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Ellis Names 28 Players to U.S. WNT Training Camp Roster Prior to Matches Against Mexico

CHICAGO (Aug. 29, 2014) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 28 players for a training camp prior to two matches against Mexico, on Sept. 13 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, and on Sept. 18 at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, New York.

The Sept. 13 kickoff time has changed to 7:30 p.m. MT and the game is live on ussoccer.com (TICKETS). The Sept. 18 match kicks off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and WatchESPN (TICKETS). Fans can also follow the U.S. WNT on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp.

This will be the first extended training period Ellis has had with the team since she was officially named the head coach on May 16. It will also be the final camp and matches before she names a 20-player roster that will attempt to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup at the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship being held in Kansas City, Kansas; Bridgeview, Illinois; Washington, D.C.; and Chester, Pennsylvania, from Oct. 15-26.

“Obviously as a coaching staff in the international arena, you are delighted when you can get a large group of players together for an extended period,” said Ellis. “It’s no secret that the battle for spots on the qualifying roster will be extremely competitive and we’re looking forward to the training environment and two tough games against a Mexico team that we will likely see again during the CONCACAF Championship.”

Sydney Leroux, Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan

Twenty-nine players have represented the USA in international competition this year and 25 of them were invited to this camp along with midfielder Shannon Boxx and goalkeepers Nicole Barnhart and Alyssa Naeher, all of whom have yet to see action for the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2014.

The majority of the roster will begin training in Salt Lake City on Sept. 5 with the eight players who are playing in the NWSL Championship Game this weekend getting a few extra days off. Seattle Reign FC and FC Kansas City players will arrive on Sept. 8. Midfielder Morgan Brian, the lone non-professional on the roster, will arrive into camp on Sept. 7 after completing her weekend games with the University of Virginia.

Goalkeeper Hope Solo will likely get a shot to break the USA’s all-time shutout record in one of the matches against Mexico. She is currently tied with former U.S. great Briana Scurry at 71 career shutouts.

Additional Notes:

  • Jill Ellis will name 18 players to suit up for each of the matches.
  • The USA comes into the matches with an 8-2-3 record in 2014.
  • Twenty-seven of the 28 players named played in the NWSL this season.
  • The five U.S. strikers scored a combined 36 goals in the NWSL this season, although Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach missed significant parts of the season due to injury and Christen Press played in less than half the season’s matches after returning from Europe.
  • Should Christie Rampone play in both Mexico matches, her cap total would grow to 297, meaning she would have a chance to hit 300 during the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship in October. Kristine Lilly is the only other player in soccer history to play 300 or more times for their country.
  • Ali Krieger’s next cap will be her 50th, which would make her the 48th player in U.S. WNT history to reach 50 international appearances.
  • The USA is 27-1-1 all-time against Mexico.
  • Several U.S. players won NWSL postseason awards: Alyssa Naeher was the Goalkeeper of the Year, Becky Sauerbrunn was the Defender of the Year and Julie Johnston was the Rookie of the Year.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position – Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (4): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (10): Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Houston Dash), 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 (9): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), 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 (WNY Flash)

Ellis Names 26 Players for Pair of June Matches against France

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.

Additional Notes:

  • 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.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position
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)

WNT Sights and Sounds: Sun and Snow in Denver

Welcome to a new category of U.S. WNT videos that we are calling "Sights and Sounds." Here's a look inside a WNT training that took place on April 3 at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo.

Studio 90 Kristie and Samantha Mewis Make Sister History

In the 68th minute of the U.S. WNT’s match against Sweden March 7, 2104 at the Algarve Cup, sisters Kristie and Samantha Mewis entered the match together as substitutes. It marked just the third time in the 30-year history of the U.S. WNT that sisters had been on the field together at the same time and first since 1997, when identical twins Lorrie and Ronnie Fair played two matches together. We sat down Kristie (23) and Samantha (21) to talk about realizing a dream they’ve had since they were little girls: playing together on the U.S. Women’s National Team.

U.S. WNT and Japan Draw 1-1 at 2014 Algarve Cup Opener

  • 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.

Additional Notes:

  • 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-

Match: 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
Attendance: 500
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

Lineups:
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

JPN: 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

Misconduct Summary:
JPN -- Rumi Utsugi (caution)                           87th minute

Officials:
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  

One of the top young prospects in the USA, she was the 2008 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year after an excellent performance at the 2008 FIFA U-17 women’s World Cup in New Zealand … 2012: Trained with full Women’s National Team, but did not play in a match … 2011: Was one of the youngest players training with the full WNT, but did not play in a match … Youth National Teams: Played three international matches for the U.S. U-23 WNT in 2011 … One of the top players on the USA’s 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Team in Germany, she played every minute of all four matches while scoring a goal with two assists … Scored against Switzerland … Played 15 international matches for the U-20s in 2010 and ended her U-20 career with 20 caps and five goals … The Boston native also scored both goals for the U.S. U-20s in a 2-2 tie with the Boston Breakers of WPS … A member of the U.S. team that won the 2010 CONACAF U-20 Women’s Championships in Guatemala to earn a berth to the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup … Played five games, starting three, and scored two goals, one each against Trinidad & Tobago and Costa Rica, with one assist … One of the leading scorers for the U-17s in 2008, she ended her U-17 international career with nine goals in 16 caps … One of the USA’s best players at the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, she started five games in the tournament and scored two goals despite switching positions from flank midfielder to center midfielder in the first match … Helped lead the USA to the first FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Final where the team fell to Korea DPR in overtime, 2-1 … She won the Bronze Ball as the third-best player in the tournament … Was named the U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year in 2008 …Started all four games she played at the 2008 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championships, scoring three goals with one assist, including a goal in the championship game against Costa Rica … Scored twice against Australia and twice against Germany at the Future Stars Tournament in January … Played for the U.S. U-16 Girls’ National Team in 2006 and 2007, playing against Holland, Germany and Brazil … Played for the U.S. U-15 Girls’ National Team in 2006 and was a member of the U.S. Soccer U-14 I.D. Camp in 2005. First cap: None. First goal: None.
The third overall pick in the 2013 NWSL College Draft by FC Kansas City … Youth: Played from U-10 through U-18 with the SC Scorpions … Won four State Cups with the Scorpions (U-12, U-14, U-16 and U-18) and advanced to one Regional final with the U-14s.
Full name is Kristen Anne Mewis … Graduated with a degree in Human Development from the Lynch School of Education and minored in Communications … As a junior and sophomore, she was BC’s women’s Scholar-Athlete … Likes to go to the beach in the summer … Enjoys running in the rain, shopping and swimming … Also likes to surf the web for inspiring quotes … Mom attended Northeastern on a full basketball scholarship and has run a marathon … Dad played soccer at Fitchburg State College and has also run a few marathons … Younger sister Samantha plays for UCLA … Has volunteered for Special Olympics … Played three years of varsity basketball … Ran winter track her senior year and holds the 300- and 600-meter indoor track records at Whitman-Hanson … With her younger sister Samantha, they became the first sisters ever to represent the USA at a Women’s World Cup, playing together at the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and also at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany.A Hermann Trophy semifinalist and an NSCAA First-Team All-America selection as a senior at Boston College ... Named to the All-ACC First-Team ... Finished her senior season with a career-high 16 goals and 12 assists for a career-high 44 points ... The 16 goals made her the second Boston College player to ever tally 16 goals in a single season ... The 44 points were one point off the single-season program record ... She ended her college career with 39 goals and 28 assists, with nine game-winning goals, making her Boston College’s all-time leading scorer with 106 total points ... Opened her senior season with a nine-game scoring streak, second to her personal and program record of 11 games that she accomplished in 2010 ... Was the second player in program history to register a goal in five straight games ... As a junior in 2011 she was named the Eagle’s Offensive Team MVP and was an NSCAA Third-Team All-American .. Earned NSCAA Southeast Regional First-Team honors and was an All-ACC First-Team selection … Named to the Soccer America MVP second team … Led the team in scoring with eight goals and six assists for 22 points ... As a sophomore in 2010 she was named New England Soccer News Player of the Year and was an All-ACC First-Team selection ... Member of Soccer America MVP’s First Team and was an NSCAA First-Team All-American … Was also named to the All-ACC Tournament First Team … Started all 25 games on the season … Led the ACC in shots with 101 … First on the team in assists with 14, which tied for the ACC lead … Ranked seventh in the ACC and was second on the team in goals with 10 … Set a BC record by recording a goal or assist in 11 consecutive games … Had an excellent freshman season in 2009 … Played and started in 23 games and tied for fourth on the team in scoring with five goals and six assists ... Played midfield and filled in on defense due to injuries ... Earned a spot on the All-ACC Freshman team ... Scored her first career goal in a 5-0 win against Brown ... Had two goals and three assists against ACC competition ... Was second on the team in shots taken with 72 … Attended Whitman Hanson Regional High School where she scored 74 goals (including 34 as a junior) with 34 assists … Team captain as a junior and a senior … A three-time NSCAA All-American, three time All-New England and All-Massachusetts Team honoree and a three-time Eastern Massachusetts Girls Soccer Association Div. 1 First-Team All-Star ... A 2009 Parade All-American … Was also the 2008 NSCAA Youth Player of the Year … An Atlantic Coast League All-Star … A member of the Patriot Ledger All-Scholastic Team … Only played in a few high school games as a senior due to National Team commitments.
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