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Canada, Here We Come: U.S. WNT Players React on Making U.S. Women's World Cup Roster

U.S. WNT Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher

On making the Women’s World Cup Team:

“I am incredibly excited about being named to the roster and going to my first World Cup this summer. This is such an amazing opportunity and something I have been working toward for a long time. It is always an honor to represent the U.S., and to be able to do that with my teammates at a World Cup is a blessing and an experience I will never forget. It has been quite a journey already, and I am looking forward to the next chapter.”

U.S. WNT Midfielder Carli Lloyd

On making her third Women’s World Cup roster:
“It’s definitely always an honor to make any roster. Nothing is a guarantee at this level. I’m thankful that I can be participating and we can be competing in my third World Cup. I think this World Cup is different than my previous two in the sense that obviously your first World Cup you’re getting your feet wet, second World Cup we fell short and there was some unfinished business. Now, I see myself as a role model, a leader and there’s a lot on the line. That’s what I live for, those pressure situations. I thrive under those pressure situations. I’m just ready it, I’m anxious. I’m thinking about it already at night, before I go to bed; I’m so anticipating that opening game.”

U.S. WNT Defender Meghan Klingenberg

On getting the call to make it official:
“Getting a call to go to the World Cup is the biggest honor I have ever received in my life. I cannot wait to represent my country to the best of my ability on and off the field. We’re excited to really go after it and hopefully bring the World Cup home to the U.S.”

On nerves heading into her World Cup:
“Having nerves going to the World Cup just shows how much you care about being there, representing your country and doing well. As long as you’re able to manage those in a positive way, I think it can only be helpful going into the tournament.”

U.S. WNT Midfielder Morgan Brian

On getting the call from Jill Ellis:
“I think we all knew we were going to find out on the same day, so we were a little bit nervous looking at our phones and waiting for the call. It’s a true honor to represent my country and play at a World Cup, especially at such a young age. I’m really looking forward to the experience and think it will be something I remember for the rest of my life.”

On if the news of making the roster has sunk in yet:
“I don’t think I’ve let it sink in, but at the same time I’ve dreamed about this since I was a little girl and for it to finally be official and for the dream to come true is surreal. For me it’s just been a whirlwind. I don’t think it’s going to sink in because you just think to yourself ‘I’m on the United States Women’s National Team playing in a World Cup’ and that’s insane to me. It’s cool to finally have that dream come true.”

U.S. WNT Defender Becky Sauerbrunn

On making her second Women’s World Cup roster:
“It’s an honor to represent our country at an event like the World Cup. I am thrilled to be on the roster and I hope to make our nation proud.”

U.S. WNT Midfielder Heather O’Reilly

On making her third Women’s World Cup Team:
“There are many talented players in our country and I am honored to represent the United States in our quest for the third star.”

U.S. WNT Forward Amy Rodriguez

On making her second Women’s World Cup Team:
“I’m very excited to be named to the World Cup roster. There were times that I didn’t think I would make it, so I am truly honored and grateful to represent the U.S. this summer.”

U.S. WNT Midfielder Lauren Holiday:

On making her second Women’s World Cup Team:
“I feel extremely blessed to be a part of a team as special as this one. There is no better feeling than putting on that U.S. jersey and representing your country.”

U.S. WNT Midfielder Megan Rapinoe

On being named to the Women’s World Cup roster:
“It’s so exciting. The World Cup is everything. To be able to say that in my career this will be the second one is really special. It definitely doesn’t get old by any means. I am thrilled and I can’t wait. It feels like it’s getting to the time and the energy is really rising. Everyone is really excited.”

On her big week:
“It’s really exciting. It’s all happening at one time; getting named to the World Cup roster, getting 100 caps, and getting my first-ever official hat trick in the season opener with Seattle Reign. It’s exciting. I am buzzing right now.”

U.S. WNT Goalkeeper Hope Solo

On being named to the Women’s World Cup roster:
“It’s funny, because I am a veteran now and it’s my third World Cup, but still, when the roster was set, when Jill called me up and said ‘Congratulations, you’ve made the World Cup roster,’ I still felt emotional, happy, filled with joy and proud. Anything can happen. You work for four years to make another roster and another roster and so it was just a nice dose of reality to know that I officially made the roster.”

U.S. WNT Defender Ali Krieger

On making the Women’s World Cup roster:
“Firstly, I’m very honored and privileged to represent my country as a member of this incredible group of Footballers. Second, I am extremely excited for another opportunity to win the World Cup! Having thought about our 2011 World Cup Final against Japan for the past four years, it has driven me to continue to get better every day to make sure we get back to the Final again this summer. This is something we have been working our entire lives for and therefore I feel very fortunate to be able to play on one of football’s biggest stages. We are well-prepared, motivated, determined and ready to succeed and I can’t wait!”

U.S. WNT Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris

On making her first Women’s World Cup roster:
"I'm overwhelmed with emotion at this point. Words can't explain how honored I am to represent my country on the highest stage. I've worked my whole life for this moment. I want to thank my family, friends, and my club for the constant support and encouragement to get me where I am today. However, there is no time to celebrate or rest at this point. My dream is to win a World Cup and I will do everything in my power to bring that home to our country."

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!

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:
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 / Club2014: 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.

College / High School: After arriving in Chapel Hill in the spring of 2005, she suffered two ACL tears (in 2005 with UNC and in 2006 while playing with the U.S. U-23s) and a serious thumb injury before she ever played in a college game … After getting healthy, she ended up playing in 79 games in her college career and winning three NCAA titles … Named to the ACC All-Academic Team as a junior and sophomore and the ACC Academic Honor Roll her first three years … As a senior in 2009, her first as a full-time starter, she started 25 of the 27 games she played, posting a record of 23-3-1 … Made 45 saves and had a GAA of 0.42 … As a redshirt junior in 2008, she appeared in 27 games, starting 13 while playing half of each game … Had a 0.66 goals against average … As a redshirt sophomore in 2007, her first season healthy, she appeared in 19 games and allowed just nine goals while splitting matches … Was in goal for the ACC Tournament semifinal against Virginia in the second half and overtime and saved the fourth Virginia penalty kick during the shootout as Carolina advanced to the finals … As a redshirt freshman in 2006, she returned from rehabilitation for her second ACL tear to enter the Carolina lineup in time to play in all six NCAA tournament matches … She made seven saves and allowed three goals in 247 minutes of action … She entered the playoff game against Texas A&M with the Tar Heels trailing 2-1 with 33 minutes to play and held the Aggies scoreless the rest of the way as Carolina rallied for a 3-2 victory ... Made a key save in the second half of the NCAA semifinals on a breakaway against UCLA when the game was still scoreless ... Redshirted what would have been her freshman year in 2005 after tearing her ACL … High School: Graduated from Satellite High School in Satellite Beach, Fla. in May 2004 ... A four-year (2001–2004) starter at Satellite High School … The 2002 Satellite girls’ women’s soccer team finished 29-1-1, scoring 178 goals and allowing 10 goals in 31 games and finished No. 1 in the state … Named a four-time NSCAA All-America and was the NSCAA Player of the Year in 2004 ... A four-time Parade Magazine All-America, including being named the Parade Magazine Player of the Year in 2004 ... Named team MVP and to All-County Team and All-Region Team in 2003 and 2004 ... Was the Gatorade National Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year in 2004 ... Led high school team to state championships her sophomore and junior years in 2002 and 2003.

Personal: Full name is Ashlyn Michelle Harris … Nicknamed “Ash” … Majored in communications … Loves fashion … Always up for an adventure … Has extensive tattoo work on her left arm and left side of her torso and her leg, “My body is a canvas; it tells my story; it’s personal and real.” … Comes from a small beach town where surfing and skateboarding are ways of life, and those are her two favorite things to do outside of soccer … Says “the beach is my safe haven, it grounds me. I love the beauty of the water and watching the tides change” … Very artistic, loves to draw, paint and design clothes … Loves being around people, telling stories and making people laugh … Absolutely loves Shark Week on Discovery Channel … Favorite thing to eat is mac n’ cheese … Aspires to be on America’s Next Top Model … Loves movies and date nights … Considers herself a giving person and a dreamer and likes to live life to the fullest and then never look back … Loves to act, loves to be in front of the camera and took several acting classes in college … Would one day love be in a movie and loves to be in front of the camera … Always up for a dance party, no matter what time or place … Has an older brother Chris … Loves home-cooked meals at her grandma’s house … A big supporter of the non-profit TWLOHA … Lives by the principle that “people need each other.”

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