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: Has appeared in five games and started two for the USA, the first match of the year against France on Feb. 8, and against Iceland on March 9... 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
- 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.
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.
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.
College / High School: As a senior at North Carolina, she scored five goals with 10 assists for the Tar Heels, who compiled a record of 23-3-1 and pulled out 1-0 victories in both the NCAA semifinal and championship game … Was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team … Finished her UNC career with 19 goals and 32 assists … Was a major factor in leading UNC to its second straight NCAA title (and three in four years) and fourth straight Atlantic Coast Conference title … Heath was named First-Team All-ACC and was a First-Team NSCAA All-American, her third selection for each … Was also the first runner-up for the MAC Hermann Trophy, given to college soccer’s top player … Also named a First-Team Soccer America MVP … As a junior for the Tar Heels, she scored eight goals with eight assists while starting 25 of the 26 matches in which she played, helping UNC to a 25-1-2 record and the NCAA title … She missed UNC’s first match of the year while at the Olympics … Named Second-Team All-American and First-Team All-ACC … As a sophomore, she started 21 of the 23 games she played, scoring two goals with five assists … A First-Team NSCAA All-American and First-Team All- ACC pick, she was also named a Soccer America MVP … A consensus freshman All-America on UNC’s 2006 national championship team, she was named an NSCAA Second Team All-American and Second-Team All-ACC ... Started 22 of the 23 games she played for the Tar Heels at the left midfield spot, scoring four goals with nine assists … Missed the first five games of the season playing with the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team at the World Cup in Russia ... Made her Tar Heel debut against Washington on Sept. 8 and then started the final 22 games of the season … An Academic All-ACC Team selection ... Named to All-Tournament Team at 2006 NCAA College Cup … High School: Committed to attend UNC heading into her junior year of high school … A Parade All-American as a freshman, sophomore and junior at Ridge High School ... The New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior … Did not play high school soccer her senior year, opting instead to train with boys … Led Ridge High School to one state championship … Was an NSCAA All-American as a sophomore and junior … Named the Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year ... Named to the Newark Star-Ledger’s First-Team All-State and the paper’s New Jersey Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005.
Personal: Full name is Tobin Powell Heath … Nickname is “Tobs” … Enjoys playing any sport, hanging out with the family and spending time outdoors … Also a talented tennis player … Loves the beach and the water and was once voted to have the “Best Tan” by her U-20 WNT teammates … Is still learning how to surf … Loves a good hamburger, as well as waffles and mango … Skateboarded around campus and to class at UNC … Enjoys all the traveling that an international player gets to do but also gets homesick … Starred in four much-viewed ussoccer.com videos: “Ball Trick Battle” with Casey Nogueira when both were U-20s in 2006, “Tobin Heath: WALKABOUT” in 2008, which won ussoccer.com’s Best Video of the Year, and “Trick Shot Battle” and “Creative Soccer Tennis” with Yael Averbuch in 2011 and 2013 respectively … The videos have more than 500,000 combined YouTube views.