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.
“I wanted to be a gymnast more than anything in the world,” says Engen. “But when you’re a five-foot-seven, 100 pound third grader, it’s not really going to work out for you. I was a huge, huge kid. I’ve basically been this size my whole life.” So she focused on soccer.
She loved driving to games in her father’s old diesel Mercedes, the whole car shaking, her dad blaring opera music as they wound up the hill toward her game. But on the field, things weren’t going much better than gymnastics, “I rode the bench; rode it hard. I only went in if we were winning by so many goals that there was no way I could screw it up.” She went to individual training sessions; she did everything she could to figure out how to break into the team. “This experience taught me two things: that it’s good to persist even when you’re not having success, and that I did not want to sit on the bench.” The next year, Engen switched teams – to one that included her future National Teammate Christen Press – ended up playing every minute, and loved it. “It changed my whole outlook on soccer.”
“In my family, everything was a competition,” says Engen. When they were little, it was a race to see who could get on their pajamas first, “My parents would be like, ‘Ready, set, go!” and we’d be stomping up the stairs, banging open drawers, ripping off clothes.”
There were also living room obstacles courses. Whitney’s mother would set up circuits – vault the chair, summersault over the couch, jump over the table. “My parents would be standing there laughing, calling out, ‘Four, five, six!’ and I’m trying to book it through the house,” says Engen.
In the car, there was the “Seat Belt Olympics:” gold if you were the first to get yours on, silver if you were second, bronze if you were third, lead if you were fourth. “Obviously, lead was the worst. You never wanted to get lead,” laughs Engen. “It was a full blown race to get in the car, but then you’d pull too hard, too eagerly and the seat belt would get caught … it was a delicate balance. To this day, it’s unsaid; we get in the car, and you’re still trying to see who got their seatbelt on first. It’s the personal satisfaction of having won.”
Engen’s parents instilled the idea that there should always be a ‘Plan B’ in case soccer didn’t work out. Law school was her back up plan. “Laws are things that are black and white, yet there’s a lot of gray in the field too. If it was just ‘right’ and ‘wrong,’ there wouldn’t be a need for lawyers. The lawyers come in because there are interpretations. It’s kind of like a puzzle, and I liked the idea of finding the most right answer.”
U.S. National Team – A central defender who adds a commanding aerial presence at the back and on offensive set pieces.
2015: 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Champion... Named to the 2015 U.S. FIFA Women's World Cup roster, her first World Cup selection ... Has appeared in three matches for the USA this year... Started and played in the USA's first two matches of the year against France on Feb. 8 and England on Feb. 13... Was named to the 2015 Algarve Cup roster that claimed the USA's 10th Algarve Cup title, but did not see any action and was replaced by Christie Rampone after suffering a hamstring injury during training in Portugal... 2014: Engen took a big step forward with the WNT in her third year with the program, playing 1,051 minutes in 13 games while starting 11 … She scored two goals, finding the net against Mexico on a header off a corner kick that was assisted by childhood friend and youth soccer teammate Christen Press, and against Guatemala on a header from a set play in the opening match of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, where she helped the USA secure its berth to the Women’s World Cup … 2013: Had her best year for the WNT to date, playing in eight games at center back while starting seven … Scored her first international goal on March 8 against China PR at the Algarve Cup in Portugal … 2012: Did not play in a match for the U.S. WNT … 2011: Earned her first two senior team caps, coming off the bench against Norway and Finland during group play at the Algarve Cup in Portugal … Trained extensively with the team in the lead up to the Women’s World Cup … 2010: First call-up to the senior team came in March of 2010, and she trained with the team during matches against Mexico in San Diego and Salt Lake City, Utah … Also called in to train in October of 2010 during two friendly matches against China … Youth National Teams: Played for the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team in 2009 … Played with the U.S. U-20s in 2006 and 2007 … First Appearance: March 4, 2011, vs. Norway … First Goal: March 8, 2013 vs. China PR.
Professional / Club –2015: Traded from the Chicago Red Stars to the Boston Breakers on Nov. 23 in return for fellow WNT goalkeeper, Alyssa Naeher and a draft pick... Traded from the Western New York Flash to the Chicago Red Stars on Nov. 10 for Abby Erceg, Adrianna Leon and a draft pick... 2014: Traded from the Houston Dash to the Western New York Flash on Oct. 16 for Carli Lloyd, Becky Edwards and a draft pick … Allocated to the expansion Houston Dash for the second NWSL season, joining the team after her Swedish club Tyresö finished runner-up in the UEFA Women’s Champions League… Played in 11 games for the Dash, starting all of them … 2013: In a season that ran from March to October, Engen marshalled a Liverpool Ladies defense that helped the club win the FA Women’s Super League on the last weekend of the season, holding off Bristol Academy to finish four points clear and break Arsenal’s 10-year stronghold atop English women’s soccer … Started and played in 20 of Liverpool’s 21 games (she missed one due to WNT duty) and scored once … Following her stint in England, she signed with Tyresö in Sweden and helped the club win its Round of 32 UEFA Women’s Champions League series against French power Paris Saint-German and Round of 16 series against Danish club Fortuna … In the second leg against Fortuna, she scored a spectacular back-heel flick volley off a free-kick service from U.S. teammate Meghan Klingenberg … 2012: In October 2012, Engen signed with English club Liverpool Ladies for the 2013 FA WSL and arrived in England in January of 2013 … Played with the Pali Blues in the W-League during the summer … 2011: At the end of the WPS season, Engen joined Swedish team Tyresö FF on loan, playing seven games with six starts while scoring one goal with one assist in Damallsvenskan … Signed with the Western New York Flash and played a key role in helping the team to the WPS regular season title and the WPS championship in its first year of existence … Played in 17 of the team’s 18 regular season matches, starting them all, and led the Flash in minutes played with 1,530 … Played every minute in the championship game shootout victory over Philadelphia … Was named the WPS Defender of the Year and to the 2011 WPS Top XI … 2010: Taken fourth overall by the Chicago Red Stars in the 2010 WPS Draft … She started all 24 games for the Red Stars and played all but four minutes of the season … 2009: Played for the Pali Blues in the W-League …Youth club: Played youth club for Slammers FC, winning back-to-back state and regional titles in 2004-05 ... Took part in two national championships with the Slammers, taking second in 2004 and third in 2005 ... Won two ODP national titles with the Cal South ’86 State Team.