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WNT Surprise Lunch with GMA's Robin Roberts

U.S. Soccer hosted Media Day for the U.S. Women’s National Team Wednesday afternoon at the New York Marriott Marquis. Over 190 media members attended the event in Manhattan to preview the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 and ask about the team’s preparations ahead of their final Send-Off Series match this Saturday.

Prior to the press conferences and round table discussions, the players ate lunch with a special guest.

Robin Roberts, anchor on ABC’s Good Morning America, gave praise to the athletes gearing up to represent their country next month and also gave them a bit of perspective.


#USWNT attacker Christen Press chats with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts at lunch during Media Day before the 2015 Women's World Cup.

“In life, it’s what you overcome that stays with you,” said Roberts, who recently overcame Breast Cancer and Leukemia. “It builds your character and that really makes you who you are.”

“Watching Robin’s very public personal journey battling her disease [and] seeing her come out of it in such a positive way, doing the things that she still loves, is really an inspiration,” said U.S. defender Meghan Klingenberg. “There needs to be more people like her in the world.”


#USWNT defender Meghan Klingenberg and Robin Roberts share a moment during Media Day.

The United States will play Korea Republic in their final match of the Send-Off Series this Saturday at Red Bull Arena. A limited number of tickets are still available for purchase.

You’ve Earned the Right

Six-year-old Whitney Engen watched Kerri Strug’s final vault during the 1996 Olympics and decided there and then that she was going to be a gymnast. Fully absorbed in her gymnast aspirations, Engen had no intention of playing soccer.

“But my Mom and Dad basically said, ‘Sorry, you have to do this, you gotta play two sports a year’ – I think they just did that because I was such an active kid that they just wanted me to be tired before bed,” laughs Engen.

While she didn’t care much for the game itself, she did like the rituals surrounding it: 1) She got candy after every practice, and 2) When her dad drove her to the game in his old diesel Mercedes, he blasted opera music as they wound up the hill toward the field. They both jokingly sang along, car-rattle helping their operatic vibrato. 


Engen in her early days as a soccer player

Then, in her third season of gymnastics, she was dismissed from her gym because she was too big.

“I wanted to be a gymnast more than anything in the world,” says Engen. “But when you’re a 5’7, 100-pound third grader, it doesn’t really work out for you. I was a huge, huge kid. I’ve basically been this tall my whole life. I don’t want to say it was traumatizing, but it was definitely impactful. I towered over everyone.”

On the soccer field, things weren’t going much better than gymnastics.

#USWNT Media Day in NYC

It was #USWNT Media Day at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square yesterday! More than 190 media members came to speak to the players, making for a memorable day in Manhattan.

Swim on Through to the Other Side

“You want to hear a story about Kelley O’Hara? Here’s one that tells you everything you need to know,” says Paul Ratcliffe, coach of Stanford University’s women’s soccer team.

Before O’Hara’s senior year at Stanford, the women’s soccer team traveled to the University of Hawaii for preseason matches. On their off morning, they went sightseeing at Kailua Beach Park. Ratcliffe left the team on one side of the beach and took a walk with his family to the other.


Kailua Beach Park. Photo by Jessica Lieuson.

“When I get back, all the girls are sitting down, kind of laughing and looking uneasy. I was like, ‘Uh, what’s up?’ That’s when they pointed out two tiny flecks swimming out in the water, en route to an island that is far away –I’m talking like far, far out,” says Ratcliffe. “And I’m responsible for these girls, and I’m panicked. When I told the Hawaii coach about it, he says, ‘Yeah, people die doing that.’”

O’Hara and teammate Ali Riley (who plays for the New Zealand national team) had been sitting in the sand, idly wondering whether it was possible to swim out to that island in the distance. The daydreaming prompted reactions from their teammates: “Not possible,” “No way,” “You guys are out of you mind if you think you could swim all the way there!”

Teammate Impressions with the U.S. WNT

The U.S. WNT players spend a ton of time together on and off the field, so they’ve become very familiar with each other’s on-field Idiosyncrasies, as Heather O’Reilly and Abby Wambach demonstrate.

FOX Announces U.S. WNT FIFA Women’s World Cup TV Schedule

CHICAGO (May 20, 2015) – FOX Sports today announced its 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup broadcast schedule, which will feature two of the three U.S. Women’s National Team group-stage games live on FOX and the third live on FOX Sports 1. All 52 of the tournament’s games will be broadcast live from six cities across Canada between June 6 and July 5 on FOX, FOX Sports 1, and FOX Sports 2.  

An unprecedented 16 matches will be broadcast live on FOX and the 2015 event marks the first time since 2003 that any FIFA Women’s World Cup matches are scheduled for over-the-air broadcast in the U.S. The WNT’s group stage games against Sweden on Friday, June 12 at 8 p.m. ET, and Nigeria on Tuesday, June 16 at 8 p.m. ET will both air on FOX. The USA’s opening match against Australia on June 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET will air on FOX Sports 1.

U.S. WNT FIFA Women's Word Cup FOX Broadcast Schedule

Date                            Time                           Matchup                                 FOX Network
June 8, 2015               7:30 p.m. ET               WNT vs. AUS                            FOX Sports 1
June 12, 2015             8 p.m. ET                    WNT vs. SWE                           FOX
June 16, 2015             8 p.m. ET                    WNT vs. NGA                           FOX

Five of the 16 matches committed to air on FOX will be broadcast in primetime, including one semifinal, the third place match on July 4 and the final on July 5. FOX Sports 1 will carry 29 matches, including all eight in the round of 16, two quarterfinals and one semifinal. The remaining seven games are slated for FOX Sports 2.

Combining games with anticipated pregame, postgame and complementary programming, FOX Sports is expected to provide almost 200 hours of World Cup-Coverage averaging between six and seven hours a day over the month-long tournament.

Calling FOX Sports’ coverage of the 52 matches are Glenn Davis & Christine Latham; JP Dellacamera, Cat Whitehill & Tony DiCicco; Jenn Hildreth & Kyndra de St. Aubin; Justin Kutcher & Aly Wagner; and John Strong & Danielle Slaton. Dellacamera, Whitehill and DiCicco have been assigned to the three U.S. games in the group stage. Additionally, former USWNT player Angela Hucles will provide game analysis.

Complementing FOX Sports’ extensive live match coverage all month is studio programming originating from its specially-constructed set located at Jack Poole Plaza in Vancouver. ‘FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP TODAY’ will provide pre-match, halftime, post-match and bridge show coverage, while ‘FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP TONIGHT’ will offer the definitive last word on the day’s action. Most matches are to be preceded by a 60-minute edition of ‘FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP TODAY,’ though there are occasional 30- and 90-minute shows. Leading-off FOX Sports’ FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™ coverage is FIFA Women’s World Cup Special: a live one-hour preview show airing on the eve of match play, Friday, June 5  from 7:30-8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. Besides FOX Sports’ Women’s World Cup-specific programs, ample tournament coverage is planned for daily viewing on FOX Sports 1’s signature news programs ‘AMERICA’S PREGAME’ and ‘FOX SPORTS LIVE’. 

Kate Abdo and Rob Stone share anchor duties for FOX Sports’ studio coverage from Vancouver and are joined analysts Monica Gonzalez, Ariane Hingst, Alexi Lalas, Christine Latham, Heather Mitts, Leslie Osborne, Kelly Smith, Eric Wynalda and Dr. Joe Machnik.  In addition to her match analysis, Hucles also contributes to studio coverage.

Jenny Taft, Julie Stewart-Binks and Grant Wahl serve as reporters during the four-week event.  Taft has been assigned the major role of being embedded with the U.S. Women’s National Team, providing in-depth reports, breaking news and features on the squad throughout the tournament as she has since World Cup Qualifying.  Stewart-Binks, a native Canadian, serves as a roving reporter, and is expected to report from at least 11 different games in four different cities during the group stage.  Wahl serves as correspondent-at-large, covering the wide-array of stories that develop naturally during a month-long tournament.

On the digital front, besides all matches and studio programs being streamed live on FOX Sports GO, the critically-acclaimed mobile app also offers three alternate streams during the tournament. The first, Match 360, offers exclusive backstage access to the walk players take from locker room to field and pregame warm-ups before every game, in-progress highlights throughout matches and post-match press conferences. A second feed offers a non-stop in-game view from the tactical cameras showing all 22 players, while the third feed comes directly from cable-cam as it flies above the field during play.  The Tactical Cam feed is available for 41 of the 52 matches, while the Cable Cam feed is available for 23. Finally, FOX Sports Digital video offers extended versions of more than 60 player profiles and team features produced specifically for FOX Sports’ coverage of the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Carli Lloyd Offers Words of Wisdom to U-20 WNT

Carli Lloyd stopped by to talk to the U-20 WNT about the obstacles and challenges she overcame to reach her dreams of playing soccer at the highest competitive level.

HIGHLIGHTS: WNT Turns on Second-Half Style in 5-1 Romp over Mexico

Sydney Leroux and Abby Wambach led the way as the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Mexico 5-1 in the second of its three-game Send-Off Series matches ahead of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Leroux, Wambach Power USA to 5-1 Send-Off Series Victory against Mexico

CARSON, CALIFORNIA (May 17, 2015) – Sydney Leroux and Abby Wambach led the way as the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Mexico 5-1 in the second of its three-game Send-Off Series matches ahead of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Before a sellout crowd of 27,000, the largest-ever for the WNT at StubHub Center, the U.S. outshot Mexico 12-4 in the first half and put eight shots on goal while producing a number of close opportunities that required all manner of blocks and saves from the Mexico defense and goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago (five first-half saves), who kept things close with a fine performance.

After the U.S. broke through midway through the opening frame, Mexico struck back late in the first half as the teams entered the break knotted 1-1. But the USA turned on the style in the second half with four unanswered goals to put the match out of sight.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA- Sydney Leroux (Megan Rapinoe), 28th minute: 
Sydney Leroux made a perfectly-timed run onto a Megan Rapinoe through-ball that sliced through Mexico’s defense. From the left side, Leroux found herself one-on-one with goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago and made a touch with the outside of her left foot to dart around the keeper. Then from a difficult angle, Leroux blasted a left-footed shot across the goalmouth into the far side netting. USA 1, MEX 0 (SEE GOAL)

MEX- Ariana Calderon (Bianca Sierra), 39th minute: From a free kick, Bianca Sierra bent a long, curling ball in from the left. Hope Solo went out to punch it clear, but Ariana Calderon was first to ball and headed it in to the vacated net, ending the U.S.’s shutout streak at five games. USA 1, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Lori Chalupny (Abby Wambach), 46th minute: Out of the second-half gate, the U.S. pressured with an immediate attack. Two second-half subs made the goal happen. Abby Wambach was the first to a deflected, rolling ball in the box. She controlled near the post with her back to a pressing ‘keeper and defender. Sensing the defense, Wambach dished it out to a waiting Chalupny, who fired and buried a near-post goal, just out of reach of the diving Santiago. USA 2, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Abby Wambach (penalty kick), 58th minute: Mexico’s Arianna Romero went to clear away a U.S. corner kick, but sent her clearance off her hand to set up a USA penalty kick. Abby Wambach lined up, and blasted a left-footed shot into the left corner of the goal. USA 3, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Sydney Leroux (Morgan Brian), 61st minute: Leroux’s second goal of the night was similar to her first, only this time it came from the right side. Leroux ran onto a Morgan Brian ball and made one right-footed touch to get outside of the closing goalkeeper. With the room the touch created, Leroux finished into the lower left corner of the goal. USA 4, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Abby Wambach (Tobin Heath), 72nd minute: From the left edge of the box, Tobin Heath left her defender behind with a wicked cut, which gave her room to send a cross to Abby Wambach at the back post. Wambach out-jumped a pair of defenders to head home her second goal of the night. USA 5, MEX 1 (FINAL) (SEE GOAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops: 
MEX- Cecilia Santiago, 10th minute (save):
 Megan Rapinoe played a ball through the middle to Christen Press who completed the one-two by leading Rapinoe with a perfectly-timed pass. Rapinoe, ripped a shot from the center of the box, but Santiago was there to meet her and cut down the angle to make a quick save.

MEX-Alina Garcíamendez and Cecilia Santiago, 14th minute (block and save): In the closing seconds of the 14th minute, the Mexico defense rallied to stand firm and hold off a barrage of close-range U.S. shots. The action began when Morgan Brian brought the ball down the right side and looped a cross to a breaking Christen Press at the back post. Press connected with a header that beat the keeper, but Mexico’s Alina Garcíamendez headed it off the line and away. Garcíamendez’s key stop rolled out to a waiting Sydney Leroux, who took a shot that deflected off a defender to Megan Rapinoe on the left. Rapinoe sent a rocket from five yards out that connected with Santiago’s face and bounced out to Carli Lloyd on the opposite side of the goal. Lloyd then headed back across to Rapinoe, who headed another shot on target, but Santiago had recovered to make the save again, this time holding on to put an end to the U.S. attack.

MEX-Alina Garcíamendez and Cecilia Santiago, 43rd minute (block and save): For the second time in the half, the Mexico goalkeeper and defender rallied to hold off a series of USA shots. Leroux again chased down a ball on the left side, but seeing the defense closing in, cut back and passed off to Lauren Holiday. From 25 yards out Holiday ripped a shot at Santiago, who blocked it. Megan Rapinoe followed the shot and looked to put in the rebound, but Santiago made a diving reaction save to deflect it away again. Morgan Brian ran onto the deflection and fired a shot of her own, but Garcíamendez stepped in front and blocked it aside.

Milestone Watch:

  • The crowd of 27,000 was the largest in WNT history when playing in Carson.
  • Abby Wambach widened the gap as the world’s all-time leading goal-scorer with her 181st and 182nd international goals. Wambach is the team’s leading goal-scorer in 2015 with five scores.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT faces Korea Republic on May 30 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey at 4:30 p.m. ET
Broadcast information: ESPN, WatchESPN and Univision Deportes
Social: Twitter @ussoccer_wntFacebook; Instagram @ussoccer_wnt

Additional Notes:

  • The USA improved its record against rival Mexico to 31-1-1, and the WNT has outscored its North American foe 139-12. The win also extended the WNT’s perfect record against Mexico in Carson to 8-0-0.
  • The U.S. WNT extended its unbeaten streak in Carson to 11 games. The team holds an immaculate 11-0-0 record that dates back to its first matchup at the home of the LA Galaxy back in 2003. The USA has outscored opponents 42-4 in Carson. No team has ever scored more than one goal against the U.S. Women while playing in Carson.
  • Abby Wambach’s pair of goals brought her career scoring total against Mexico to 24 goals. Wambach has scored more goals against Mexico than against any other team. It was her eight multi-goal game against Mexico.
  • Sydney Leroux made her first start of the 2015 season and scored her second and third goals of the year. Her last start came in the WNT’s 3-2 defeat in the 2014 Brasilia International Tournament to host Brazil on Dec. 14, 2014.
  • While the five-game shutout streak for the U.S. has ended; in its last seven games, the U.S. has surrendered just two goals and scored 20.
  • Lori Chalupny’s goal was her second of the year, with her first coming in the U.S’s 4-0 win over New Zealand on April 4.
  • Midfielder Tobin Heath, who missed last game with a tender hamstring, returned today and recorded an assist.

- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report - 

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: May 17, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, California
Kickoff: 6 p.m. PT
Attendance: 27,000 (sellout)
Weather: 61 degrees, partly cloudy 

Scoring Summary:                1          2          F
USA                                        1          4          5
MEX                                       1          0          1 

USA – Sydney Leroux (Megan Rapinoe)      28th minute
MEX – Ariana Calderon (Bianca Sierra)        39
USA – Lori Chalupny (Abby Wambach)       46
USA – Abby Wambach (penalty kick)           58
USA – Sydney Leroux (Morgan Brian)         61
USA – Abby Wambach (Tobin Heath)          72 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (5-Kelley O’Hara, 70), 19-Julie Johnston (3-Christie Rampone, 46), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (6-Whitney Engen, 70), 22-Meghan Klingenberg (16-Lori Chalupny, 46); 14-Morgan Brian, 12-Lauren Holiday (17-Tobin Heath, 62), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 15-Megan Rapinoe; 2-Sydney Leroux, 23-Christen Press (20-Abby Wambach, 46)
Subs Not Used: 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 13-Alex Morgan, 18-Ashley Harris, 21-Alyssa Naeher
Head coach: Jill Ellis

MEX: 1-Cecilia Santiago; 2-Kenti Robles, 3-Christina Murillo (6-Jennifer Ruiz, 64), 4-Alina Garcíamendez, 15-Bianca Sierra; 7-Nayeli Rangel, 11-Monica Ocampo, 14-Arianna Romero, 17-Veronica Perez; 9-Veronica Charlyn Corral, 21-Ariana Calderon (19-Renae Cuellar, 42 (16-Monica Alvarado, 69))
Subs Not Used: 12-Pamela Tajonar, 23-Mariana Ladron; 5-Valeria Miranda, 13-Greta Espinoza, 10-Stephany Mayor, 18-Amanda Perez, 8-Teresa Noyola, 22-Fabiola Ibarra, 24-Maria Sanchez; 20-Yadira Toraya
Head coach: Leonardo Cuellar 

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 29 / 6
Shots on Goal: 13 / 4
Saves: 3 / 6
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 9 / 5
Offside: 1 / 0 

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Marianela Araya Cruz (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Katherine Daniela Jimenez (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Nelly Odette Alvarado Quiros (CRC)
4th Official: Maurees Skeete (GUY) 

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Sydney Leroux

WNT Surprise Lunch with GMA's Robin Roberts

U.S. Soccer hosted Media Day for the U.S. Women’s National Team Wednesday afternoon at the New York Marriott Marquis. Over 190 media members attended the event in Manhattan to preview the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 and ask about the team’s preparations ahead of their final Send-Off Series match this Saturday.

Prior to the press conferences and round table discussions, the players ate lunch with a special guest.

Robin Roberts, anchor on ABC’s Good Morning America, gave praise to the athletes gearing up to represent their country next month and also gave them a bit of perspective.


#USWNT attacker Christen Press chats with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts at lunch during Media Day before the 2015 Women's World Cup.

“In life, it’s what you overcome that stays with you,” said Roberts, who recently overcame Breast Cancer and Leukemia. “It builds your character and that really makes you who you are.”

“Watching Robin’s very public personal journey battling her disease [and] seeing her come out of it in such a positive way, doing the things that she still loves, is really an inspiration,” said U.S. defender Meghan Klingenberg. “There needs to be more people like her in the world.”


#USWNT defender Meghan Klingenberg and Robin Roberts share a moment during Media Day.

The United States will play Korea Republic in their final match of the Send-Off Series this Saturday at Red Bull Arena. A limited number of tickets are still available for purchase.

You’ve Earned the Right

Six-year-old Whitney Engen watched Kerri Strug’s final vault during the 1996 Olympics and decided there and then that she was going to be a gymnast. Fully absorbed in her gymnast aspirations, Engen had no intention of playing soccer.

“But my Mom and Dad basically said, ‘Sorry, you have to do this, you gotta play two sports a year’ – I think they just did that because I was such an active kid that they just wanted me to be tired before bed,” laughs Engen.

While she didn’t care much for the game itself, she did like the rituals surrounding it: 1) She got candy after every practice, and 2) When her dad drove her to the game in his old diesel Mercedes, he blasted opera music as they wound up the hill toward the field. They both jokingly sang along, car-rattle helping their operatic vibrato. 


Engen in her early days as a soccer player

Then, in her third season of gymnastics, she was dismissed from her gym because she was too big.

“I wanted to be a gymnast more than anything in the world,” says Engen. “But when you’re a 5’7, 100-pound third grader, it doesn’t really work out for you. I was a huge, huge kid. I’ve basically been this tall my whole life. I don’t want to say it was traumatizing, but it was definitely impactful. I towered over everyone.”

On the soccer field, things weren’t going much better than gymnastics.

#USWNT Media Day in NYC

It was #USWNT Media Day at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square yesterday! More than 190 media members came to speak to the players, making for a memorable day in Manhattan.

Swim on Through to the Other Side

“You want to hear a story about Kelley O’Hara? Here’s one that tells you everything you need to know,” says Paul Ratcliffe, coach of Stanford University’s women’s soccer team.

Before O’Hara’s senior year at Stanford, the women’s soccer team traveled to the University of Hawaii for preseason matches. On their off morning, they went sightseeing at Kailua Beach Park. Ratcliffe left the team on one side of the beach and took a walk with his family to the other.


Kailua Beach Park. Photo by Jessica Lieuson.

“When I get back, all the girls are sitting down, kind of laughing and looking uneasy. I was like, ‘Uh, what’s up?’ That’s when they pointed out two tiny flecks swimming out in the water, en route to an island that is far away –I’m talking like far, far out,” says Ratcliffe. “And I’m responsible for these girls, and I’m panicked. When I told the Hawaii coach about it, he says, ‘Yeah, people die doing that.’”

O’Hara and teammate Ali Riley (who plays for the New Zealand national team) had been sitting in the sand, idly wondering whether it was possible to swim out to that island in the distance. The daydreaming prompted reactions from their teammates: “Not possible,” “No way,” “You guys are out of you mind if you think you could swim all the way there!”

Gallery: WNT Delivers 3-0 Win Over Ireland on Mother's Day

Photos from the U.S. Women's National Team's 3-0 defeat of the Republic of Ireland before a sell-out crowd of 18,000 at Avaya Stadium on Mother's Day. Abby Wambach bagged a brace in the first half to reach 180 career goals, and Julie Johnston scored in a third consecutive match to cap off the scoring for the U.S., which next plays Mexico on May 17 at StubHub Center in Carson, California. That match kicks off at 6 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and Univision Deportes. 

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.

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.

Gallery: WNT Celebrates Big Win in St. Louis

The U.S. WNT put up a quality 4-0 win against a stubborn New Zealand side that gave the USA tough challenge until a three-goal barrage late in the second half sealed the deal for the U.S. in front of a program record 35,817 fans at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Women's National Team next plays the Republic of Ireland at newly christened Avaya Stadium in San Jose on May 10 to kick off its three-game Send-Off Series lead-in to this summer's Women's World Cup in Canada. The match against Ireland begins at 11:30 a.m PT and will air live on FOX Sports 1.

Photo Gallery: WNT Celebrates 10th Algarve Cup Crown

Photos from the WNT's 2-0 win against France at the 2015 Algarve Cup. Goals by Julie Johnston (her first career international score for the USWNT) and Christen Press handed the USA its 10th Algarve Cup crown, by far the most titles of any nation. 

The WNT next plays on April 4 against New Zealand at Busch Stadium in St. Louis (TICKETS). More than 30,000 tickets have already been sold for the match that will serve as the USA's 2015 home opener ahead of this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, which begins June 6. Fans can also follow all the action on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt@ussoccer_esp and Instagram @ussoccer_wnt

FOX Announces U.S. WNT FIFA Women’s World Cup TV Schedule

CHICAGO (May 20, 2015) – FOX Sports today announced its 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup broadcast schedule, which will feature two of the three U.S. Women’s National Team group-stage games live on FOX and the third live on FOX Sports 1. All 52 of the tournament’s games will be broadcast live from six cities across Canada between June 6 and July 5 on FOX, FOX Sports 1, and FOX Sports 2.  

An unprecedented 16 matches will be broadcast live on FOX and the 2015 event marks the first time since 2003 that any FIFA Women’s World Cup matches are scheduled for over-the-air broadcast in the U.S. The WNT’s group stage games against Sweden on Friday, June 12 at 8 p.m. ET, and Nigeria on Tuesday, June 16 at 8 p.m. ET will both air on FOX. The USA’s opening match against Australia on June 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET will air on FOX Sports 1.

U.S. WNT FIFA Women's Word Cup FOX Broadcast Schedule

Date                            Time                           Matchup                                 FOX Network
June 8, 2015               7:30 p.m. ET               WNT vs. AUS                            FOX Sports 1
June 12, 2015             8 p.m. ET                    WNT vs. SWE                           FOX
June 16, 2015             8 p.m. ET                    WNT vs. NGA                           FOX

Five of the 16 matches committed to air on FOX will be broadcast in primetime, including one semifinal, the third place match on July 4 and the final on July 5. FOX Sports 1 will carry 29 matches, including all eight in the round of 16, two quarterfinals and one semifinal. The remaining seven games are slated for FOX Sports 2.

Combining games with anticipated pregame, postgame and complementary programming, FOX Sports is expected to provide almost 200 hours of World Cup-Coverage averaging between six and seven hours a day over the month-long tournament.

Calling FOX Sports’ coverage of the 52 matches are Glenn Davis & Christine Latham; JP Dellacamera, Cat Whitehill & Tony DiCicco; Jenn Hildreth & Kyndra de St. Aubin; Justin Kutcher & Aly Wagner; and John Strong & Danielle Slaton. Dellacamera, Whitehill and DiCicco have been assigned to the three U.S. games in the group stage. Additionally, former USWNT player Angela Hucles will provide game analysis.

Complementing FOX Sports’ extensive live match coverage all month is studio programming originating from its specially-constructed set located at Jack Poole Plaza in Vancouver. ‘FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP TODAY’ will provide pre-match, halftime, post-match and bridge show coverage, while ‘FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP TONIGHT’ will offer the definitive last word on the day’s action. Most matches are to be preceded by a 60-minute edition of ‘FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP TODAY,’ though there are occasional 30- and 90-minute shows. Leading-off FOX Sports’ FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™ coverage is FIFA Women’s World Cup Special: a live one-hour preview show airing on the eve of match play, Friday, June 5  from 7:30-8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. Besides FOX Sports’ Women’s World Cup-specific programs, ample tournament coverage is planned for daily viewing on FOX Sports 1’s signature news programs ‘AMERICA’S PREGAME’ and ‘FOX SPORTS LIVE’. 

Kate Abdo and Rob Stone share anchor duties for FOX Sports’ studio coverage from Vancouver and are joined analysts Monica Gonzalez, Ariane Hingst, Alexi Lalas, Christine Latham, Heather Mitts, Leslie Osborne, Kelly Smith, Eric Wynalda and Dr. Joe Machnik.  In addition to her match analysis, Hucles also contributes to studio coverage.

Jenny Taft, Julie Stewart-Binks and Grant Wahl serve as reporters during the four-week event.  Taft has been assigned the major role of being embedded with the U.S. Women’s National Team, providing in-depth reports, breaking news and features on the squad throughout the tournament as she has since World Cup Qualifying.  Stewart-Binks, a native Canadian, serves as a roving reporter, and is expected to report from at least 11 different games in four different cities during the group stage.  Wahl serves as correspondent-at-large, covering the wide-array of stories that develop naturally during a month-long tournament.

On the digital front, besides all matches and studio programs being streamed live on FOX Sports GO, the critically-acclaimed mobile app also offers three alternate streams during the tournament. The first, Match 360, offers exclusive backstage access to the walk players take from locker room to field and pregame warm-ups before every game, in-progress highlights throughout matches and post-match press conferences. A second feed offers a non-stop in-game view from the tactical cameras showing all 22 players, while the third feed comes directly from cable-cam as it flies above the field during play.  The Tactical Cam feed is available for 41 of the 52 matches, while the Cable Cam feed is available for 23. Finally, FOX Sports Digital video offers extended versions of more than 60 player profiles and team features produced specifically for FOX Sports’ coverage of the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Leroux, Wambach Power USA to 5-1 Send-Off Series Victory against Mexico

CARSON, CALIFORNIA (May 17, 2015) – Sydney Leroux and Abby Wambach led the way as the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Mexico 5-1 in the second of its three-game Send-Off Series matches ahead of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Before a sellout crowd of 27,000, the largest-ever for the WNT at StubHub Center, the U.S. outshot Mexico 12-4 in the first half and put eight shots on goal while producing a number of close opportunities that required all manner of blocks and saves from the Mexico defense and goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago (five first-half saves), who kept things close with a fine performance.

After the U.S. broke through midway through the opening frame, Mexico struck back late in the first half as the teams entered the break knotted 1-1. But the USA turned on the style in the second half with four unanswered goals to put the match out of sight.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA- Sydney Leroux (Megan Rapinoe), 28th minute: 
Sydney Leroux made a perfectly-timed run onto a Megan Rapinoe through-ball that sliced through Mexico’s defense. From the left side, Leroux found herself one-on-one with goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago and made a touch with the outside of her left foot to dart around the keeper. Then from a difficult angle, Leroux blasted a left-footed shot across the goalmouth into the far side netting. USA 1, MEX 0 (SEE GOAL)

MEX- Ariana Calderon (Bianca Sierra), 39th minute: From a free kick, Bianca Sierra bent a long, curling ball in from the left. Hope Solo went out to punch it clear, but Ariana Calderon was first to ball and headed it in to the vacated net, ending the U.S.’s shutout streak at five games. USA 1, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Lori Chalupny (Abby Wambach), 46th minute: Out of the second-half gate, the U.S. pressured with an immediate attack. Two second-half subs made the goal happen. Abby Wambach was the first to a deflected, rolling ball in the box. She controlled near the post with her back to a pressing ‘keeper and defender. Sensing the defense, Wambach dished it out to a waiting Chalupny, who fired and buried a near-post goal, just out of reach of the diving Santiago. USA 2, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Abby Wambach (penalty kick), 58th minute: Mexico’s Arianna Romero went to clear away a U.S. corner kick, but sent her clearance off her hand to set up a USA penalty kick. Abby Wambach lined up, and blasted a left-footed shot into the left corner of the goal. USA 3, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Sydney Leroux (Morgan Brian), 61st minute: Leroux’s second goal of the night was similar to her first, only this time it came from the right side. Leroux ran onto a Morgan Brian ball and made one right-footed touch to get outside of the closing goalkeeper. With the room the touch created, Leroux finished into the lower left corner of the goal. USA 4, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Abby Wambach (Tobin Heath), 72nd minute: From the left edge of the box, Tobin Heath left her defender behind with a wicked cut, which gave her room to send a cross to Abby Wambach at the back post. Wambach out-jumped a pair of defenders to head home her second goal of the night. USA 5, MEX 1 (FINAL) (SEE GOAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops: 
MEX- Cecilia Santiago, 10th minute (save):
 Megan Rapinoe played a ball through the middle to Christen Press who completed the one-two by leading Rapinoe with a perfectly-timed pass. Rapinoe, ripped a shot from the center of the box, but Santiago was there to meet her and cut down the angle to make a quick save.

MEX-Alina Garcíamendez and Cecilia Santiago, 14th minute (block and save): In the closing seconds of the 14th minute, the Mexico defense rallied to stand firm and hold off a barrage of close-range U.S. shots. The action began when Morgan Brian brought the ball down the right side and looped a cross to a breaking Christen Press at the back post. Press connected with a header that beat the keeper, but Mexico’s Alina Garcíamendez headed it off the line and away. Garcíamendez’s key stop rolled out to a waiting Sydney Leroux, who took a shot that deflected off a defender to Megan Rapinoe on the left. Rapinoe sent a rocket from five yards out that connected with Santiago’s face and bounced out to Carli Lloyd on the opposite side of the goal. Lloyd then headed back across to Rapinoe, who headed another shot on target, but Santiago had recovered to make the save again, this time holding on to put an end to the U.S. attack.

MEX-Alina Garcíamendez and Cecilia Santiago, 43rd minute (block and save): For the second time in the half, the Mexico goalkeeper and defender rallied to hold off a series of USA shots. Leroux again chased down a ball on the left side, but seeing the defense closing in, cut back and passed off to Lauren Holiday. From 25 yards out Holiday ripped a shot at Santiago, who blocked it. Megan Rapinoe followed the shot and looked to put in the rebound, but Santiago made a diving reaction save to deflect it away again. Morgan Brian ran onto the deflection and fired a shot of her own, but Garcíamendez stepped in front and blocked it aside.

Milestone Watch:

  • The crowd of 27,000 was the largest in WNT history when playing in Carson.
  • Abby Wambach widened the gap as the world’s all-time leading goal-scorer with her 181st and 182nd international goals. Wambach is the team’s leading goal-scorer in 2015 with five scores.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT faces Korea Republic on May 30 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey at 4:30 p.m. ET
Broadcast information: ESPN, WatchESPN and Univision Deportes
Social: Twitter @ussoccer_wntFacebook; Instagram @ussoccer_wnt

Additional Notes:

  • The USA improved its record against rival Mexico to 31-1-1, and the WNT has outscored its North American foe 139-12. The win also extended the WNT’s perfect record against Mexico in Carson to 8-0-0.
  • The U.S. WNT extended its unbeaten streak in Carson to 11 games. The team holds an immaculate 11-0-0 record that dates back to its first matchup at the home of the LA Galaxy back in 2003. The USA has outscored opponents 42-4 in Carson. No team has ever scored more than one goal against the U.S. Women while playing in Carson.
  • Abby Wambach’s pair of goals brought her career scoring total against Mexico to 24 goals. Wambach has scored more goals against Mexico than against any other team. It was her eight multi-goal game against Mexico.
  • Sydney Leroux made her first start of the 2015 season and scored her second and third goals of the year. Her last start came in the WNT’s 3-2 defeat in the 2014 Brasilia International Tournament to host Brazil on Dec. 14, 2014.
  • While the five-game shutout streak for the U.S. has ended; in its last seven games, the U.S. has surrendered just two goals and scored 20.
  • Lori Chalupny’s goal was her second of the year, with her first coming in the U.S’s 4-0 win over New Zealand on April 4.
  • Midfielder Tobin Heath, who missed last game with a tender hamstring, returned today and recorded an assist.

- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report - 

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: May 17, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, California
Kickoff: 6 p.m. PT
Attendance: 27,000 (sellout)
Weather: 61 degrees, partly cloudy 

Scoring Summary:                1          2          F
USA                                        1          4          5
MEX                                       1          0          1 

USA – Sydney Leroux (Megan Rapinoe)      28th minute
MEX – Ariana Calderon (Bianca Sierra)        39
USA – Lori Chalupny (Abby Wambach)       46
USA – Abby Wambach (penalty kick)           58
USA – Sydney Leroux (Morgan Brian)         61
USA – Abby Wambach (Tobin Heath)          72 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (5-Kelley O’Hara, 70), 19-Julie Johnston (3-Christie Rampone, 46), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (6-Whitney Engen, 70), 22-Meghan Klingenberg (16-Lori Chalupny, 46); 14-Morgan Brian, 12-Lauren Holiday (17-Tobin Heath, 62), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 15-Megan Rapinoe; 2-Sydney Leroux, 23-Christen Press (20-Abby Wambach, 46)
Subs Not Used: 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 13-Alex Morgan, 18-Ashley Harris, 21-Alyssa Naeher
Head coach: Jill Ellis

MEX: 1-Cecilia Santiago; 2-Kenti Robles, 3-Christina Murillo (6-Jennifer Ruiz, 64), 4-Alina Garcíamendez, 15-Bianca Sierra; 7-Nayeli Rangel, 11-Monica Ocampo, 14-Arianna Romero, 17-Veronica Perez; 9-Veronica Charlyn Corral, 21-Ariana Calderon (19-Renae Cuellar, 42 (16-Monica Alvarado, 69))
Subs Not Used: 12-Pamela Tajonar, 23-Mariana Ladron; 5-Valeria Miranda, 13-Greta Espinoza, 10-Stephany Mayor, 18-Amanda Perez, 8-Teresa Noyola, 22-Fabiola Ibarra, 24-Maria Sanchez; 20-Yadira Toraya
Head coach: Leonardo Cuellar 

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 29 / 6
Shots on Goal: 13 / 4
Saves: 3 / 6
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 9 / 5
Offside: 1 / 0 

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Marianela Araya Cruz (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Katherine Daniela Jimenez (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Nelly Odette Alvarado Quiros (CRC)
4th Official: Maurees Skeete (GUY) 

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Sydney Leroux

WNT Launches #SheBelieves Initiative, Asking Women and Girls to Join in Aspiring to Achieve their Goals

CHICAGO (May 12, 2015) – While the U.S. Women’s National Team players are preparing to make an impression on the soccer world during the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, they also are determined to make an impact on their fans, especially the young girls and women who will be watching them this summer.

In an effort to give back to the young fans that support them on the field, the U.S. WNT players are sending a simple yet powerful message back: #SheBelieves. Conceived and developed by the USWNT players, the #SheBelieves campaign is a message to young girls that they can accomplish all their goals and dreams.

“As a team, we are always excited to be able to positively impact young fans, especially young girls,” said U.S. WNT captain Christie Rampone. “Our fans have shown us how much they believe in us, and we believe in them, too. We want everyone to have that confidence on and off the field. The #SheBelieves initiative allows us to interact with the fans and encourage them to set high goals and strive to reach them no matter what the obstacles.”

Highlighting #SheBelieves will be “#SheBelieves in her Community,” a week-long celebration from May 19-24 where the WNT players will give back to their local communities during special events focused on young kids. At these events, which will take place at 17 different locations across the country, players will interact with fans in locations ranging from their former high schools and clubs to local children’s hospitals, among others.

As part of the #SheBelieves initiative, the team invites fans to share on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all the ways in which they are working to be the best at whatever they choose to do using the #SheBelieves hashtag.

Below is a list of the “#SheBelieves in her Community” events across the nation. More detailed information on each event will be provided to the specific local market in the coming days.

#SheBelieves in her Community - 2015

Player

Date

Location

Lori Chalupny

May 19

St. Louis

Meghan Klingenberg

May 19

Pittsburgh

Alex Morgan

May 19

Kansas City, Mo.

Carli Lloyd

May 19

Mount Laurel, N.J.

Ashlyn Harris

May 19

Satellite Beach, Fla.

Lauren Holiday

May 20

Indianapolis

Alyssa Naeher

May 20

Trumbull, Conn.

Amy Rodriguez & Christen Press

May 20

East Los Angeles

Kelley O'Hara

May 20

Peachtree City, Ga.

Sydney Leroux

May 21

Greater Kansas City

Christie Rampone

May 21

Manasquan, N.J.

Morgan Brian & Julie Johnston

May 21

Philadelphia

Ali Krieger

May 20

Dumfries, Va.

Whitney Engen

May 21

Charlotte, N.C.

Megan Rapinoe & Hope Solo

May 22

Seattle

Shannon Boxx & Becky Sauerbrunn

TBA

Portland

Tobin Heath & Heather O'Reilly

May 24

Zarephath, N.J.

U.S. Soccer to Host First "Girls Fantasy Camp" During 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup

CHICAGO (May 12, 2015) – U.S. Soccer will host its first “Girls Fantasy Camp” during the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada as a special fundraiser to support upcoming development initiatives and continue to grow the sport of soccer in the United States. 

U.S. Soccer will accept 18 players into the Girls Fantasy Camp in Winnipeg, from June 7-13. Camp dates will overlap two of the USA’s opening group stage matches against Australia on June 8 and Sweden on June 12. 

The camp, open to girls of all skill levels born in the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, will consist of a seven-day training experience designed to mirror a National Team camp environment. The camp will be led by former Women’s National Team players, including camp director Lindsay Tarpley and assistant camp director Kacey Burke. 

“This is a very unique opportunity for young players,” said Tarpley. “It’s a chance to see what it is like to be a National Team player on one of the biggest stages, the World Cup. This is something everyone dreams about as a player, but few get to experience.”  

Tarpley is a two-time Olympic gold medal winner. She earned 125 caps for the WNT from 2003-2011 and scored 32 goals, putting her among the top-15 all-time goal scorers in U.S. history. Kacey Burke (formerly Kacey White) played for the WNT from 2006-2010. Since retiring, Burke has established herself as a promising coach. She currently serves as an assistant to the U.S. Youth National Teams and as assistant women’s soccer coach at the University of Oklahoma. 

“I went to one of the Women’s National Team games when I was nine years old with my mom and two teammates,” said Burke. “It was amazing to see the players up close and personal. It was such a motivator to see females accomplishing what I also hoped to accomplish one day.” 

Participation in the Girls Fantasy Camp is made possible through a generous donation to U.S. Soccer, part of which is tax deductible. Camp costs include accommodations, meals, daily training sessions, behind-the-scenes access to a U.S. WNT training session, ground transportation throughout the camp, National Team training gear and more. 

U.S. Soccer is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Proceeds from the Girls Fantasy Camp will help fund important development initiatives to foster the next generation of inspirational coaches and players, including need-based scholarships for talented young players, high-performance National Team Programs, and Coaching Education. 

A limited number of spots remain open for the Girls Fantasy Camp. If interested, please contact vip@ussoccer.org by May 22. 

Quote Sheet: WNT vs. Ireland - May 10, 2015

U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis

On the match:

“The expectation is for more and I think the players expect that of themselves too. We got a lot of set pieces and we scored some set pieces goals, which I was pleased with, but I think we’ve got to increase that number and certainly finish some chances around the box. Again, I thought we had some quality chances, we just need to fine-tune that. We’ve got to put those away.”

U.S. WNT forward Abby Wambach

On the team being surprised by their mothers the night before the match:

“Obviously we were all surprised. The first person that walked in the room was actually Ali Krieger’s mom so it was like, what is Ali Krieger’s mom doing here? I thought she was going to be our motivational speaker. But it was just such a fun night and a fun day today for them to be here, especially for my mom because she’s got a lot of kids and she’s got a lot of grandkids that she could be spending it with so it’s awesome that she chose to spend it with me here for this game.”

On her injured nose:

“My nose is great. Doesn’t it look good? Yeah it’s fine. It is what it is. At this stage going into the World Cup you can either get X-Ray’s and scans, but if you’re not going to do anything about it what’s the point in my opinion. So it doesn’t matter if it’s broken or not, I’m pushing forward.”

On the match:

“I think in the first half we kept the ball really well and we created a lot of opportunities. How many set pieces and corner kicks did we have? And I feel like I was just about to get on the end of a few of them. I did, but just wasn’t strong enough in my heading presence. As soon as we scored I felt like we were going to score again, because it’s halfway defeating to get scored on against us, because as most teams in the world know it’s very difficult to score goals against us. So for me, we just have to be a little bit sharper in our goal zone, inside the 18-yard line, inside the six-yard box lines, and I think that that will just come over the course of the next several weeks.”

U.S. WNT goalkeeper Hope Solo

On the mother’s surprising the team:

“It was awesome. Our entire team was shocked and I can’t believe they kept it secret. Twenty two women kept it secret, including our coaching staff, our support staff, my mom, my grandma, everybody kept it secret. So when they walked in everybody was in complete shock and had some tears in our eyes.”

On what it’s like to play in games that the USA dominates:

“I could never explain what it’s like to be inside a goalkeeper’s mind and what these games really are about. But it is my job and it is the life of a goalkeeper and I’m ready for the World Cup. I’ve been training my butt off this week so it would have been nice to get a little bit of action, actually not just action for myself, but really have our defense tested. We did the little things right even though they weren’t really pressing us so, you’ll still hold each other accountable even though they’re not really attacking us.”

U.S. WNT midfielder Megan Rapinoe

On seeing her mom when the players were surprised at dinner the night before the match:

“I actually knew that my mom was coming. I didn’t know about the whole surprise, she kept that part from me, but yeah we had hung out that day and she kept a tight seal on the secret so I was proud of her for that. She’s normally a big mouth so it’s good on her.”

On being honored before the game for her earning 100 caps:

“I’m obviously honored by that accomplishment. It took a long time I think. I’ve kind of grown up on this team and just to take a second and look back and kind of reminisce about all the years was really special.”

On if this game helps prepare the team for the World Cup:

“I think so in many ways. I think that in the World Cup some of the teams are going to sit back on us like they and kind of pack it in so we’ve got to be able to break that down and I think that we were able to get wide quite a bit today and our set pieces were good.”

U.S. WNT defender Julie Johnston

On what it was like to be playing in San Jose near where she played in college at Santa Clara:

“It’s fantastic to even be back in the San Jose area where I went to college. It’s kind of a dream come true and to score and have such a great start to the Send-Off games is truly special for sure.”

On how it feels to have scored in three-straight games:

“It’s pretty remarkable, but the services that I’m getting are perfect so I’m always happy to finish them when I can.”

On if the U.S. defenders ever expect to be able to score, with the frequently scoring forwards that are on the team:

“We do. We sure do. I mean, our defenders take is, we don’t want goals, but if we score them for us in the other net, we’ll absolutely do that.”

On seeing her mom when the players were surprised at dinner the night before the match:

“I knew that [my parents] were going to come if I was selected to go to the Send-Off game, just because of Santa Clara, and our family friends our here, but the stuff that FOX really put on for us last night was truly special and I thank them a lot for that.”

On her run that led to the goal:

“I just ran through to the near post and it was a perfect driven ball. Lauren Holiday hit such a great service and I couldn’t get my head to it so I tried to use my toe and I think my pinky toe touched it just enough to get it in, so I’ll take that.”

On if the team was frustrated in the first half:

“I’m not so sure it’s a frustration, but absolutely we wanted to get a goal early. That’s been a big thing for us, but we knew it was going to come, so I think it’s an important thing to happen going into the World Cup as well, you know you may not be getting goals right away, but I think it’s important to keep going and going until you get that first one. Then you keep going and going until you get the second and third as well.”

On how the defense is coming together:

“Everyone just played really well together. We have such a depth on this team, you look at every player on this roster and it’s huge. So what we’ve been doing is just trying to get a relationship, especially in the back line and we’re on the same page and that’s important going into the first World Cup.”

 

U.S. WNT midfielder Carli Lloyd

On how this game will help the team prepare for the World Cup:

“I think it’s kind of the first time in a while we’ve seen a bunker. They were really compact and at times had five on the back line so the important thing for us was to get the ball wide and then wait for things to open up. I think once we got that first goal it was easier to get the second goals. Overall, I think it’s a great tool for us. I think moving forward into the World Cup that this game is going to help us get better and learn and improve.”

On if the team tried to attach too much down the middle early on:

“Yeah I think at times, myself included. You always kind of want to bounce those passes off, and you know these are the games where you try things, and if it doesn’t work you obviously reassess and I think getting it in quickly and getting it out wide was the key today. I think we scored three great goals, so overall it was a pretty decent performance.”

On Julie Johnston:

“Julie is a warrior back there. She communicates and even though she’s one of the younger players she’s not afraid to communicate and just offer guidance back there. I think she’s taken her opportunity and seized it so it’s good. I think she’s got a good major momentum going into her first major tournament with this team and I’m really happy for her. I think she’s a great, great asset back there.”

On Abby Wambach:

“Well I think Abby is a unique player. I think that she steps it up a couple of notches right before a big tournament. Never had any doubts about her, I knew that she’d find her way and I think she’s been working really hard and I think she’s finally kind of looking like herself. Two great goals finished by her, she’s a great leader out there and I love playing with her. It’s ust awesome to have her out there. But this is kind of normal for her and she comes up big all the time for us.”

U.S. WNT forward Christen Press

On if the team’s loss in the 2011 World Cup final is propelling the team this year:

“Absolutely I think that loss in the final is part of our DNA. It’s part of our Identity as a team. Of course there’s a ton of players that weren’t there, I wasn’t there, but it’s still ingrained in us that this is a little bit of a revenge story and a comeback story.”

U.S. WNT defender Kelley O’Hara

On how excited she is for the World Cup:

“It’s everybody’s, and I think it’s every little girl’s dream to go to the World Cup. I think that being able to go twice now is pretty exciting and hopefully things end better this time.”

On what it was like to return to the area where she played in college:

“It’s amazing, when we were flying in I just got so happy and I had the biggest smile on my face and I went up to Stanford yesterday and had lunch with one of my friends on University Avenue, walked by the oval and checked out the quad a little bit. It makes me so happy to be around Stanford.”

U.S. WNT defender Ali Krieger

On Julie Johnston:

“She’s scoring more than some of our forwards are scoring. She probably has more goals with the National Team than she does with her club, or even me, and I’ve been here what, six or seven years? So I’m super jealous of that.  But she’s great at attacking those set pieces and that’s what her job is and she’s there to score when we need it and I think those are going to win us games when we’re in the World Cup and I think she’s off to a great start.”

Wambach, Johnston Steer USA to 3-0 Win Over Ireland on Mother's Day

SAN JOSE, CALIF. (May 10, 2015) - The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated the Republic of Ireland 3-0 on Mother’s Day in the first of its three-game Send-off Series ahead of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Before a sellout crowd of 18,000 at Avaya Stadium that included almost all of the players’ moms, the USA took the lead in the 42nd minute off a corner kick. Megan Rapinoe sent in the cross on the 10th of what would be 19 corner kicks and an Irish defender who was facing her goal tried to clear it away. The clearance smashed off the face of the far post defender and rolled back to Christen Press in the right side of the penalty box. Press settled and squared the ball to Abby Wambach, who swept the ball into the net for the game’s first goal and her 179th score. Minutes later Wambach would notch her 180th, heading in a Carli Lloyd cross to put the U.S. up 2-0.  Lloyd pulled off a nifty dribble to beat her defender before chipping a far post cross to Wambach for goal 180.

In the second half, Julie Johnston scored the game’s third goal, also of a corner kick as she athletically redirected the ball into the near post. It was her third goal of 2015 and she has now scored in three consecutive games.

In one week, the team will be back on the field at StubHub Center in Carson, California, for the second game of the Send-Off Series, against Mexico at 6 p.m. PT live on FOX Spots 1 and Univision Deportes.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA- Abby Wambach (Christen Press), 42nd minute: 
Megan Rapinoe sent in U.S.’s tenth corner kick of the first half and an Irish defender tried to clear it over the bar. The clearance bounced off the face of the back post defender and rolled back to Press, who crossed it to Wambach to sweep into the goal. USA 1, IRL 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd), 45th minute: Minutes after the first goal, Carli Lloyd took the ball to the end line on the left side, cut back and sent a cross to Abby Wambach at the far post. Wambach leaped high to send her header into the lower right corner for her second goal of the game and her 180th in the U.S. uniform. USA 2, IRL 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Julie Johnston (Lauren Holiday), 54th minute: Lauren Holiday sent a corner kick in and Julie Johnston beat her defender to it at the near post, taking a slight to put it into the net for her third international goal. USA 3, IRL 0 FINAL (SEE GOAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops: 
IRL- Niamh Reid-Burke, 2nd minute (save):
 In the first offensive trip for the U.S., Amy Rodriguez brought the ball down centrally, and as the Irish defenders hustled back to get into position, was given room to rip a long distance shot from outside the box. Ireland goalkeeper Niamh Reid-Burke dove and just reached the ball, knocking it over the crossbar to set up a U.S. corner.

IRL- Niamh Reid-Burke, 27th minute (save): Amy Rodriguez delivered a great pass to Christen Press on the right side, who settled and cut in past an Irish defender. With room, Press fired on goal, but Reid-Burke dove and parried it wide.

IRL- Niamh Reid-Burke, 41st minute (save): Amy Rodriguez fired a shot that took a tricky deflection off of an Irish defender, but was grabbed and secured by Reid-Burke.

IRL- Niamh Reid-Burke, 42nd minute (save): Christen Press intercepted an Ireland clearance and sprinted with the ball down the right side. Press played a ball across the goal to Megan Rapinoe, who sent it on frame. Reid-Burke made a reaction kick save that knocked the ball out of play.

IRL- Niamh Reid-Burke, 52nd minute (save): Christen press quickly broke in along the left side, got past two defenders and took a shot from close range. Reid-Burke made another reaction save, diving and kicking the ball away.

IRL- Niamh Reid-Burke, 71st minute (save): A long U.S. free kick found Abby Wambach inside the six-yard box, but she slightly mishit the volley and Reid-Burke secured it to hold the score line at 3-0.

Milestone Watch:

  • Abby Wambach widened the gap as the world’s all-time leading goal-scorer with her 179th and 180th international goals in the first half.
  • The U.S. is now 11-0-0 all-time against Ireland and has outscored the Irish 40-1 in those 11 games.
  • The win also preserved the USA’s perfect record in Northern California. Though it was the U.S.’s first game in the newly opened Avaya Stadium, in six previous San Jose matches, the U.S. WNT was a perfect 6-0-0. The WNT has outscored opponents 31-1 in San Jose. The USA has also won its two other games in NorCal, the 2-0 victory against Brazil in the 1999 Women’s World Cup semifinal in Palo Alto and a 4-1 win vs. New Zealand at Candlestick Park in 2013 in one of the last events at the famed stadium.
  • Lori Chalupny entered into the game in the second half and became the 32nd USWNT player to reach 100 caps.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT faces Mexico on May 17 at StubHub Center in Carson, California at 6 p.m. PT
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 1, Univision Deportes
Social: Twitter @ussoccer_wntFacebookInstagram

Additional Notes:

  • The U.S. extended its current unbeaten streak in 2015 to six games, improving its overall record to 6-1-1. The lone loss came in the team’s first game of the season to France, 2-0, in Lorient, France.
  • In a Mother’s Day surprise, he mothers of the U.S. team were flown in on Saturday by FOX Sports and surprised their daughters at team dinner. The entire U.S. team, including U.S. head coach Jill Ellis, walked out on to the pitch hand-in-hand with their mothers for the pre-game playing of the National Anthem.
  • The game was a homecoming for Julie Johnston (Santa Clara University), Christen Press (Stanford) and Kelley O’Hara (Stanford) who returned to the city of San Jose in close proximity of the collegiate campuses where they studied and played soccer.
  • Johnston scored her third goal of 2015, the third of her career and the third in as many games. She scored her first goal at this year’s Algarve Cup against France in the championship game and she scored her second against New Zealand on April 4. All three goals have come on set pieces.
  • In its last seven games, the U.S. has surrendered just one goal and has scored 15.
  • Lauren Holiday added another assist today and leads all U.S. players on the roster in assists with five in 2015. Holiday was the 2014 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year.
  • Megan Rapinoe made the start as the team’s captain. She was honored on the field before the game for her 100th cap, which she earned in the team’s last game against New Zealand on April 4.
  • Hope Solo extended her U.S. record for shutouts to 83.
  • Midfielder Tobin Heath (hamstring) and forward Alex Morgan (bone bruise on her knee) sat out the match with minor injuries, but are expected to be fully fit for the Women’s World Cup. 

- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Republic of Ireland
Date: May 10, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Avaya Stadium; San Jose, California
Kickoff: 11:30 a.m. PT
Attendance: 18,000 (sellout)
Weather: 61 degrees: Partly cloudy 

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            2          1          3
IRL                              0          0          0 

USA – Abby Wambach (Christen Press)       42nd minute
USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd)             45
USA – Julie Johnston (Lauren Holiday)         54 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (16-Lori Chalupny, 46), 19-Julie Johnston, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 22-Meghan Klingenberg (5-Kelley O’Hara, 61); 23-Christen Press, 12-Lauren Holiday (9-Heather O’Reilly, 61), 10-Carli Lloyd (7-Shannon Boxx, 78), 15-Megan Rapinoe (capt.) (14-Morgan Brian, 46); 8-Amy Rodriguez (2-Sydney Leroux, 46), 20-Abby Wambach
Subs Not Used: 18-Ashlyn Harris, 24-Alyssa Naeher, 3-Christie Rampone, 6-Whitney Engen, 13-Alex Morgan, 17-Tobin Heath
Head coach: Jill Ellis

IRL: 16-Niamh Reid-Burke; 17-Aine O’Gorman (capt.), 20-Jessica Gleeson (5-Ciara Grant, 46), 3-Megan Campbell, 6-Meabh De Burca; 11-Julie Ann Russell (12-Ciara Rossiter, 84), 4-Karen Duggan, 19-Fiona O’Sullivan (14-Katie McCabe, 73), 8-Ruesha Littlejohn, 10-Denise O’Sullivan; 9-Stephanie Roche (15-Nicola Sinnot, 90+3)
Subs Not Used: 21-Charlotte McCormack, 7-Emma Hansberry, 18-Emma Beckett
Head coach: Sue Ronan 

Stats Summary: USA / IRL
Shots: 26 / 0
Shots on Goal: 10 / 0
Saves: 0 / 7
Corner Kicks: 19 / 0
Fouls: 9 / 12
Offside: 4 / 0 

Misconduct Summary:
IRL – Aine O’Gorman (caution)          19th minute

Officials:
Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Veronica Perez (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Amanda Ross (USA)
4th Official: Christina Unkel (USA) 

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Abby Wambach

WNT Begins Send-Off Series against Ireland on Mother's Day

U.S. WNT KICKS OFF THREE-GAME SEND-OFF SERIES IN CALIFORNIA: The U.S. Women’s National Team begins its three-game Send-Off Series leading into the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup when it faces the Republic of Ireland on May 10 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California, the new home of Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes. The match has sold more than 16,000 (tickets available) for what will be the U.S. WNT’s first game in San Jose since 2007 and first appearance at Avaya Stadium. The match will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 at 11:30 a.m. PT. Fans can follow all the action on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp, and watch highlights on ussoccer.com.

USA VS. IRELAND SERIES

  • The U.S. has a 10-0-0 overall record against Ireland, and has outscored the Irish 37-1.
  • The only goal Ireland has ever scored against the USA came on Oct. 20, 2004 during a 5-1 USA victory in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Out of the 10 meetings between both sides, the USA has scored five goals in six of those games, including 5-0 victories in five of the six matches.
  • The smallest margin of victory for the U.S. against the Irish came on Sept. 17, 2008 in East Rutherford, New Jersey, when the USA won the game 1-0 with a goal from Natasha Kai.
  • The last matchup between both teams came on Dec. 1, 2012, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe scored in the first minute and then in the 38th, respectively, to help secure the 2-0 win and the 10th straight USA victory in the series between both teams. 

PERFECTION IN NORTHEN CAL: Despite this being the first game the USA will play in the newly opened Avaya Stadium, the team has played in San Jose six times before, all at Spartan Stadium, for a perfect 6-0-0 record. The WNT has outscored opponents 28-1 while in this northern California city and averaged 15,935 fans per game to establish an impeccable winning tradition that dates back to 1997. The USA has also won its two other games in Norcal, the 2-0 victory against Brazil in the 1999 Women’s World Cup semifinal in Palo Alto and a 4-1 win vs. New Zealand at Candlestick Park in 2013 in one of the last events at the famed stadium.

U.S. WNT SEND-OFF SERIES WILL CONTINUE IN SOCAL AND NJ: In the month of May, the USA will play just two more international matches before the Women’s World Cup kicks off on June 6 and the U.S. opens group play against Australia on June 8. Following the matchup against Ireland, the two remaining games will take the USWNT to the familiar surroundings of StubHub Center in Carson, California, on May 17 to face Mexico; and finally to Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, on May 30 to play the Korea Republic.

2015 LOOK BACK: The U.S. Women are coming off a dominating 4-0 victory against New Zealand on April 4 in their first domestic match of the year at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. Earlier in the year, the WNT took home the trophy at the 2015 Algarve Cup in Portugal, where the Americans triumphed 2-0 against France in the championship game to win its 10th title at the annual tournament. The USA comes into the match against Ireland with a 5-1-1 overall record so far in 2015.

ONE NATION. ONE TEAM. 23 STORIES: Before the USA departs for Canada for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in June, U.S. Soccer has released its "One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories." series, presented by Clorox. 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.

GROUP D AWAITS: The U.S. Women's National Team was drawn into Group D at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup where it will face Australia, Nigeria and Sweden. The seventh edition of the tournament takes place from June 6-July 5 in Canada. The U.S. opens the tournament against Australia on June 8 at Winnipeg Stadium, face Sweden on June 12 in Winnipeg, and finish Group D play against Nigeria on June 16 at BC Place in Vancouver. The USA, Nigeria and Sweden have competed in every edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup. 

2015 U.S. WNT SCHEDULE:

Date

Opponent

Time

TV/Result

Venue

Feb. 8

France

--

0-2 L

Stade du Moustoir; Lorient, France

Feb. 13

England

--

1-0 W

stadiummk; Milton Keynes, England

March 4

Norway*

--

2-1 W

Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal

March 6

Switzerland*

--

3-0 W

Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal

March 9

Iceland*

--

0-0 T

Lagos, Portugal

March 11

France*

--

2-0 W

Faro, Portugal

April 4

New Zealand

--

4-0 W

Busch Stadium; St. Louis, Mo.

May 10

Ireland

11:30 a.m. PT

FOX Sports 1

Avaya Stadium; San Jose, Calif.

May 17

Mexico

6 p.m. PT

FOX Sports 1

StubHub Center; Carson, Calif.

May 30

Korea Rep.

4:30 p.m. ET

ESPN, WatchESPN

Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.

June 8

Australia

6:30 p.m. CT

FOX Sports

Winnipeg Stadium; Winnipeg, Canada

June 12

Sweden

7 p.m. CT

FOX Sports

Winnipeg Stadium; Winnipeg, Canada

June 16

Nigeria

5 p.m. PT

FOX Sports

BC Place Stadium; Vancouver, Canada

* Algarve Cup

U.S. Women’s World Cup Roster By Position:
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)

U.S. ROSTER NOTES:

  • On April 14, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis named the 23-player roster that will represent the USA at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. All 23 players were a part of the 25-player roster that was called up for the New Zealand game on April 4 and the 2015 Algarve Cup.
  • The 23-player Women’s World Cup Team is the roster for all three Send-Off Series games.
  • The USA will likely be without the services of Tobin Heath (hamstring) and Alex Morgan (bone bruise on her knee) for the first two Send-Off Series games. Neither injury is serious. The coaching and athletic training staff is being cautions with the two Portland Thorns players and both are expected to be fully fit for the Women’s World Cup.
  • U.S. midfielder Megan Rapinoe became the 31st American female player to reach the century mark in caps against New Zealand on April 4. She will be honored for this achievement this Sunday, May 10 when the USA takes on Ireland.
  • Rapinoe’s next goal would give her 30 for her career, making her the 13th U.S. female player to score 30 goals and tally 30 assists. She currently has 31 assists.
  • Lori Chalupny has 99 caps and could be the 32nd player to reach 100 caps if she plays against Ireland.
  • Chalupny scored against New Zealand, making it her first goal for the USA since she scored against the Republic of Ireland on Sept. 20, 2008.
  • Meghan Klingenberg scored her second National Team goal on a long-range blast against New Zealand. Her first goal was a similar long-range effort that came against Haiti on Oct. 8, during Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament last year.
  • Julie Johnston also scored her second National Team goal and second of 2015 against New Zealand. She scored her first goal at this year’s Algarve Cup final against France, also coming on a header from a set piece.
  • Nine different players have scored for the USA in 2015: Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach, Amy Rodriguez, Christen Press, Johnston, Klingenberg, Morgan Brian, Chalupny and Carli Lloyd.
  • U.S. captain Christie Rampone is currently the second most-capped player in U.S. and world history with 304 appearances.
  • Press was named NWSL Player of the Month for the month of April in the 2015 NWSL season after scoring four goals over two games and recording an assist to help Chicago remain in the top three of the standings with a 1-0-1 record going into Week 4 of the 2015 NWSL season. Press' four goals in two games makes her as the league's current goal leader, with all of the strikes coming in just 180 minutes of action.
  • For Johnston (Santa Clara University), Press (Stanford) and Kelley O’Hara (Stanford) the game will represent a sort of homecoming due to the city of San Jose and Avaya Stadium’s close proximity to both college campuses.
  • Press and O’Hara both won the Hermann Trophy, awarded annually to the top female soccer player in the country, and earned all-American honors while at Stanford.
  • Becky Sauerbrunn is the only player on the roster to start and play every minute (630) of all seven matches for the USA this year. Alex Morgan has also started and seen action in all seven but has logged 565 minutes.
  • Carli Lloyd was the only player to play all 450 minutes during the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. She was named MVP of the tournament after scoring five goals.
  • Lauren Holiday leads all U.S. players on the rosters in assists with four in 2015. Holiday was the 2014 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year.
  • Morgan Brian, the USA’s youngest player at age 22, was the 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year. She was also named the 2013 and 2014 Hermann Trophy winner while playing for the University of Virginia.
  • While Abby Wambach is the USA’s top scorer on the roster with 178 goals, Lloyd is next with 63 career international goals and Morgan has 51. Heather O’Reilly has scored 41.
  • Christen Press’ four-goal performance against Argentina in Brazil last December was the ninth such game in U.S. history and second of 2014 after Wambach scored four times against Costa Rica in the final of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship. It was the first-career hat trick for Press.
  • All nine NWSL clubs are represented on the Women’s World Cup roster. 

IN THE RECORD BOOKS:

  • With three goals against Argentina on Dec. 18, Carli Lloyd upped her career total to 61 and moved into sole possession of seventh place on the U.S. WNT’s all-time goal scoring list, passing Shannon MacMillan who scored 60 goals in her career. Lloyd, now with 63 goals, is the highest-scoring player in U.S. history who has played exclusively as a midfielder.
  • Heather O’Reilly is the ninth player to hit 200 caps in U.S. history after reaching the milestone against Korea DPR on March 12, 2014. Now with 217, she is seventh on the USA’s all-time list. Abby Wambach (239) and Christie Rampone (304) are the only active players ahead of her.
  • O’Reilly is the second-youngest player to hit 200 caps for the USA. Lilly was 28 years, 9 months and 15 days old when she earned cap No. 200 on May 7, 2000. O’Reilly was 29 years, 2 months and 10 days old when she earned her 200th cap.
  • O’Reilly is currently sixth all-time in assists with 52 and is 13th all-time in goals with 41.
  • In addition to breaking Mia Hamm’s world scoring record, Wambach’s June 20, 2013, performance against the Korea Republic also made her the USA’s all-time leader in multiple-goal games with 39 for her career. She has since added four more and now sits at 43. She has 35 two-goal games, five hat tricks, two four-goal games and one five-goal game.
  • Sydney Leroux is 15th on the all-time U.S. WNT goal scoring list with 33 goals.
  • With her game-winning goal against England on Feb. 13, Alex Morgan became the 10th player in U.S. history to score 50 or more goals. She now has 51.
  • Hope Solo boasts a U.S. record 82 career shutouts and has 167 caps with the USWNT, the second-most for a goalkeeper in U.S. history behind Brianna Scurry (173; 1994-2008.)
  • Solo has the most starts by a WNT goalkeeper with a 161, surpassing Scurry’s 159 (from 1994-2008). Solo is in 10th place on the WNT’s all-time starts list surpassing Brandi Chastain (160 games from 1988-2004).

BY THE NUMBERS:
0.43           Goals per game the USA has allowed in 2015
2                USA’s FIFA ranking
1.71           Goals per game the USA scored in 2015
4                Number of players on the WWC from the Chicago Red Stars and FC Kansas City, most of any NWSL teams.
9                Number of different U.S. players to score a goal in 2015
8                Assists by Carli Lloyd to lead the team in 2014
20              Goals in 41 National Team games for Christen Press, a goal in slightly less than every two games
63              Goals by Lloyd, most ever for a WNT player who has played exclusively as a midfielder
82              Shutouts by Hope Solo, an all-time U.S. WNT record
82              Minutes on the field per goal averaged by Sydney Leroux in her career
96              Minutes on the field per goal averaged by Alex Morgan in her career
99              Minutes on the field per goal averaged by Abby Wambach in her career
112            U.S. victories when Wambach scores a goal (112-2-8 overall)
130            Minutes on the field per goal averaged by Mia Hamm in her career
304            Caps by Christie Rampone, second all-time to Kristine Lilly (352)

BY THE NUMBERS, WWC EDITION:
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.
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.

IN FOCUS: REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
Current FIFA World Ranking: 31
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished third in Group 1 of the 2015 UEFA Qualifying Championship (5-3-2; 13 GF, 9 GA) behind Germany and Russia
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: None
Record vs. USA: 0-10-0
Head Coach: Sue Ronan
Championship Honors: None
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Denise O’Sullivan (3), Fiona O’Sullivan (3), Stephanie Roche (2), Julie-Ann Russell (2)
Key Players: Emma Byrne (Arsenal), Niamh Fahey (Chelsea), Louise Quinn (Eskilstuna United), Sophie Perry (Brighton & Hove Albion), Diane Caldwell (Avaldsnes IL)

IRELAND ROSTER NOTES

  • Ireland will be without two top players for the match against the USA in Emma Byrne and Niamh Fahey as they both have commitments with their clubs oversees. They will however, be available to play against Haiti, who Ireland will face on May 14 in Florida.
  • Forward Fiona O’Sullivan hails from California and played college soccer at the University of San Francisco. She is currently playing with Notts County in England. Forward Stephanie Roche (Houston Dash) and defender Megan Campbell (Florida State), she of the mammoth long throw-in, are currently playing in the USA.
  • Roach was the runner-up for the Puskas Award in 2014, FIFA’s annual award for the best goal of the year. The goal has 1.8 million hits on YouTube. She also scored another cracker this year against Costa Rica.
  • Late roster add Charlotte McCormack, who plays college soccer at Clayton State University, is a back-up goalkeeper on the roster.
  • Also on the roster is Continental Tyres Women’s National League Player of the Year, Aine O’Gorman who just last month earned her 75th cap with the team in a match against Spain.
  • Ireland’s head coach, Sue Ronan is bringing five uncapped players to the roster set to face the USA. These include three members of the Wexford Youths squad that recently won the Continental Tyres Women’s National League for the first time. The trio includes: Jessica Gleeson, Nocla Sinnot and Women’s National League Young Player of the Year, Ciara Rossiter. They have all played at the youth level for Ireland.
  • Midfielder Emma Hansberry, whose last inclusion in an Ireland roster was for the 2014 Cyprus Cup, was also called in by Ronan to be available for the USA match. 

LAST TIME 
On the field for the USA vs. IRE:
Dec. 1, 2012 – University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, Arizona

USA                2          Morgan 1, Rapinoe 38         
IRE                 0     

Lineups
USA: 1-Hope Solo (21-Jill Loyden, 22; 18-Nicole Barnhart, 46); 2-Heather Mitts (3-Christie Rampone, 46), 16-Rachel Buehler, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Amy LePeilbet; 15-Megan Rapinoe (8-Amy Rodriguez, 59), 7-Shannon Boxx, 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Lauren Cheney; 13-Alex Morgan (11-Sydney Leroux, 59), 14-Abby Wambach (capt.) 
Subs Not Used: 5-Kelley O’Hara
Head coach: Jill Ellis


IRL: 1-Emma Byrne; 7-Mary Therese McDonnell, 3-Megan Campbell, 4-Louise Quinn, 14-Shannon McDonnell; 11-Aine O’Gorman, 6-Niamh Fahey, 18-Ciara Grant (2-Sophie Perry, 46), 10-Julie Ann Russell (15-Ruesha Littlejohn, 58), 13-Diane Caldwell; 12-Denise O’Sullivan (17-Shannon Smyth, 46)
Subs Not Used: 5-Yvonne Tracey, 8-Meabh De Burca, 16-Eve Gbadana
Head coach: Sue Ronan

Press, Morgan and Wambach 'Simpsonized' in FOX Sports and THE SIMPSONS Collaboration to Promote 2015 Women's World Cup

CHICAGO (May 7, 2015) – Alex Morgan, Christen Press and Abby Wambach have been selected to represent the U.S. Women’s National Team in a collaborative effort between FOX Sports and “The Simpsons” to promote the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup through the long-running animated sitcom. The soccer-themed episode of “The Simpsons’ will air on May 10 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX. 

Morgan, Press and Wambach join an elite group of athletes and sports personalities who have been “Simpsonized.” The life-sized “Simpsonized” likenesses of Morgan, Press and Wambach were unveiled earlier this week with the players present in Newport Beach, California, where the team is currently making final preparations before departing for Canada this summer. 

“Being able to connect the U.S. Women’s National Team with an iconic brand like THE SIMPSONS to help raise awareness for the Women’s World Cup is really quite an honor,” offered Robert Gottlieb, Executive Vice President, Marketing, FOX Sports. “The Women’s World Cup is going to be a truly cultural event in the U.S. beginning next month, and this partnership with THE SIMPSONS and Gracie Films is one of several examples of how elements of 21st Century Fox have worked together in creative ways to promote this huge tournament.”    

Christen Press, Alex morgan, Abby Wambach

In its first of three Send-Off Series matches in May, the USWNT will face the Republic of Ireland on Sunday, May 10 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California. Live coverage will begin at 2 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. Fans attending the match will have the opportunity to have their pictures taken with the Morgan, Press and Wambach “Simpsonized” standees in a customized photo booth, and then upload the images to a social media account. 

FOX Sports will broadcast all 52 matches during the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. Sixteen matches will air live on FOX broadcast network. The 52 games during the June 6-July 5 event will be live on FOX, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and on tablets and mobile devices through the FOX Sports GO app and FOXSportsGO.com. With pregame and postgame programming, FOX Sports will provide approximately 200 hours of coverage of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.  

The U.S. WNT will face Australia, Nigeria and Sweden in Group D at the 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 longest-running scripted show in television history, THE SIMPSONS exploded into a cultural phenomenon in 1990 and has remained one of the most groundbreaking and innovative entertainment franchises, recognizable throughout the world. Currently airing its record-breaking 26th season and in production on their 27th season, the show has won 31 Emmy Awards, a 2015 People’s Choice Award and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2012 for the theatrical short The Longest Daycare. The Simpsons Movie was a hit feature film, their mega-attraction The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios has received historic expansion updates with the addition of ‘Springfield’ and the show was honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000. It has been named the “Best Show of the 20th Century” by Time Magazine, and called the "Greatest American Sitcom" by Entertainment Weekly in 2013. 

THE SIMPSONS is a Gracie Films Production in association with 20th Century Fox Television. James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, and Al Jean are the Executive Producers. The Gracie Films Worldwide Brand Division develops and produces the licensed content for the series. Film Roman, a Starz Company, is the animation house.

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.

Teammate Impressions with the U.S. WNT

The U.S. WNT players spend a ton of time together on and off the field, so they’ve become very familiar with each other’s on-field Idiosyncrasies, as Heather O’Reilly and Abby Wambach demonstrate.

Carli Lloyd Offers Words of Wisdom to U-20 WNT

Carli Lloyd stopped by to talk to the U-20 WNT about the obstacles and challenges she overcame to reach her dreams of playing soccer at the highest competitive level.

HIGHLIGHTS: WNT Turns on Second-Half Style in 5-1 Romp over Mexico

Sydney Leroux and Abby Wambach led the way as the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Mexico 5-1 in the second of its three-game Send-Off Series matches ahead of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

GOAL: Abby Wambach Blasts Home a Penalty Kick to Increase the U.S. Advantage

Abby Wambach scored on a penalty to kick to make the score 3-1 vs. Mexico.

GOAL: Lori Chalupny Picks Out the Corner for the Game-Winner

Lori Chalupny scored with her first touch after subbing on at halftime to give the USA a 2-1 lead.

WNT Returns to LA for Second Send-Off Series Match

The #USWNT returns to Los Angeles to continue the Send-Off Series. Whitney Engen and Shannon Boxx talk about the team’s training as they seek to get into a rhythm before the World Cup Group Stage while Carli Lloyd speaks to the U-20 Women’s National Team about her experiences in the international game.

WNT Send-Off Series Begins in Sunny San Jose

The U.S. WNT defeated the Republic of Ireland in front of a sold-out crowd on a glorious Bay Area afternoon, that just happened to be Mother's Day.

WNT Send-Off Series Heads to Los Angeles

After a 3-0 win against Ireland the #USWNT is heading down the West coast and back to Los Angeles to prepare to meet Mexico at the Stub Hub Center. There are just two more games before the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off in Canada. Are you ready?
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