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.
Ashlyn Harris grew up in Satellite Beach, Florida, a small, old-school beach town where “rule-breaking was just a part of living there.” She had an older brother who was twice her size and she wanted to be just like him. She ran with the pack of boys – skateboarding through town, playing Manhunt, surfing during storms, sneaking onto school roofs and into arboretums, constantly proving to the boys that she was tough enough to belong. In the soccer world she also ran with the boys, playing on all boys teams up until high school.
On the field, other teams would occasionally give her a hard time – at one tournament, Harris, her teammates and their families were at a nearby beach and a player from another team got in Ashlyn’s face and started calling her a boy. “He was trying to hurt my feelings,” says Ashlyn. One of Ashlyn’s best friends on the team, Nick, describes what happened next: “She picked up a dead catfish on the beach, a whole, rotting catfish. And she smacked him in the face with it. He was bleeding and cut – and everyone was like, ‘Serves your right.’” Nick adds, “We were protective of Ashlyn, but she could always protect herself.”
“I wasn’t going to go say, ‘Mom, people are making fun of me. I had to stand my ground. I had to take care of myself to gain the respect of the people around me,” says Harris.
THE THRILL-SEEKING MINDSET ON THE FIELD
“I still love the thrill,” says Harris. “I would definitely say I’m an aggressive goalkeeper. I’m fearless. I own it. In goalkeeping, you’re either the goat or the hero - you’re an easy target to blame – and I love that thrill, I throw myself into things like that. I love that pressure.
But the goalkeeping position has a catch-22 element. “Goalkeeping is all about experience,” says Harris. “But experience is hard to come by because once you’ve found your ‘keeper, you don’t really switch them in and out.” As a backup ‘keeper to Hope Solo, Ashlyn knew she had to find ways to get experience. Never one to back away from adventure, she went to Europe to get playing time, playing in Germany, playing in Sweden and trying anything.
THE FIRST COLLEGE GRADUATE
Her senior year of high school, she hid in her closet with her phone, talking with Anson Dorrance, coach of the University of North Carolina. She knew UNC only gave full scholarships to players on the full National Team. “I told Anson, ‘Listen, it’s always been my dream to come to UNC. But my parents aren’t in a position to pay for anything – I can’t ask them to help.’” And Anson said they’d find a way. I told him, “‘You won’t regret it, I will be the best student athlete I can be.’”
Fast-forward four years: Harris had a 3.3 GPA and was the first in her family to graduate from college. She also won three national championships with the Tar Heels.
TO WRITE LOVE ON OUR ARMS“There’s been addiction in my family, and it wasn’t always easy on my childhood,” said Harris. “I couldn’t take everything as a kid. I learned to speak to other people.” Ashlyn shares her story and is heavily involved with To Write Love On Her Arms, a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. To learn more, check out the website: www.twloha.com.
U.S. National Team: One of the best young goalkeepers in the world at the 2002 and 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cups, she suffered several major injuries during her college career and didn’t get her first call-up to the WNT until her final season at North Carolina in 2009.
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 ... Played and started in the first two matches of the year for the WNT... Earned her second career shutout in a 1-0 victory over England on Feb. 13... Member of the roster that captured the USA's 10th Algarve Cup after defeating France 2-0 on March 11... 2014: Played in two matches and earned her first career shutout in a 6-0 win against Haiti during the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship … 2013: Made her long-awaited senior team debut against Sweden on March 11 at the Algarve Cup in Portugal, helping the USA to a 1-1 draw … Earned her second cap against the Netherlands during a 3-1 win on April 9 in The Hague … 2012: Did not play in a game, but did train in numerous camps with the U.S. WNT … 2011: Trained extensively with the U.S. team in the run-up to the Women’s World Cup … 2010: Got her second call-up to an extended training camp in Kennesaw, Ga., after the WPS season, and worked her way into the goalkeeping mix for the USA … Youth National Teams: Played every minute of all 12 matches for the USA over the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Canada and the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand … The youngest starter on the team that won the inaugural U-19 Women’s World Cup in 2002, she made several key saves during the 1-0 overtime win in the title game … Was the captain of the 2004 U-19 Women’s World Cup Team that finished third … Finished her U-19 international career with 39 caps, one of the highest totals in U.S. history … Was also the starting goalkeeper for the USA in both CONCACAF qualifying tournaments for those youth World Cups … Played for the U.S. U-23/U-21s in 2009, 2006 and 2003, when she helped the U-21s win the Nordic Cup title in Denmark as the starting goalkeeper … During 2000 at the age of 15, she played with the U.S. U-16, U-17 and U-19 teams … Attended the U.S. U-14 I.D. camp in 1999 … First Appearance: March 11, 2013, vs. Sweden … First Shutout: Oct. 20, 2014, vs. Haiti.
Professional / Club – 2014: Played every minute of all 19 games she started … Had a 10-5-4 record and one of only three goalkeepers in the NWSL to reach 10 or more wins … Recorded four shutouts in helping lead the Spirit to an NWSL playoff berth … 2013: Played every minute of all 18 starts she made for the Washington Spirit, putting in an admirable effort while making 85 saves as the Spirit endured a difficult season … Following the NWSL season, she signed on loan with Damallsvenskan club Tyresö … She started seven league matches for Tyresö and four UEFA Champions League matches, helping the club into the quarterfinal round after two-leg victories over Paris Saint-Germain (she put in a particularly excellent performance in the second leg of the Round of 32 series) and Fortuna of Denmark (Round of 16) … 2012: Allocated to the Washington Spirit for the inaugural season of the NWSL … In June, she signed with FCR 2001 Duisburg in the Women’s Bundesliga … Played eight matches with Duisburg in 2012 before the winter break, seven Bundesliga games (630 minutes) and one German Cup game (120 including extra time), before the Spirit reached a mutual agreement with Duisburg for her release to start the NWSL season in Washington … 2011: Signed with the Western New York Flash for the 2011 WPS season and put in a stellar performance, earning WPS Goalkeeper of the Year honors while helping the club to the regular season title and championship in its first year of existence … Made several key saves in the championship game victory over Philadelphia, including stopping the Independence’s fifth and final penalty kick during the shootout to clinch the title for the Flash … She played every minute of all 18 regular season games while compiling a 13-2-3 record and a 1.00 GAA, which was tops in the league … She tied for the league lead in shutouts with five … 2010: Taken in the second round of the 2010 WPS Draft, 19th overall, by the St. Louis Athletica, but did not play in a match as she backed up Hope Solo … She signed with the Washington Freedom as a free agent in June after St. Louis folded and played a key role in the team’s playoff run, starting the final nine matches in relief of injured goalkeeper Erin McLeod … She went 4-3-2 with four shutouts, making 36 saves and allowing 10 goals … Made six saves in an excellent performance in the Freedom’s playoff match against Philadelphia Independence … Youth Club: Played club soccer with boys until the age of 14 ... First teams were the Palm Bay Rangers and South Brevard United ... Played for the Seminole Ice girls for three seasons ... Won the state championship in 2003 with the U-17 Indialantic Force.