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.
A PICKUP CULTURE
Her freshman year at UNC in 2006, the dorm Heath lived in had a soccer field right outside. “We’d always kind of end up out there at some point, whatever hour it was. At one or two in the morning, we’d go turn on the lights and play,” says Heath. “That was the story of our class, my group of friends; we always wanted to play, anytime, anywhere. That was our culture.” Their first visit to campus, the new soccer freshmen skipped orientation, where you pick out classes and pick up your laptops, and headed out to the field.
Fetzer Field (UNC’s game field) always had a sign posted that read “CLOSED,” but the friends always snuck in anyway. They also played in the dorm hallways, “even people who didn’t play soccer wanted to play; it was so fun.” They played in the parking garage, using trash cans as goals. They even snuck out onto the game field at midnight, several hours after winning the national championship. “Even though we’d just won this great thing, even though our season had ended in the best possible way, we still didn’t want it to be over,” remembers Heath with a grin.
AT HOME IN THE WORLD
Tobin’s known not only for her free-flowing style on the field, but also for her vagabond approach toward the world. She has no set home and instead prefers to drift from place to place, visiting one coast and then the other, hopping from one friend or family member’s house to the next. She’s got a few bags of her stuff at her sister’s house, a few bags of stuff at her parents’ house. “When people are like, ‘Yeah, you can come anytime you want,’ I literally come any time I want. I guess most people hear that and are like, ‘uh, thanks,’ and it never happens, but with me, if you invite me somewhere, and I think it would be a cool thing to do, I’ll probably do it. Don’t invite me some place unless you mean it!” laughs Tobin. “And I don’t mind sleeping on a couch or a floor, so that helps.”
In Chapel Hill, sidewalks are made out of brick, which is not ideal for skateboarding – Tobin’s main mode of transportation since she was a kid. “While you’re going down a hill, it’s like, do or die. You’re either going to make it or you’re not. Because a brick might just be missing,” says Tobin.
Anson Dorrance, North Carolina’s Women’s soccer coach, comments, “I lived in abject terror that she was going to get hit.” Which did happen once. The “non-morning person” came down the hill on her way to 8 a.m. class, just hoping a car wouldn’t be there – it was. “It broke my board in two,” recalls Heath.“We were just trying to keep her tethered to the earth,” laughs Dorrance.
U.S. National Team: One of the USA’s most skillful players and dynamic dribblers, she has been a member of the last three world championship squads.
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... Recorded her first assist of the year on a sweet snake move against Mexico on May 17 to set up Abby Wambach's goal during the USA's 5-1 victory... Made her first career World Cup start on June 16th in a group stage game against Nigeria... Scored her first World Cup goal in the finals against Japan... Has appeared in 13 games and started seven for the USA... Member of the team that captured the USA's 10th Algarve Cup on March 11 after defeating France 2-0 in the final... 2014: Had her second most productive year of her career with the WNT in terms of games played (16) and starts (10), minutes on the field (795), goals (3) and assists (4) … Was integral in the WNT’s run to the 2014 CONCACAF Championship, scoring two goals (both against Guatemala in the opening match) and adding two assists to help the team claim a berth at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup… 2013: Had a quality first half of the year, playing 609 minutes in nine games (while starting seven), but did not play for the USA in the second half of the year due to an ankle injury … Scored once (against the Netherlands in The Hague) and had four assists … 2012: Had her best year yet for the U.S. WNT, playing in 26 matches and starting 16, both career highs … Scored four goals with seven assists, also career highs for a year … Played in all six games at the 2012 Olympics, starting four, while winning her second gold medal … Had three assists in the Olympics, one against France on Alex Morgan’s second goal, one against Colombia on Abby Wambach’s goal and one to Sydney Leroux against New Zealand … Played in two matches at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament, both starts, and scored two goals … Also scored against Sweden and Germany during the year … 2011: Had a quality “rebound” year after not seeing any National Team action 2010, playing in 15 games with two starts … Scored one goal with two assists, with her lone score coming in the final game of the year, a 1-1 draw with Sweden … Played in four matches off the bench at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, including the quarterfinal, semifinal and final in what was her first World Cup at the senior level … 2010:Did not play for the USA as she recovered from illness and a major ankle injury suffered early in the WPS season that eventually required surgery … 2009: Was named the 2009 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year … Played in two matches for the USA, both against Canada in July … 2008: Made her first WNT roster and debuted at the Four Nations Tournament in China … Nutmegged a Finland player on her first touches in her first cap … As the youngest player (20) on the 2008 Olympic gold medal team, she saw action in three games off the bench … Earned her first 17 caps for the USA in 2008 and scored two goals, including her first, which came against China at the Algarve Cup … 2007: Trained with the Women’s National Team in January for the first time … Youth National Teams: Played for the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team in 2009 … Started for the silver medal-winning U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team at the Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro in the summer of 2007 … Was one of the standout players for the USA at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Russia, where she played in three matches … One of five players to make the World Cup roster without participating in CONCACAF Qualifying … The third youngest player on the World Cup roster … Played in 24 matches for the U-20s in 2006, scoring five goals including two in international matches … Scored her first international goal at the U-20 level against Canada in April in Brazil … Trained with the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team for the first time in March of 2006 … Made a late run to make the World Cup roster after an excellent performance at the Ricardo Teixeira Cup in Brazil in April … Finished her U-20 international career with 14 caps and two goals … Also saw time in U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team in 2006 during a trip to Holland in April … Played with the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team in 2004 and 2005 and the U.S. U-16 Girls’ National Team in 2003 and 2004 … Participated in the U-14 Girls’ National Team Identification Camp … First Appearance: Jan. 18, 2008, vs. Finland … First goal: March 5, 2008, vs. China.
Professional / Club – 2014: Started all five games in which she saw action, playing 401 minutes, but spent the majority of the NWSL season with the U.S. National Team or rehabbing injuries … 2013: Returned from France after the end of her European club season with Paris Saint-Germain to help the Portland Thorns to the inaugural NWSL championship … Was hampered by an ankle injury at the end of the season, but ended up playing in seven regular season matches and picking up three assists … Scored in both the NWSL playoff semifinal and championship game, getting the winning goal in the 2-0 title match victory against the Western New York Flash on a world-class direct free kick at the end of the first half … Played in eight matches for PSG in the second half of the season, scoring four times … 2012: Allocated to the Portland Thorns FC for the inaugural NWSL season … Played briefly with the New York Fury in the WPSL … Signed with Paris Saint-German in the French First Division for the second half of the 20122013 season … 2011: Played 571 minutes in 12 matches for Sky Blue FC, starting three, and had one assist … 2010: The No. 1 pick in the 2010 WPS Draft by the expansion Atlanta Beat … Played in just three matches for the Beat before suffering a season-ending ankle injury … Traded to her home state Sky Blue FC on Dec. 10 along with Eniola Aluko and Angie Kerr in exchange for Sky Blue FC’s pair of first-round picks in the 2011 WPS Draft and future considerations … Youth: Helped the PDA Wildcats win one club national championship, in 2003 as U-14s, and into two other club national championship tournaments … Helped the PDA Wildcats to the U-17 club National Championship game in 2005.