National Team
National Teams

Becky Sauerbrunn's Story - One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories.

At times, growing up with two older brothers wasn’t easy, but it certainly helped mold Becky Sauerbrunn into the tremendous competitor she is today. While her brothers did in fact dress her in make-shift goalie gear and shot hockey pucks at her, they also helped her learn to read, which opened up a new universe of literature and in turn nurtured her passion for knowledge. Now Sauerbrunn makes a point to learn about new cultures in all the places she’s been able to travel with the U.S. Women’s National Team while always looking to expand her education.

WNT Brings 28-Player Roster for Final Matches of 2015 Victory Tour

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

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)

Additional Notes:

  • 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.




Women's World Cup Champs Honored at the White House

On Oct. 27, the U.S. Women’s National Team took President Barack Obama up on his offer to visit the White House in celebration of the 2015 Women’s World Cup title. The players got a tour of the most famous building in the United States, met the President and were treated to a tremendously gracious, humorous and powerful speech from the Commander in Chief as a great time was had by all.

Ellis Calls in 31-Player WNT Victory Tour Roster for Matches vs. Brazil in Seattle and Orlando

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 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) 

Additional Notes:

  • 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.

WNT Puts on a Show For Detroit and Birmingham

The U.S. Victory Tour rolled through Michigan and Alabama as the World Champions delighted the large crowds with two convincing performances.


Becky Sauerbrunn describes herself as her two older brothers’ guinea pig. They’d duct-tape plywood to her arms and take slap shocks at her; they’d see how far they could launch her off the couch; they’d roll her into a blanket like a burrito – so tight that to this day, she does not like being tucked in; they’d steal her stuffed animals and beat them up while she tried to rescue them. Once, they accidentally hit her in the face with the bat – she was gushing blood but her brothers didn’t want to get in trouble so they slapped a Band-Aid on her and tried to barricade her upstairs. She escaped and her parents took her to the hospital where she got stitches.

“Aside from physically toughening me up, they also toughened me up mentally,” says Sauerbrunn. If she cried, they’d call her a baby. Or if she said ‘Ow,’ a little too loud, hoping that her mom and dad would hear, they’d hit her harder, onto her tactics and unimpressed. “I learned how to take it. It taught me how to not really rely on other people to solve my problems. I think that kind of stayed with me. I’m very motivated internally. I’m a bit of a scrapper.”

Becky with her Brothers


This tolerance for pain came in handy during her first National Team cap against Canada, “I was so nervous, I didn’t think I was going to start, but there was an injury so I was thrown into the starting lineup,” recalls Sauerbrunn. In the second half, there’s a ball in the air and both Sauerbrunn and a Canadian are going up for it. The Candian tries to flick the ball but instead catches Sauerbrunn full in the face with her head. “And I’m trying to shake it off, like, okay, that hurt really bad but keep going. Then I went to feel my face and my nose was like all the way over here. But I was like, okay, well, I can keep playing.” Blood was “gushing” down her face and when a nearby teammate caught sight of her, she looked at her with horror and told her to get off the field. She headed to the sideline, holding her nose with her shirt – and when she pulled her shirt away, the coach flinched and muttered, “Oh my God.” The team doctor reset it right there in the locker room. Becky played in the next game with a “MacGyver-like mask” made out of random materials they happened to have on hand in the training room. A contraption with the same industrious, ramshackle style as the plywood-hockey ensembles her brother would put her in as a kid.


Becky with her brothers in a tent

Her two brothers were more than just “brutes”. They also helped their little sister learn how to read. “I had trouble when I first started learning how to read and my brothers would read to me and then help me try to figure out the words.” These days Sauerbrunn is a voracious reader who brings three or four books on every National Team trip. “Reading is such an escape, so nice to just get away. Plus, I want to continue learning. Soccer will only last for so long and I’d still like my brain to function, so it’s good to keep exercising it.”

U.S. National Team: Called into the U.S. team for the first time in January of 2008 and then earned a place on the roster for the Four Nations Tournament in China where she earned her first two caps … Her first start and cap against Canada on Jan. 16, 2008, was also Pia Sundhage’s first match as head coach … Trained with the WNT in February of that year, but then traveled to Spain with the U.S. U-23s … Did not get another call-up to the senior team until after the 2010 WPS season and worked her way into the mix as she has become a vital player and consistent defender for the National Team.

2015: 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Champion... Named to the 2015 U.S. FIFA Women's World Cup roster, her second World Cup selection... Only player to play and start all 17 matches for the U.S. Women this year, playing the most minutes on the team with 1509... Vital member of the WNT defense during its run at the Algarve Cup en route to capturing its 10th title following a 2-0 victory over France on March 11... 2014:Played in 22 games, logging career-highs in minutes played (1,757) and games started (20) … Member of the team that won the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship as she played every minute of three matches to help the USA book its ticket to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup … Became the 46th female U.S. player to play 50 more games when she started the first game of the year against Canada in Frisco, Texas, and had the assist on the game-winning goal … 2013: Was a consistent starter at center-back, getting the nod in 10 of the 12 games she played … Played 940 minutes, third most on the team … 2012: Saw the most action of her National Team career to date , playing 1,255 minutes over 22 games while making nine starts … Played both center back and at outside back during the year … Made her first Olympic Team and played in three matches off the bench … Only played 38 total minutes, but was a sub in both the semifinal and the final to help seal those victories and the Olympic gold medal … Started and played every minute of three matches at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament in Vancouver, Canada … 2011: Had her best year yet for the National Team, playing in 12 games while starting eight and made her first Women’s World Cup roster at the senior level … Played in just one match in Germany but had a stellar game while playing all 90 minutes during the semifinal victory against France, stepping up in a big way to replace the suspended Rachel Buehler … 2010: Played in five matches, starting three, and made the roster for the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament, playing in one match … Was called into a training camp prior to the qualifying roster being named due to an injury to another player and ended up making the roster and solidifying her place in the national team pool … Youth National Teams: Played for the U.S. U-21s/U-23s in 2007 and 2008, winning Nordic Cup titles in both years … Co-captain of Nordic Cup champion U-23s in 2008 … Was a starter and co-captain for the USA at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand, playing every minute of all six games … Completed her U-19 career with 25 caps … Member of U.S. U-16s and U-17s from 2000-02 … Attended the U.S. U-14 I.D. camp in 1999 … First Appearance: Jan. 16, 2008, vs. Canada … First Goal: None.

Professional / Club – 2014: Named the NWSL Defender of the Year to become the first repeat winner of an NWSL season-end award after also claiming the honor in 2013 … Helped FC Kansas City win its first NWSL title after the team defeated Seattle 2-1 in the NWSL Championship Game … Named to the NWSL Best XI First-Team … Played every minute of 22 starts for FCKC during the regular season … Tied for third-most starts in the team … Has still yet to come out of a professional club match in which she started … 2013: Had an excellent season with FC Kansas City, playing every minute of all 19 games she started in helping her club to a second place finish and a playoff berth … Was named the 2013 NWSL Defender of the Year and to the NWSL Best XI … At this point in her career, she had yet to come out of a professional game in which she had started, playing every minute, spanning three WPS seasons and one NWSL season (and missed just 10 minutes in her college career) … 2012: Allocated to FC Kansas City for the inaugural NWSL season … The only player to play every minute of the first two WPS regular seasons, a streak that was only broken when she left to play for the USA at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany … She played every minute of every match she played in her WPS career … Signed with Sky Blue FC as a free agent for the 2012 season before the league folded … 2011: Signed with magicJack and played in 13 regular season games, tied for most WPS matches played by a U.S. WNT player, while playing all 1,170 minutes (most by a WNT player) … Also played all 180 minutes over magicJack’s two playoff games … 2010: She started all 24 matches for the Washington Freedom and picked one up assist … Played all 120 minutes in playoff match against Philadelphia … 2009: Selected by the Washington Freedom as the third overall pick in the 2008 WPS General Draft ahead of the inaugural season … She started all 20 games and scored one goal, a spectacular header for the Freedom’s first WPS goal … Immediately after the 2009 WPS season, she played three months in Norway for Røa IL, a club right outside of Oslo … Her team finished first in the league and won the Norwegian Cup … She also played two rounds of UEFA Champions League, defeating Everton of England and FK Zvezda of Russia in two-leg series’ to get to the final eight … 2008: Played for the Freedom in W-League during 2008 … Played for the Richmond Kickers in the W-League in 2006-07 and the Boston Renegades in 2005 … Youth club: Played youth club for J.B. Marine and helped lead her teams to four state cup titles and a 2000 regional championship.