CHICAGO (June 2, 2014) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 26 players to the training camp roster in preparation for two games against France – currently ranked fourth in the world by FIFA – on June 14 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, and June 19 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. Both games kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ussoccer.com.
“Two matches against such a high-level team will give us a picture of where we are,” said Ellis, who was named the eighth head coach in U.S. Women’s National Team history on May 16. “Establishing how we want to play and integrating our philosophy is an important first step for a new coaching staff, but these types of matches will give us a wonderful opportunity to build on and keep testing out the player pool.”
Several players return to the roster after extended absences ranging from two months in the case of Kristie Mewis, who has recovered from an ankle injury, to much longer in the case of forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Shannon Boxx.
Boxx, who has 186 caps and 27 goals, is coming in for training and evaluation only and will not play in the matches as she mounts her comeback after having a daughter in late February. A three-time Olympic gold medalist, Boxx makes her return to the roster for the first time since March of 2013 at the Algarve Cup.
The availability of Morgan for the matches will be determined pending an evaluation by the team’s medical and performance staff of her progression toward international play. Morgan, who is at the tail end of her recovery from an ankle injury, has 44 goals in 70 matches, but has not appeared for the USA since November of 2013.
The roster features 25 players currently signed with National Women’s Soccer League clubs as Christen Press, Whitney Engen and Meghan Klingenberg have returned to the league after helping Tyresö of Sweden to the brink of the UEFA Women’s Champions League title. Tobin Heath’s French league season came to a close on June 1, but her club will play in the French Cup Final on June 7 against Olympique Lyon. Forward Sarah Hagen will complete her highly successful run with Bayern Munich on June 8 and then return to make her NWSL debut for FC Kansas City. The only non-professional on the roster is rising college senior Morgan Brian from Virginia.
- Jill Ellis will name 18 players from the 26-woman roster to suit up for each match.
- Portland Thorns FC midfielder Allie Long gets her second WNT call-up after earning her first cap against Canada on May 8 in Winnipeg.
- The U.S. Women’s National Team has launched its own Instagram account. Fans can now follow the U.S. Women’s National Teams at http://instagram.com/ussoccer_wnt.
- The USA is 6-2-2 in 2014.
- Two regulars are still injured and unavailable for selection in midfielder Megan Rapinoe (foot) and defender Rachel Van Hollebeke (ankle).
- U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo has 70 shutouts, one away from tying Briana Scurry for first on the USA’s all-time shutout list.
- Amy Rodriguez comes into the camp tied for the NWSL lead in goals with eight in 10 games.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (7): Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Houston Dash), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers)
FORWARDS (7): Sarah Hagen (FC Kansas City), Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)
- Sydney Leroux’s 27th International Goal Comes Off Block of Japan Goalkeeper Clearance
- USA Out-Shoots Japan 20-8, Japan Captain Aya Miyama Equalizes with Late Free Kick
- WNT Will Face Sweden on March 7 in Albufeira, Portugal, in Second Group B Match
PARCHAL, Portugal (March 5, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team certainly did enough to win, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Japan in the first Group B match for both teams at the 2014 Algarve Cup.
Up next for the USA will be Sweden on March 7 in Albufeira, Portugal (8:30 a.m. ET), in a match that will have major implications for the USA’s Algarve Cup championship game aspirations. The team must win the group to advance to the final. Fans can follow USA-Sweden on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and watch highlights on ussoccer.com.
Despite creating the vast majority of dangerous scoring chances, the USA’s lone goal was a bit quirky, coming in the 59th minute when forward Sydney Leroux slid to block a clearance from Japan goalkeeper Erina Yamane, and the ball bounced back into the open net.
Just moments after Leroux had sprinted down the right wing and passed back to Christen Press, whose shot was saved by Yamane, the Japan goalkeeper received a pass back from her centerback and was just a bit too casual for the speedy Leroux, who sprinted hard at the 21-year-old ‘keeper from her left side and managed to ricochet the attempted clearance into the net from 12 yards out.
While the goal was unusual, the USA certainly deserved it and perhaps a few more. In fact, the U.S. put the ball into the Japan net just 72 seconds into the match, when Leroux’s shot hit a defender and bounced to Carli Lloyd, who finished her volley well from an offside position. Lloyd led a U.S. midfield that won numerous balls in dangerous spots, allowing the American counter-attack to flourish while putting Japan’s back line on their heels for most of the game.
Leroux had a chance off a right-side cross from Ali Krieger in the 12th minute that was going to stick into the upper right corner, but the 6-foot-1 Yamane palmed the shot up into the air, and it was headed off the line by a Japan defender.
In the 22nd minute, Heather O’Reilly darted past a defender into the right side of the penalty box and dribbled almost all the way to the near post, but her cross into a crowded goal mouth was cleared.
Leroux had a multitude of chances in both halves. In the 29th minute, she out-muscled a defender into the right side of the penalty area, but stuck her shot into the side-netting outside the right post. The USA counter-attacked with tremendous speed, creating numerous dangerous situations down the wings and in the 32nd minute, O’Reilly got free down the left, but her cross on the ground just eluded Leroux who was sliding through the goal box.
The Americans were going against the wind in the first half and as soon as they switched sides, the attacked picked up more steam. The USA fired 16 shots after the break to Japan’s three, and just four minutes into the second half, O’Reilly put Press behind the defense with a through ball. Her shot brought a nice save from Yamane, who knocked it away for a corner kick, and Leroux headed the ensuing service on goal, but it was cleared off the line by a defender.
Press played well, holding the ball in the attacking third, but also while running at the Japan back line, and in the 68th minute, she streaked down the left after a long throw-in and played a pass on the ground the O’Reilly at the near post, but under pressure, she pushed it just wide left.
In the 73rd minute Leroux smacked a shot from distance off the outside of the left post and then she had a great chance to win it in the 89 th, bulling her way past a defender into the right side of the penalty area, but cut her shot just past the far post from 15 yards out.
Japan was content to sit back for most of the match, but made a push with about 15 minutes left and got a questionable call in the 83rd minute when Becky Sauerbrunn was called for a hand ball while blocking a service that appeared to hit her chest.
Japan’s captain Aya Miyama took the freekick from about 35 yards out, hitting a wicked knuckler that diving U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo could only parry into the upper right corner to tie the score at 1-1.
Japan also had a chance to win it late. In the 87th minute, Rumi Utsugi sent her volley wide left from close range as U.S. defenders converged.
- The USA extended its current overall unbeaten streak to 43 games (36-0-7) dating back to March of 2012 when it lost to Japan during group play at the Algarve Cup.
- The USA moved to 3-0-1 on the year with its first draw of 2014.
- The U.S. WNT improved to 24-1-5 all-time against Japan.
- The USA is now 16-0-4 under head coach Tom Sermanni.
- Sermanni made just two substitutions in the match, sending on Tobin Heath for Heather O’Reilly and Kristie Mewis for Morgan Brian, both in the 73 rd minute.
- It was the first appearance in a U.S. uniform for Heath, who struggled to overcome an ankle injury, since June 15, 2013, when she played 90 minutes against Korea Republic.
- O’Reilly earned her 197th cap and is now just three games away from becoming the ninth WNT player to reach the 200-game mark.
- With U.S. captain Christie Rampone and co-captain Abby Wambach not seeing action, Becky Sauerbrunn captained the U.S. team, as she did in the opening game of the Algarve Cup last year.
- Twenty-one-year-old Morgan Brian made just her third start and earned her sixth cap.
- The most recent U.S. tie in the Algarve Cup came in last year’s tournament, a 1-1 draw with Sweden in the final group game, a result that sent the USA to the championship game.
-U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report-
U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Japan
Date: March 5, 2014
Competition: 2014 Algarve Cup – Group B
Venue: Belavista Municipal Stadium; Parchal, Portugal
Kickoff: 7:45 a.m. ET / 12:45 p.m. local
Weather: 66 degrees, windy, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
JPN 0 1 1
USA – Sydney Leroux 59th minute
JPN – Aya Miyama 83
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 6-Whitney Engen, 14-Stephanie Cox; 9-Heather O’Reilly (17-Tobin Heath, 73), 7-Morgan Brian (19-Kristie Mewis, 73), 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe; 23-Christen Press, 2-Sydney Leroux
Substitutions Not Used: 3-Christie Rampone, 5-Kelley O’Hara, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 12-Samantha Mewis, 13-Sarah Hagen, 16-Rachel Van Hollebeke, 18-Alyssa Naeher, 20-Abby Wambach, 21-Jill Loyden, 25-Meghan Klingenberg
Head coach: Tom Sermanni
21-Erina Yamane; 2-Yukari Kinga, 3-Azusa Iwashimizu, 4-Saki Kumagai, 19-Saori Ariyoshi (5-Aya Sameshima, 38); 6-Mizuho Sakaguchi (22-Nanase Kiryu, 68),
8-Aya Miyama (capt.), 9-Nahomi Kawasumi (16-Mana Iwabuchi, 59), 10-Homare Sawa (13-Rumi Utsugi, 76); 11-Shinobu Ohno, 17-Yuki Ogimi (15-Megumi Takase, 76)
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Miho Fukumoto, 7-Kozue Ando, 12-Megumi Kamionobe, 14-Asuna Tanaka, 18-Ayumi Kaihori, 20-Kana Kitahara, 23-Emi Nakajima
Head coach: Norio Sasaki
Stats Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 20 / 8
Shots on Goal: 8 / 4
Saves: 3 / 6
Corner Kicks: 2 / 4
Fouls: 12 / 5
Offside: 2 / 4
JPN -- Rumi Utsugi (caution) 87th minute
Referee: Efthalia Mitsi (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Chrysoula Kouromplyia (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Judith Romano Garcia (ESP)
Fourth Official: Teodora Albon (ROM)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Sydney Leroux
CHICAGO (Feb. 24, 2014) – Following three victories in the team’s first three matches of the year, U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Tom Sermanni has named a 24-player roster that will travel to the 2014 Algarve Cup in Portugal.
This year’s tournament will run from March 5-12, and the U.S. team will depart for Europe on Tuesday, Feb. 25. The majority of the games will be played at small venues across the Algarve region on the southern coast of the country, with several matches (including the championship game) at the 30,000-seat Algarve Stadium. The placement matches will take place on March 12.
Fans will be able to follow the U.S. matches on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and highlights will be available on ussoccer.com. For the entire tournament schedule, please go to the Algarve Cup tournament page on ussoccer.com.
The world’s top-ranked U.S. team, which has been placed in Group B for the annual tournament, will open play on March 5 against third-ranked Japan (7:45 a.m. ET) in Parchal. The USA will face sixth-ranked Sweden on March 7 in Albufeira (8:30 a.m. ET), and will finish group play on March 10 against 13th-ranked Denmark in Albufeira (10:40 a.m. ET). Before the competition starts, Sermanni will name 23 players to the tournament roster.
“The group we’re in at the Algarve Cup will probably be the most significant test since I’ve come aboard and a different kind of challenge as we will be playing teams that have the belief and aim to come out to attack us and beat us,” said Sermanni. “The dynamics of these games will be different than some of the more recent matches, and that’s something that we want, that we need and that the players are looking forward to.”
Group A features Germany, Norway, China PR and Iceland. Group C features host Portugal, Austria and first-time participants Russia and Korea DPR.
Since the expansion to 12 teams 13 years ago, the Algarve Cup format has been as follows: The winners of Groups A and B will compete for the Algarve Cup championship on Wednesday, March 12. The two second-place finishers in Groups A and B will play for third place while the third-place finishers in each group will play for fifth. The Group C teams will compete for a chance to play for spots 7-12 as the winner of Group C will play the best fourth-place team from Groups A or B for seventh place. The second-place team in Group C will play the worst fourth-place team from Groups A or B for ninth place, and the third- and fourth-place finishers in Group C will play each other for 11th place.
This year will mark the 19th trip to the Algarve Cup for the U.S. Women, who have won the tournament a record nine times, including an unprecedented three straight championships from 2003-05. Last year, the USA defeated Germany 2-0 in the championship game as forward Alex Morgan scored twice. The USA’s most recent loss took place at the Algarve Cup in 2012, a 1-0 setback to Japan in group play (which turned out to be the team’s only loss of the year) and the U.S. missed the championship game for the first time in 10 years.
Fifteen players from last year’s Algarve Cup roster return, including the core of the U.S. team, many of whom have played in numerous Algarve Cup tournaments. Morgan will not be one of them, however, as she is in the final stages of her return from an ankle injury.
Midfielder Tobin Heath does return to the U.S. roster and could see action in a U.S. jersey for the first time in almost eight months. Heath, who is currently playing in France with Paris Saint-Germain, is one of five players who will have shorter trips to the tournament. Heath and forward Sarah Hagen, who is playing in Germany with Bayern Munich, will arrive into camp on March 2 while Christen Press, Whitney Engen and Meghan Klingenberg will enjoy the trip south from chilly Sweden where they are playing with Tyresö for the remainder of its UEFA Women’s Champions League campaign, after which they will join their NWSL clubs.
Sermanni has once again called up several young players as midfielder Morgan Brian, who turns 21 the day the USA arrives in Portugal, gets another call-up after scoring her second career goal in the USA’s 8-0 victory against Russia on Feb. 13. In addition, Sermanni gave Samantha Mewis, younger sister of U.S. defender Kristie Mewis, another call-up, as well as naming Mewis’s midfield partner at UCLA, Sarah Killion, to her first senior team roster. Like Mewis, Killion is a rising UCLA senior and was a part of the USA’s 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup championship team.
“Again, we’re going into a competition phase with a number of players unavailable and that’s something that we’ve had to adjust to over this past year,” said Sermanni. “But players have come in and performed extremely well and that’s continued to increase the already intense competition in the squad.”
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Whitney Engen (Tyresö), Meghan Klingenberg (Tyresö), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Paris Saint-Germain), Sarah Killion (UCLA), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): Sarah Hagen (Bayern Munich), Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)
- The USA has a 52-10-9 record all-time at the Algarve Cup and has scored 158 goals while allowing 54.
- U.S. forward Abby Wambach comes into the tournament with 165 career goals, 19 of which have been scored at the Algarve Cup in nine tournaments. Wambach is the top Algarve Cup scorer in U.S. history, having found the net six more times than Kristine Lilly’s 13 scores.
- Christen Press is the USA’s leading scorer this year with three goals and has scored 11 times in her first 14 games for the National Team.
- Hope Solo leads a group of three goalkeepers that features Jill Loyden and Alyssa Naeher. Solo is two shutouts away from tying Briana Scurry for the most in U.S. history at 71.
- U.S. midfielder Heather O’Reilly heads into the tournament with 196 career caps and could earn her historic 200th in the USA’s placement match if she features in all three group games. O’Reilly will be playing in her 12th Algarve Cup and made her U.S. debut at the Algarve Cup in 2002 at the age of 17.
- Last year, Rachel Van Hollebeke earned her 100th-career cap at the Algarve Cup.
- U.S. captain Christie Rampone, who currently is the second most-capped player in U.S. history with 289, will lead the U.S. team that features nine defenders. Rampone will be playing in her 13th Algarve Cup.
- Midfielder Carli Lloyd was the MVP of the 2007 Algarve Cup after scoring in all four games that year. She also scored three goals in the 2010 tournament and has 10 goals in total at the Algarve Cup. That ranks third among active players behind only Wambach (19) and Alex Morgan (11).
- Defender Whitney Engen made her U.S. debut at the 2012 Algarve Cup. Van Hollebeke made her debut at the 2008 Algarve Cup. Amy Rodriguez made her U.S. debut at the 2005 Algarve Cup.
- Sarah Killion, Samantha Mewis, Sarah Hagen and Naeher are all looking for their first cap at the senior level.
- U.S. midfielder Lauren Holiday will not be with the U.S. team for this tournament due to a family commitment.
- Defender Crystal Dunn is not ready for game action as she recovers from an ankle injury.