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1N1T23Stories WNT 2015 World Cup

WNT Send-Off Series Tickets On Sale Now

CHICAGO (April 1, 2015) – Tickets go on sale in the month of March for the U.S. Women’s National Team’s three Send-Off Series Games prior to departing for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.

The U.S. will play the Republic of Ireland on Sunday, May 10, at 11:30 a.m. PT, at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California; Mexico on Sunday, May 17, at 6:30 p.m. PT, at StubHub Center in Carson, California; and Korea Republic on Saturday, May 30, at 4:30 p.m. ET, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

USA vs. Mexico
Tickets on Sale: March 13 at 10 a.m. PT [TICKETS]

Tickets are available through ussoccer.com, by calling 1-888-929-7849, and at the StubHub Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.). Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.

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

USA vs. Republic of Ireland
Tickets on Sale: March 27 at 10 a.m. PT [TICKETS]
Tickets are available through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area (including Walmart and Chavez Supermarkets).

Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) will be available for all three Send-Off Series matches exclusively through ussoccer.com.

Both California matches will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1. The game in New Jersey will be broadcast on ESPN and Watch ESPN, as well as Univision Deportes. Fans can follow all the upcoming WNT matches on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp.

Prior to the Send-Off Series, the U.S. WNT will participate in the 2015 Algarve Cup in Portugal from March 4-11, opening up Group B play today against Norway at 2 p.m. ET (FOX Sports 1), at Municipal Stadium in Vila Real de San Antonio. It then faces Switzerland on March 6 at 12 p.m. ET, and finishes group play against Iceland on March 9 at 1:30 p.m. ET. A placement match will be played on March 11.

Following the Algarve Cup, the WNT returns home to play New Zealand on Saturday, April 4, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The match will kick off at 2:30 p.m. CT and be broadcast on FOX Sports 1. More than 30,000 tickets have been sold, the most for a stand-alone WNT home game in the program’s 30-year history. (TICKETS)

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.

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.

Defender Crystal Dunn Called in to Train with U.S. Women’s World Cup Team

CHICAGO (May 2, 2015) – U.S. midfielder Tobin Heath will likely be unavailable for the USA’s first two Send-Off Series matches, on May 10 against the Republic of Ireland and May 17 against Mexico, due to a right hamstring strain suffered during training last week.

As a result, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis has called in defender Crystal Dunn to train with the Women’s World Cup Team, but she will not miss any NWSL matches with the Washington Spirit. Dunn will return to her club for the May 9 match at Portland and the May 16 home clash with Sky Blue FC.

Dunn, who was one of the final cuts from the 23-player Women’s World Cup Team, has 13 caps for the USA. Heath, who was named to her second Women’s World Cup roster on May 14, has 90 caps.

'One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories.' Series On The USA’s 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team, Presented By Clorox

CHICAGO (April 29, 2015) - The U.S. Women’s National Team has three matches left before traveling to Canada for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in June, but as the excitement for the tournament ramps up, U.S. Soccer is proud to release its "One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories." series, presented by Clorox.

The exclusive video content featured on ussoccer.com profiles each member on the U.S. WNT roster and provides fans the opportunity to get to know the players and their stories from outside the soccer field before they cheer them on this summer in Canada during the world’s biggest sporting event for women.

Sprinkled with humor, fun and heartfelt stories, the videos give fans insight into the players’ personalities, families, motivations, and some of the challenges they’ve experienced on the different roads they’ve traveled to earn the right to represent the United States in the ultimate competition for a soccer player. The videos feature a wide range of material and topics as we delve into their 23 Stories.

The series is supported by an extensive collection of information produced by U.S. Soccer that features video, photos, narratives and biographies with each player.

Prior to departing for the World Cup in Canada, the U.S. WNT will embark on a three-game Send-Off Series across the United States in May. Tickets for the Send-Off Series matches are now on sale. The U.S. will play the Republic of Ireland on Sunday, May 10, at 11:30 a.m. PT, at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California; Mexico on Sunday, May 17, at 6 p.m. PT, at StubHub Center in Carson, California; and Korea Republic on Saturday, May 30, at 4:30 p.m. ET, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

This summer, the U.S. Women’s National Team 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.

2015 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team 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)

ONE NATION. ONE TEAM. 23 STORIES.

SHANNON BOXX
At 38, Shannon Boxx will be playing in her fourth and final Women’s World Cup. To get there, she had to overcome significant health challenges as well as return to the field after the birth of her daughter, tests she has managed with tremendous perseverance, dedication and the support of her friends, family and especially her teammates.

MORGAN BRIAN
At 22, Morgan Brian is the youngest player on the USA’s 2015 Women’s World Cup Team and has starred at the Youth National Teams level for some time, helping the USA win the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup. But it wasn’t always that way. As an under-sized youth player in Georgia and Florida, she earned the nickname “Plankton” and was cut from the Olympic Development Program team. Despite hitting some obstacles along the way, with hard work, self-belief, ambitious goal-setting and inspirational guidance from a coach, she made herself into one of the best young players in the world.

LORI CHALUPNY
While Lori Chalupny may admittedly still be a bit shy, she credits her U.S. Youth National Team experience with helping her come out of her shell and find her voice. Now the St. Louis native is a college coach and a veteran player who, after five years away from the team, has a heightened appreciation for the opportunity to compete for a Women’s World Cup title.

WHITNEY ENGEN
Whitney Engen grew up in what you might call a “fun household” where her parents were always encouraging her and her brother through games and activities. Today, she knows those experiences helped mold not only her competitive nature, but also her ability to thrive in such an environment. She now feels comfortable dealing with the good days and the bad ones, whether it be while competing for and earning a spot on the USA’s Women’s World Cup Team, or catching a tossed ice cube in a cup after a full 360-degree spin.

ASHLYN HARRIS
During her childhood in Satellite Beach, Fla., Ashlyn Harris was a wild child, a grom and a skater who hit both the surf and the concrete ramps with abandon. She played sports with and against the boys and had to earn their respect. Somewhere along the way she realized that soccer might be her way out of the small town. It was, as she won the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in 2002, went on to a stellar career at North Carolina, was a standout for her pro clubs and now has earned a place on her first Women’s World Cup Team. Having found her voice, she wants to use it to help others through their struggles while blazing her own path and living life freely.

TOBIN HEATH
Tobin Heath is a free spirit. It’s a distinct part of her personality that informs her style of play on the field and her life off of it. The joy she feels with the ball at her feet and her pursuit of new experiences have carried her around the country and the globe. This soccer vagabond has bounced from place to place, embracing a warm community of family and friends in between soccer trips, but she knows that one day she will settle down. Even after she does, Heath will cling to that sense of adventure and continue to seek out different situations, people and cultures that challenge her and help her grow.

LAUREN HOLIDAY
Open-heart surgery at the age of three didn’t slow down Lauren Holiday, who enjoyed a childhood replete with competition against her siblings, which led her to a first call-up for the U.S. Women’s National Team at the tender age of 17. Now 27, the central midfielder has grown up on the U.S. team and into one of the team’s most important players.

JULIE JOHNSTON
Julie Johnston has played soccer for as long as she can remember, and fueled by competition with her sister, she became one of the best young players in the country, and then the world, when she captained the USA to the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup title. Still, she struggled with self-confidence trying to make the huge jump to the full National Team, and without the constant support of her friends and family, she says she might not have made it to her first Women’s World Cup.

MEGHAN KLINGENBERG
The only thing small about Meghan Klingenberg – just call her Kling -- is her height. Her personality, toughness, competitive desire and talent on the soccer field certainly loom large, so much so that the third-degree black belt in taekwondo has molded herself into one of the best attacking outside backs in the world. Who would have known that a girl from Pittsburgh, who did a demo with Nunchucks to NSYNC’s “Here We Go” in her fifth grade talent show, would one day rise to the U.S. Women’s National Team? Kling would -- that’s who.

ALI KRIEGER
Ali Krieger had a near-death experience while in college, and at the time, didn’t know if she would be able to follow her dreams of playing for the U.S. Women’s National Team, or even continue playing soccer at all. With the support of her family and teammates, and armed with a new perspective, she was able to recover and offer support to her brother who was going through his own struggles at the time. Now, the siblings are each other’s role models and confidents, lending each other perspective while helping each other achieve success and happiness.

SYDNEY LEROUX
Sydney Leroux played all sorts of sports with boys while growing up and always left everything on the field. She eventually grew out of her tomboy stage, but the aggressive style she honed as a youth is the same one fans see from her on the field today. While her road to the U.S. National Team was certainly untraditional, the daughter of a single mom gives all the credit to Sandi Leroux for providing her with the love, opportunity and support to help her follow her dreams.

CARLI LLOYD
Carli Lloyd has used a tremendous work ethic, honed on the fields of New Jersey, often times by herself, to become one of the best and most clutch midfielders in the world. She cherishes the most important games and relishes the chance to put her training into action on the grandest of stages. Lloyd embraces the pressure of her own high expectations and looks forward to having her teammates count on her in the biggest of moments.

ALEX MORGAN
Alex Morgan's childhood in Diamond Bar, Calif. involved a lot of sports. She decided only in her early teenage years to concentrate on soccer, but that focus paid off eight years later, when as the youngest player on the USA's 2011 Women's World Cup roster she played a major role off the bench. Now, as she heads to her second World Cup, Morgan is incorporating lessons she's learned from her teammates with a new set of responsibilities on the field, along with her status as a role model.

ALYSSA NAEHER
Alyssa Naeher and her twin sister were drawn to opposite ends of the soccer field: Amanda would become a high scoring forward in college while Alyssa gravitated to the goal. After an early mishap, the duo rebounded, learning to complement each other and hone each other's competitive edge. Today, each Naeher sister calls herself the other's biggest fan.

KELLEY O’HARA
Georgia native Kelley O’Hara is a southern girl at heart, and as she grew up playing all sorts of sports in Peachtree City, she never thought she would want to leave home. But her soccer travels for the USA’s youth and senior national teams, as well as a brilliant collegiate career at Stanford, have led her to live on both coasts and have taken her around the globe, opening up her eyes to a world she embraces while living life to the fullest.

HEATHER O’REILLY
Heather O'Reilly grew up with three older brothers who loved including her in their sporting exploits and watched with pride as her athleticism grew...even when she started beating their friends. Later, O'Reilly would discover that she shares something else with one of her brothers: the game face.

CHRISTEN PRESS
Christen Press’ journey took her from a highly successful but often stressful college career in California, to a folded pro league in Florida, to a fresh start in Sweden, and then to a spot as an alternate on the 2012 Olympic Team in England. Along the way she found peace with herself, and in her game, while scoring nearly a goal for every two games she has played for the U.S. Women’s National Team.

MEGAN RAPINOE
Growing up in a small town in northern California with her twin sister Rachael helped shape Megan Rapinoe into the person and player she is today. While her childhood pursuits were not good for the crawdads in the pond by her house, it positively impacted her outlook on life and strengthened a family bond that has propelled her to great success on the soccer field.

CHRISTIE RAMPONE
Through eighteen years on the U.S. Women’s National Team, defender Christie Rampone has grown from a tremendously shy dual-sport athlete out of a small New Jersey school to the long-time captain of her country. Along the way she has learned from the many players and coaches who have graced the U.S. team over the past two decades. Rampone earned the monikers of Captain America and America’s #1 Soccer Mom while raising two daughters who have grown up around the team. She feels incredibly fortunate to have had so many great role models for Rylie and Reece, who are anything but shy.

AMY RODRIGUEZ
Amy Rodriguez knew that returning to the field after having her son following the 2012 Olympics was not going to be easy. After a trade to a new club, she found new motivation, helped lead FC Kansas City to a NWSL title and earned a spot on the Women's World Cup Team. After giving birth to her son Ryan, she realized she was not nearly ready to hang up her cleats and underwent a shift in perspective. Fueled by her desire to make Ryan proud when he came of age to understand her accomplishments, Rodriguez sought to pursue her goals to the fullest. Mission accomplished.

BECKY SAUERBRUNN
At times, growing up with two older brothers wasn’t easy, but it certainly helped mold Becky Sauerbrunn into the tremendous competitor she is today. While her brothers did in fact dress her in make-shift goalie gear and shot hockey pucks at her, they also helped her learn to read, which opened up a new universe of literature and in turn nurtured her passion for knowledge. Now Sauerbrunn makes a point to learn about new cultures in all the places she’s been able to travel with the U.S. Women’s National Team while always looking to expand her education.

HOPE SOLO
From an early age, Hope Solo wanted to be a professional soccer player. She just didn’t think it would be in goal. A highly-decorated scorer as a forward in high school in Richland, Wash., she didn’t come to terms with being a goalkeeper until her later years in college. With the support of her coaches at the University of Washington, she was told she could be the best in the world. They were right. Since then, she has been dedicated to her craft, and while she says that no one can perfect the art of goalkeeping, she loves the challenge it brings, and that’s what continues to motivate her.

ABBY WAMBACH
One of the greatest competitors and winners in the history of women's soccer grew up as the youngest of seven kids in Rochester, New York. Her competitive fire was partly fueled by a loss during her senior year of high school and stoked by another crushing defeat on the biggest stage four years ago. As she pursues an elusive Women's World Cup title in her last go-around, no one realizes more than Abby Wambach that you are defined not by falling down but by how you respond when you get up.

Gallery: WNT Reps its New Nike Home Kit

Photos from the U.S. Women's National Team photo shoot in its new Nike designed home kit the players will wear at this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. 

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.

U.S. Women's National Team Unveils New 2015 Nike Home Kit

CHICAGO (April 22, 2015) – The U.S. Women’s National Team has unveiled a new Nike home kit the team will wear throughout the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The USA kits are available in women’s, men’s, and youth sizes and will be available for sale on ussoccerstore.com starting today at 8 p.m. ET. Fans can also purchase the jerseys starting today through the Nike Soccer App (gonike.me/SoccerApp), Nike stores and Nike.com. 

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