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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!

Ellis Names 25-Player Roster for Next Stretch of World Cup Prep

CHICAGO (March 20, 2015) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named a 25-player roster that will train in Los Angeles for a week before traveling to St. Louis for the USA’s first domestic match of the year against New Zealand on April 4 at Busch Stadium. Ellis will name 18 players to suit up for that game.

The roster includes the same 25 players who were in Portugal earlier this month to help the USA win the 2015 Algarve Cup, the program’s 10th title at the prestigious annual tournament, after defeating France 2-0 in the championship game. Additionally, there are two St. Louis natives in the roster: Becky Sauerbrunn, who was an All-American at Ladue High School and the 2003 Missouri Player of the Year, and Lori Chalupny, who was an All-American at Nerinx Hall High School.

The USA’s training camp will take place at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California, from March 23-30. The team will then depart for St. Louis, where it will train for three days before facing New Zealand. The game will be shown live on FOX Sports 1 at 2:30 p.m. CT/3:30 p.m. ET. More than 31,000 tickets have already been sold. (TICKETS)

“Having the initial training period in L.A., when we can go a bit harder and then tapering into the match in St. Louis will be excellent preparation for a New Zealand team that always gives us a highly competitive game,” said Ellis. “This will be an excellent test for us. They are aggressive, athletic and like to press. We’ll see some similar tendencies that we could see in our first group match at the World Cup and certainly the crowd will be tremendous. It will be nice to be back at home.”

The match against the Kiwis begins a four-game run-up to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup that includes three Send-Off Series games in May.

The U.S. Women will begin the Send-Off Series against 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 to face fellow CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifier Mexico on Sunday, May 17, at 6 p.m. PT at StubHub Center in Carson. Both California matches will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1, with the Mexico game also available on Univision Deportes.

After a short break, the U.S. team will head 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, WatchESPN and Univision Deportes. Fans can follow all the upcoming WNT matches on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp.

SEND-OFF SERIES TICKETS

USA vs. Republic of Ireland (May 10 in San Jose, Calif.)
Tickets for the USA vs. Ireland are available starting March 27 at 10 a.m. through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area (including Walmart and Chavez Supermarkets).

USA vs. Mexico (May 17 in Carson, Calif.) (TICKETS)
Tickets for USA vs. Mexico on May 17 are available now through ussoccer.com, by calling 1-888-929-7849, and at the StubHub Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.).

USA vs. Korea Republic (May 30 in Harrison, N.J.) (TICKETS)
Tickets for USA vs. Korea Republic go on sale starting March 20 at 10 a.m. ET and are available through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area (including many Walmart stores), as well as the Red Bull Arena ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.

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.

U.S. 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 (10): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), 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), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
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 (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (Unattached)

Additional Notes:

  • The USA last faced Ireland on Dec. 1, 2012, a 2-0 victory in Glendale, Arizona.
  • The U.S. outscored Mexico 15-0 over a span of three games in 2014. The CONCACAF foes embarked on a two-game set in September with the USA scoring four goals in each half for an 8-0 win on Sept. 13 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Five days later, the WNT nabbed a 4-0 victory at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester, New York. The teams also met on Oct. 24 at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, during the semifinal of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship where the USA picked up a 3-0 win to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • The USA most recently played the Korea Republic on June 20, 2013, also at Red Bull Arena, earning a 5-0 victory in a match that saw Abby Wambach score four times to surpass Mia Hamm’s all-time goal scoring record of 158. Wambach currently has 178 goals.
  • While the match at the brand new Avaya Stadium will be the first for the WNT, the U.S. Women have played 10 matches at StubHub Center, going 10-0-0 at the home of MLS champion LA Galaxy.
  • The U.S. WNT played six matches in San Jose from 1997-2007, all at Spartan Stadium.
  • The match against the Korea Republic will mark the third for the U.S. Women at Red Bull Arena, home to MLS’s New York Red Bulls.

U.S. National Team – A central defender who adds a commanding aerial presence at the back and on offensive set pieces.

2015:
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 / Club2014: 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.

College / High School: A four-year starter at North Carolina, she played in 107 games in her career, starting 105 … She started her career as a forward, playing up top for her first two years before moving to the back … Scored 19 career goals with 27 assists during her Tar Heel career … As a senior in 2009, she started all 27 games while scoring one goal with three assists and helped the Tar Heels to the NCAA title … Named Defensive MVP of the College Cup … She was named NSCAA First-Team All-American and First-Team All-ACC … Was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year on a team that allowed just 12 goals and had 19 shutouts … Won the NCAA’s prestigious Honda Award as the top women’s college soccer player … As a junior in 2008, she moved into the starting role at center back after playing her first two years as a starting striker and started all 28 games, leading the team in minutes played with 2,518 … Helped UNC to the NCAA title … Played the last 1,211 minutes of the season without a break ... Recorded three assists ... Tied the school record for games played and games started in a season with 28 … Was named an NSCAA Third-Team All-American and Second-Team All-ACC honoree ... Was named to the All-Tournament Teams at both the NCAA College Cup and the ACC Tournament ... Named to the ACC All-Academic Team and was on the NSCAA’s First-Team Collegiate Scholar All-America squad ... On the ACC Academic Honor Roll ... As a sophomore in 2007, she appeared in 23 of 24 games during the season, starting all 23 games she played in ... Scored six goals with eight assists … Was on the All-ACC Academic Team and the ACC Academic Honor Roll … As a freshman in 2006, she played in 27 games, started 24, and tied for second on the team in goals with 12 and in assists with 13 ... Helped the Tar Heels to the NCAA title … Named to the 2006 ACC All-Tournament Team and ACC All-Freshman Team ... Named to the ACC All-Academic Women’s Soccer Team … Had points in 18 of 28 games ... Had at least one point in each of the three ACC Tournament games and in five of the six NCAA Tournament matches ... Had a pair of goals in wins against N.C. State in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals and against Navy in the NCAA Tournament second round ... Also assisted on Casey Nogueira’s game-winning goal in the NCAA Tournament championship match against Notre Dame … High School: Graduated from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in 2006 ... Lettered as a freshman and sophomore as a forward and attacking midfielder but missed her junior season with an injury and then concentrated on club soccer during her senior year ... Named high school’s Most Valuable Offensive Player as a freshman and Most Valuable Player as a sophomore.

Personal: Full name is Whitney Elizabeth Engen … Nickname is “Whit” … Graduated with a degree in political science from North Carolina … Named to the Dean’s List five times … Has aspirations to attend law school after her soccer career … An avid reader, she loves science fiction, thrillers and historical fiction … Some of her favorite books include the Harry Potter series and Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy … Loves to play all types of games – board, dice, card – anything that is competitive … Favorite TV series include “The Office,” “Modern Family” and “True Detective.”

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