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Tickets Selling Fast for WNT and MNT Games in April

CHICAGO (Jan. 30, 2015) – Two hours into the public sales window, tickets for the U.S. Women’s National Team match in St. Louis and Men’s National Team game in San Antonio during the month of April are selling fast.

As of 12 p.m. CT today, more than 23,500 tickets have been sold for the WNT match against New Zealand on April 4 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, requiring the upper level sections to be opened.

Attendance is already projected to be the largest for a U.S. Women’s National Team home game in over 11 years (since 25,253 watched the WNT beat Canada at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup third-place match at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on Oct. 11, 2003). Meanwhile, more than 33,000 tickets have been purchased for the MNT’s game against CONCACAF rival Mexico, Presented by AT&T, on April 15 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Tickets for the WNT match can be purchased through ussoccer.com, by phone at 314-345-9000 and at the 8th Street ticket windows at Busch Stadium (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com. 

The U.S. WNT match in St. Louis will be the team’s first domestic contest after starting the year with six matches in Europe and is the first of four final preparation matches, and the only appearance in the Midwest, before the team departs for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. The match against New Zealand kicks off at 2:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1. Fans can follow all the upcoming WNT matches on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp.

For the MNT match against Mexico, Presented by AT&T, tickets are still available through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout San Antonio, as well as the Alamodome ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Groups of 30 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com. 

The U.S. MNT opened up its 2015 schedule with a 3-2 defeat to Chile on Jan. 28. Next, the team returns to the U.S. to open its domestic schedule with a game against Panama on Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. PT at StubHub Center in Carson, California (TICKETS). After two away matches during the international window in March against Denmark and Switzerland, the spotlight will turn to one of the biggest rivalries in international soccer when the U.S. faces Mexico.

The match against Mexico kicks off at 7:30 p.m. CT at the Alamodome and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network. Fans can also follow the game at @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp

Ellis Names WNT Roster for Matches in Europe against France and England

CHICAGO (Jan. 30, 2015) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 24 players for a 13-day trip to Europe that will feature matches against France on Feb. 8 in Lorient (12 p.m. ET on ESPN2) and against England on Feb. 13 in Milton Keynes (3 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1).

The USA has not played in France since 1995 when it was also preparing for a World Cup and played three matches against Italy, Canada and France over a span of five days. The USA last played a friendly match in England on April 2, 2011, falling to England, 2-1. The USA played four of its six 2012 Olympic matches in England with the first two being played in Glasgow, Scotland.

Both France and England went unbeaten in their UEFA Women's World Cup qualifying groups. France compiled a 10-0-0 record while scoring 54 goals and allowing just three. England also went 10-0-0, while netting 52 goals against just one allowed. France is currently ranked third in the world and England is sixth.

"These games are exactly what we need," said Jill Ellis when the matches were announced. "Our goal leading up to the World Cup is to play some of the best teams. These are two opponents that will test us and certainly two teams we could meet in Canada. Both teams are exceptionally well-organized, have a high level of athleticism and will pose some excellent challenges."

Twenty-three of the 24 players named participated in the USA’s three-week January camp, with the only addition being first-time call-up Tori Huster, a midfielder with the Washington Spirit.

Additional Notes:

  • The USA will be without three regulars for this tour as Megan Rapinoe (knee) and Christie Rampone (back) picked up minor injuries during the USA’s January training camp and will not be ready for action, and goalkeeper Hope Solo is serving a suspension.
  • The U.S. Women played France twice in June of 2014 in two highly competitive matches: a 1-0 U.S. victory in Tampa, Florida, on a score from Sydney Leroux and a 2-2 draw in East Hartford, Connecticut, in which Alex Morgan scored both goals.
  • The USA’s group for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup features Australia, Sweden and Nigeria. England and France are in Group F with Colombia and Mexico.
  • The USA is 14-0-2 all-time against France. The teams met in the semifinal of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and during group play at the 2012 Olympics.
  • The USA is 7-3-1 all-time against England. The teams haven't met since the match in London in 2011.
  • The U.S. WNT includes players who have played professional club soccer in both France and England. Tobin Heath played with Paris Saint-Germain from 2013-14 while Whitney Engen helped the Liverpool Ladies to a league title in 2013.
  • Carli Lloyd and Christen Press led the USA in games played in 2014, both seeing action in 23 out of the 24 total games. Lloyd started all 23 of her matches to lead the team.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers)
DEFENDERS (9): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Tori Huster (Washington Spirit), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (Western NY Flash)

U.S. Soccer Announces 2015 Schedule for U.S. Women's National Team

CHICAGO (Jan 26, 2015) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will play 10 matches in 2015 prior to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, including four across the United States in April and May as the team completes its final preparations for the tournament.

After six matches in Europe, the USA’s first domestic match will be played against New Zealand on Saturday, April 4, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The match will kick off at 2:30 p.m. CT and be broadcast on FOX Sports 1.

Tickets for the game in St. Louis go on sale to the public Friday, Jan. 30 at 10 a.m. CT through ussoccer.com, by phone at 314-345-9000 and at the 8th Street ticket windows at Busch Stadium (open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). 

Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com. 

Supporters Club members and fans following U.S. Soccer on Facebook and Twitter will have access to purchase tickets for all matches in advance of any public sale. More information on how to join the Supporters Club and its various levels of membership, as well as links to U.S. Soccer's Facebook and Twitter pages, can be found at ussoccer.com. For further questions, you may also contact supporters@ussoccer.org.

The final three matches take place in May and make up the Send-Off Series prior to departing for Winnipeg, Canada, in advance of the team’s first match of the Women’s World Cup. The USA’s first game will be against Ireland on Sunday, May 10, at 11:30 a.m. PT at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California, the new home of Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes. 

From there, the USA will travel down the coast for its second Send-Off Series match, facing Mexico on Sunday, May 17, at 6 p.m. PT at StubHub Center in Carson, California. Both California matches will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1. 

The U.S. heads to the East Coast to conclude the Send-Off Series against Korea Republic on Saturday, May 30, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. The match will kick off at 4:30 p.m. ET and be broadcast on ESPN and WatchESPN. Fans can follow all the upcoming WNT matches on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp.

Ticket information for the Send-Off Series matches will be announced at a later date. 

As previously announced, the U.S. WNT opens the 2015 schedule in February with a pair of international matches abroad. The team will first play France in Lorient on Feb. 8 (Noon ET on ESPN2), followed by a meeting with England on Feb. 13 in Milton Keynes (3 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1).

The U.S. WNT will then play four matches at the annual Algarve Cup in Portugal from March 4-11. The U.S. will play Norway, Switzerland and Iceland in group play on March 4, March 6 and March 9, respectively, along with a placement match on March 11. Information on the kickoff times and venues will be provided in the coming weeks. All Algarve Cup matches will be televised on FOX Sports 1 and will also be available on multi-platform devices via FOX Sports GO, FOX Soccer 2Go and FOXSportsGO.com.

This summer, the USA will face Australia, Sweden and Nigeria in Group D at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The USA opens against Australia on June 8 at Winnipeg Stadium, followed by Sweden on June 12 in Winnipeg and Nigeria on June 16 at BC Place in Vancouver.  

The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup runs from June 6-July 5 and all 52 games will be shown live on FOX, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and on tablets and mobile devices through the FOX Sports GO app and FOXSportsGO.com.

2015 U.S. Women’s National Team Schedule:

Date

Opponent

Time

TV

Venue

Feb. 8

France

12 p.m. ET

ESPN2

Stade du Moustoir; Lorient, France

Feb. 13

England

3 p.m. ET

FOX Sports 1

stadiummk; Milton Keynes, England

March 4

Norway

TBD

FOX Sports 1

Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal

March 6

Switzerland

TBD

FOX Sports 1

Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal

March 9

Iceland

TBD

FOX Sports 1

Lagos, Portugal

March 11

TBD

TBD

FOX Sports 1

TBD, Portugal

April 4

New Zealand

2:30 p.m. CT

FOX Sports 1

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 Republic

4:30 p.m. ET

ESPN, WatchESPN

Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.

June 8

Australia

6:30 p.m. CT

FOX

Winnipeg Stadium; Winnipeg, Canada

June 12

Sweden

7 p.m. CT

FOX

Winnipeg Stadium; Winnipeg, Canada

June 16

Nigeria

5 p.m. PT

FOX

BC Place Stadium; Vancouver, Canada

2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Ticket Prices and Sale Date Announced for Individual Games

CHICAGO (Jan. 20, 2015) – FIFA announced today that individual match tickets for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada will go on sale starting Feb. 6 for VISA card holders (through an exclusive presale where only VISA cards may be used) and Feb. 26 for the general public. Tickets will be available for purchase at FIFA.com/Canada2015.

Ticket prices start at $20.15 for select matches, providing fans an affordable opportunity to attend the games, support their team and experience the best women’s soccer in the world as they compete for the biggest honor in the sport.

In addition, U.S. Soccer is working with the Women’s World Cup Organizing Committee to give Supporters Club members access to tickets reserved exclusively for U.S. supporters.

In order to determine the number of tickets needed, as well as the level of interest in fan events in Canada, SC members will receive a brief survey via email in where they will be asked if they've already purchased tickets, which game(s) they are looking to attend, the ticket category desired, if they will accept a lower or higher category, and how many tickets they are looking to purchase. Questions regarding interest in various fan events will also be included. Supporters Club members will have until Friday, Jan. 23, to fill out the survey.

From there, U.S. Soccer will compile the responses and place an order for tickets. A ticketing link and code to members interested in purchasing U.S. supporter tickets in advance of the on-sale date will be provided shortly after. More information on how to join the Supporters Club and its various levels of membership can be found on ussoccer.com. For further questions, you may also contact supporters@ussoccer.org.

Fans hoping to attend the World Cup will also have the option to join U.S. Soccer’s Patrons Program. For information about the Patrons Program, U.S. Soccer’s exclusive VIP Experience and only travel program to follow the U.S. Women’s National Team in Canada, contact vip@ussoccer.org. Costs include a tax-deductible donation to support U.S. Soccer development initiatives.  

Complete information on 2015 individual ticket prices, including a comprehensive ticketing and stadium information guide, is available at FIFA.com. When individual tickets go on sale, a limited number of Stadium Passports will remain available while quantities last. Stadium Half Passes will no longer be available at the start of the VISA presale period.

The USA will face Australia, Sweden and Nigeria in Group D at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The USA opens against Australia on June 8 at Winnipeg Stadium, followed by Sweden on June 12 in Winnipeg and Nigeria on June 16 at BC Place in Vancouver. 

The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup runs from June 6-July 5 and all 52 games will be shown live on FOX, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and on tablets and mobile devices through the FOX Sports GO app and FOXSportsGO.com.

Rapinoe Ruled Out of WNT Camp Due to Minor Injury

CHICAGO (January 19, 2015) – U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Megan Rapinoe will be sidelined for several weeks due to an injury sustained in training during the USA’s January event in Carson, Calif. 

Rapinoe, who has earned 96 caps for the USA, strained a ligament in her right knee and has left camp and returned home to continue her rehabilitation, leaving the USA with 29 players for the final week of training.

Rachel and Kristie’s Japan Adventure

For three months in the fall of 2014, U.S. WNT players Rachel Van Hollebeke and Kristie Mewis lived in Japan while playing for the Iga FC Kunoichi club. They went to Japan to get some great training and games, but left with an off-the-field life experience they will never forget.

Photo Gallery: WNT Training Camp Picks Up Intensity

Photos from the U.S. WNT's training sessions throughout Friday, Jan. 16. The WNT's January Camp runs through the end of the month before the team heads to Europe in early February for a pair of friendly matches against France on Feb. 8 in Lorient and against England on Feb. 13.

Q&A: Midfielder Sam Mewis Talks Camp and NWSL

U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Samantha Mewis sat down with ussoccer.com to discuss the progress the team is making in its latest January Camp as well as how she anticipates this will help her in the professional ranks after being drafted No.4 overall to the Western New York Flash earlier today during the 2015 National Women’s Soccer League Draft.

ussoccer.com: Can you give us a brief update from the Women’s National Team camp?

Sam Mewis: “We’ve been here for about a week-and-a-half now. We’ve had a couple of scrimmages and a couple of intra squads that are going really well. I think the team is making huge improvements and working exactly on what the coaches want us to work on. It’s so cool for me to be here individually, I feel like I’m learning a lot and it’s an awesome thing to be a part of.”

Sam Mewis

ussoccer.com: Being a World Cup year, how would you say the intensity of this camp is compared to others?

SM: "The intensity level is unreal. I have so much respect for these girls who do this career year-round and do it for so long. It being a World Cup year, obviously everyone is fighting for a spot right now and it’s so competitive. At the same time everyone is trying to come together so it’s huge challenge. But I give everyone so much credit for doing this, for being so great about it, and for being so welcoming to the younger players."

ussoccer.com: How valuable is it as a younger player to be here at this camp?

SM: "It’s so valuable. My stint earlier this year was three, four camps, and I got better in those two or three months than I have ever in a stint of time in my whole life. Getting to play at this level is so good to me as an individual player. It’s so good for my awareness and my development. If I want to continue down this road in the future, this time in here is so valuable for me so I really have to take advantage of everyday that I get."

Sam Mewis

ussoccer.com: Now that you and some of the other players are joining the professional level, how does this camp set you up for that?

SM: "I think instead of being home and training on my own, getting to be here and playing at the highest level will only be that much better for me in a couple of months when I start playing in the NWSL. I’m staying fit, I’m playing at a high level, I’m getting all of this exposure and getting to play against all of these people who I’m going to be playing against in a couple of months. It’s just so good as a training environment. I get to come and live in L.A. for three weeks and train in good weather with the best players in the league. There’s just no better preseason for the league."


Photo Gallery: WNT in the Groove During First 2015 Training Camp

Photos from the U.S. WNT's monday evening training session at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California. The WNT is in camp throughout January preparing for two upcoming international friendlies in Europe. The USA plays France in Lorient on Feb. 8 before then traveling to Milton Keynes to face England on Feb. 13.

2014 Hall of Fame Induction to be Held Feb. 14 During AGM in San Francisco

CHICAGO (Jan. 13, 2015) – Former U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Kristine Lilly, Men’s National Team forward Brian McBride and former U.S. MNT and Major League Soccer head coach Bob Bradley will be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame on Saturday, Feb. 14, during the U.S. Soccer Federation Annual General Meeting in San Francisco.

The induction ceremony will take place at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis as part of the AGM Anniversary Dinner. McBride and Lilly will be in attendance, but Bradley will be unable to attend due to his responsibilities as the manager of Stabaek in Norway.

Lilly, the sport’s all-time international caps leader, having played 352 games for the United States from 1987-2010, and McBride, who starred in three FIFA World Cups (1998, 2002 and 2006) for the U.S. MNT, are first-ballot Hall of Fame inductees. Bradley enters the Hall of Fame as a Builder after coaching soccer at the highest levels in the United States.

Lilly enters the Hall of Fame after appearing in international competition for 21 different years over a 24-year span. She won two of the five FIFA Women’s World Cups in which she played. A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Lilly played six seasons in domestic professional leagues, including five for the Boston Breakers in the Women’s United Soccer Association and Women’s Professional Soccer.

McBride enters the Hall of Fame as one of the most lauded Americans in the history of European club soccer. From 1993-2006, McBride earned 95 caps with the U.S., and his 30 international goals helped the team reach the semifinals of the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup, claim the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup title and reach the quarterfinals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup – the best finish by the team in the modern era. McBride played 11 seasons in MLS with the Columbus Crew (1996-2003) and Chicago Fire (2008-10), as well as seven seasons with three English teams, including five with Fulham, where he was named captain in his final season.

As head coach of the U.S. MNT, Bradley guided the team to the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup title, the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup final and a first-place finish in Group C at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. As an MLS head coach, Bradley brought success to the Chicago Fire from 1998-2002, winning an MLS Cup (1998) and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup twice (1998, 2002) before coaching the New York/New Jersey MetroStars from 2003-05 and Chivas USA in 2006.

The Colin Jose Media Award nomination committee determined there will not be an award given this year.

The National Soccer Hall of Fame election process is administered by U.S. Soccer Federation staff under election and eligibility guidelines established by the Hall of Fame Board of Directors. Established in 1950, the National Soccer Hall of Fame is dedicated to the sport of soccer in America by celebrating its history, preserving its legacy, inspiring its youth and honoring its heroes for generations to come.

Photo Gallery: WNT Training Camp Picks Up Intensity

Photos from the U.S. WNT's training sessions throughout Friday, Jan. 16. The WNT's January Camp runs through the end of the month before the team heads to Europe in early February for a pair of friendly matches against France on Feb. 8 in Lorient and against England on Feb. 13.

Q&A: Midfielder Sam Mewis Talks Camp and NWSL

U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Samantha Mewis sat down with ussoccer.com to discuss the progress the team is making in its latest January Camp as well as how she anticipates this will help her in the professional ranks after being drafted No.4 overall to the Western New York Flash earlier today during the 2015 National Women’s Soccer League Draft.

ussoccer.com: Can you give us a brief update from the Women’s National Team camp?

Sam Mewis: “We’ve been here for about a week-and-a-half now. We’ve had a couple of scrimmages and a couple of intra squads that are going really well. I think the team is making huge improvements and working exactly on what the coaches want us to work on. It’s so cool for me to be here individually, I feel like I’m learning a lot and it’s an awesome thing to be a part of.”

Sam Mewis

ussoccer.com: Being a World Cup year, how would you say the intensity of this camp is compared to others?

SM: "The intensity level is unreal. I have so much respect for these girls who do this career year-round and do it for so long. It being a World Cup year, obviously everyone is fighting for a spot right now and it’s so competitive. At the same time everyone is trying to come together so it’s huge challenge. But I give everyone so much credit for doing this, for being so great about it, and for being so welcoming to the younger players."

ussoccer.com: How valuable is it as a younger player to be here at this camp?

SM: "It’s so valuable. My stint earlier this year was three, four camps, and I got better in those two or three months than I have ever in a stint of time in my whole life. Getting to play at this level is so good to me as an individual player. It’s so good for my awareness and my development. If I want to continue down this road in the future, this time in here is so valuable for me so I really have to take advantage of everyday that I get."

Sam Mewis

ussoccer.com: Now that you and some of the other players are joining the professional level, how does this camp set you up for that?

SM: "I think instead of being home and training on my own, getting to be here and playing at the highest level will only be that much better for me in a couple of months when I start playing in the NWSL. I’m staying fit, I’m playing at a high level, I’m getting all of this exposure and getting to play against all of these people who I’m going to be playing against in a couple of months. It’s just so good as a training environment. I get to come and live in L.A. for three weeks and train in good weather with the best players in the league. There’s just no better preseason for the league."


Photo Gallery: WNT in the Groove During First 2015 Training Camp

Photos from the U.S. WNT's monday evening training session at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California. The WNT is in camp throughout January preparing for two upcoming international friendlies in Europe. The USA plays France in Lorient on Feb. 8 before then traveling to Milton Keynes to face England on Feb. 13.

Bem-Vindo A Brazil

While South America has produced nine Men’s World Cup champions since 1934, the women’s game has lagged far behind. Sure, the Brazilian women – led by five-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta – has had some great success, but the rest of the continent is just recently starting to throw more support behind its Women’s National Teams.

It’s for that reason that the trips to South America for the U.S. WNT have been rare. In fact, in its 29-year history, the USA has visited South America just twice – both to Brazil – in 1996 and 1997. The USA’s trip to the International Tournament of Brasilia, a four-team competition played at the National Stadium Mane Garrincha (a 2014 World Cup venue) is a bit of a novelty.

The WNT has played six matches in Brazil, which is also its total games played in South America, and hasn’t been to Brazil in 17 years. The last time was for a pair of games against Brazil in December of 1997, a 2-1 win in Taubaté and a 1-0 loss in São Paulo.

The only player still active from that trip is U.S. captain Christie Rampone who was then competing in her first year of international soccer. As Christie Pearce, she played 90 minutes in both games.


U.S. WNT captain Christie Rampone helps the USA collect a 2-0 win against Brazil on June 23, 2007 in East Rutherford, N.J.

As the USA winds down 2014 and gets ready for an exciting 2015, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis wants to play as many top teams as possible, and it remains a given that a game against Brazil in Brazil is one of the toughest challenges a team can face. The USA will get one match against Brazil, and possibly two, as this tournament pits the top two teams after group play in the championship game.

“We are looking forward to playing against the different styles that each of the three teams present,” said Ellis. “China and Brazil are also preparing for the World Cup, and to get games against World Cup teams prior to the tournament is one of our goals. Knowing the history with Brazil, games against them are always exciting for the players and fans.”

The USA will open the tournament Dec. 10 against China PR (4:20 p.m. ET), face Brazil on Dec. 14 (3:45 p.m.) and finish group play on Dec. 17 against Argentina (4:20 p.m.). The final match day on Dec. 21 will feature the top two teams after round-robin play squaring off for the tournament championship while the two countries that finished third and fourth will battle for third place. The USA, Brazil and China PR will be participating in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup next summer in Canada.

Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha is also one of five venues for the 2016 Olympics. With qualifying for that tournament beginning shortly, this trip will be valuable on multiple levels.

“It’s a chance to travel to a new environment and play international matches in unfamiliar territory, which is always valuable when getting ready for a World Cup,” said Ellis. “It’s pretty exciting to get to play in a World Cup stadium and many of our players have never played or even been to Brazil before. It’s a unique opportunity to go to a fantastic soccer country, have a great cultural experience and get four competitive games to end the year on a high note.”

Women’s World Cup Rewind: The Game Reaches New Heights in 2011

The 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup was the best-ever by numerous measurements: fan support, atmosphere, media attention, TV ratings and of course the quality of play on the field. Germany put on a fantastic event in world class stadiums that showcased competitive, entertaining matches, which impressed fans around the globe.

The USA rebounded from a loss to Sweden in its final game of the opening round to defeat Brazil in an epic quarterfinal match that some say was the most exciting match in the history of the Women’s World Cup. The USA played more than an hour with just 10 players, equalized in the 122nd minute of overtime on Abby Wambach’s now famous header off a Megan Rapinoe cross before winning the ensuing penalty kick shootout.



“I launched it with all my might. There wasn’t a lot of technique behind it; I just put all I had into that cross,” said Rapinoe. “I didn’t see Abby when I first kicked it. I just knew she was going to be there. She’s always in the box.

“It happened so quickly and it was in the back of the net. I was running over there, but then I was so far away, that I stopped halfway because I just had to start celebrating. I was 50 yards away by the time she got all the way to the corner. So I had to stop and do these crazy fist pumps. I was yelling so loud and aggressively that I literally got light-headed. Then I ran over to Abby and nearly knocked her over because I jumped on her without decelerating at all. It was just one of those amazing sports moments. I don’t think I’ll have another moment like that in my career.”

Wambach’s equalizer still stands as the latest recorded goal in Women’s World Cup history.

“I just started making a run and put my hand up. [Rapinoe] just put this ball literally on my head. It took forever for the ball to get from her to me,” said Wambach. ‘Get over the defender’s head, get over the goalkeeper’s hands;’ that’s what I was thinking. It did and I was wide open and then I was thinking, ‘don’t miss this.’ It was close. Anything at that moment is possible. I didn’t see it hit the back of the net, but I knew it went in when I heard the crowd.”

The USA went on to defeat France 3-1 in a hard-fought semifinal and agonizingly fell to Japan in a shootout in the World Cup Final. Yet, the impact the tournament had on fans in the USA and around the world continues to produce positive effects on the game’s development in the lead up to the 2015 tournament in Canada.

Women’s World Cup Rewind: USA Captivates the World in 1999

For the first time, the tournament was expanded to 16 teams and was staged in huge stadiums across the United States, raising expectations for attendance, media coverage and television audiences; expectations that were reached, surpassed and then crushed.

The U.S. captured its second Women’s World Cup championship while winning the hearts and minds of a nation and becoming the sports story of the year. The Women’s National Team played in front of packed houses across the country, and advanced to the final after five straight victories, which included a come-from-behind 3-2 victory against Germany in the quarterfinals and a nail-biting 2-0 victory against Brazil in the semifinals. 

“We battled through every match and it just got bigger and bigger,” said Tony DiCicco, head coach of the 1999 Women’s World Cup team. “The final match in Pasadena, unfortunately it was 0-0, but it was one of those incredibly exciting, tense nil-nil matches. The penalty kicks only added to the excitement.”

In the final, the U.S. battled China PR for a grueling 120 minutes before pulling out a breathtaking 5-4 penalty kick victory in front of a sellout crowd of 90,185 fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on July 10. The winning penalty kick goal for the U.S. has become a pop culture moment in American history, with Brandi Chastain scoring and celebrating waving her jersey above her head before sinking to her knees and being mobbed by her teammates.

Chastain’s heroics were made possible by U.S. goalkeeper Brianna Scurry, who stepped up to make a crucial save on China’s third penalty kick taker Liu Ying.

“It was bizarre,” said Scurry. “I didn’t look at any of the other kickers, but for some reason, when I was walking into the goal, I looked at (Liu) and I heard something in my head, ‘this is the one.’  It was just a feeling.  Something just came over me, a sort of calmness.  It was an instinctual thing, an intuitive thing.  It was very, very strange. Quite honestly, I think no matter where that ball was going to go, I was going to get it.”

With the championship, the U.S. became the first nation to win the Women’s World Cup on its home soil.

“There was a lot of pressure on us as a team because as big as it was, if we lost, the momentum [of women’s soccer] would have petered out,” said DiCicco when remembering the USA’s most memorable soccer achievement. “I think our 1999 team set the stage for women’s athletics, women’s soccer and the next generation to have something to aspire to.” 

Women’s World Cup Rewind: USA Claims Inaugural Crown in 1991

The first FIFA Women’s World Cup, held in 1991 in China, was a tremendous success. Large crowds flocked to the stadiums to see some of the pioneers of the women’s game as the United States announced its presence on the world’s stage.

The USA won all six of its games in the tournament, beginning with its first-ever Women’s World Cup match, a 3-2 victory against a Sweden side that featured future U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage. The USA would go on to defeat Norway, 2-1, in the World Cup Final in Guangzhou. The great Michelle Akers scored both goals in the championship game and 10 goals overall in the tournament, a record that still stands ahead of the 2015 tournament. Future stars Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and Kristine Lilly won their first of several world titles that they collected throughout their illustrious careers.

Hamm scored twice in the tournament while Jennings had six goals (including a hat trick in the somewhat surprising 5-2 semifinal victory against Germany) and Heinrichs scored four times (including the other two goals in the semifinal). Wendy Gebauer, Joy Biefeld and Julie Foudy also scored their first World Cup goals.

After accomplishing such a remarkable achievement, the U.S. players returned to the U.S. to relative anonymity, but the roots were set for what would grow into the most successful international women’s soccer program in history.

Women's World Cup Opponent Breakdown: CONCACAF

CONFEDERATION OF NORTH, CENTRAL AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL

CANADA
Current FIFA World Ranking: 8
FIFA Trigram: CAN
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Tournament Host
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 6 – 1995 (10th), 1999 (12th), 2003 (4th), 2007 (9th), 2011 (16th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 3-47-6  
Head Coach: John Herdman
Championship Honors: Pan-American Games Champions (2011), CONCACAF Champions (1998, 2010)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: N/A
Key Players: Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns), Erin McLeod (Chicago Red Stars), Jonelle Filigno (Sky Blue FC), Kadeisha Buchanan (West Virginia), Melissa Tancredi (Chicago Red Stars), Desiree Scott (Notts County)
Language: English 

Fast Facts: Canada began preparing for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2011, when it was named the host of the quadrennial tournament … It will be Canada’s sixth appearance at a FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament … Head coach John Herdman led the squad to the 2011 Pan-American Games title for the first time, as well as to a third place finish at the London 2012 Olympic Games … Read more.

COSTA RICA
Current FIFA World Ranking: 40
FIFA Trigram: CRC
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished second in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship (3-1-1; 10 GF, 9 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 1 – 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-10-0
Head Coach: Carlos Avedissian
Championship Honors: None
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Carolina Venegas (4), Raquel Rodriguez (3)
Key Players: Carolina Venegas (Saprissa), Raquel Rodriguez (Penn State), Dinnia Diaz (Moravia), Shirley Cruz (PSG), Katherine Alvarado (Saprissa)
Language: Spanish 

Fast Facts: One name has become synonymous with Costa Rica's feat of qualifying for the Women’s World Cup tournament for the first time: Dinnia Diaz … The goalkeeper's penalty shoot-out heroics earned her side victory in the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship semifinal against Trinidad and Tobago and in the process clinched a spot for Las Ticas at Canada 2015 …  Not even a 6-0 defeat by USA in the final was enough to rain on the team's parade, as coach Carlos Avedissian confirmed: "Being crowned champions wouldn't bring us the joy that booking our ticket has" … The achievement was a fitting way to cap what has been a booming last year or so for Costa Rican football, particularly on the women's side, as evidenced by a hat-trick of wins over Mexico, Jamaica and Martinique in group-stage action prior to that decisive last-four encounter .. Paris Saint-Germain's Shirley Cruz is a talismanic figure within Costa Rican football and the 29-year-old is the leader of the dressing room alongside fellow midfielder Katherine Alvarado … Their experience and nous provide a counterpoint to the recent injection of young blood into the squad, embodied by the likes of wunderkinds Gloriana Villalobos and Melissa Herrera. Read more.

MEXICO
Current FIFA World Ranking: 25
FIFA Trigram: MEX
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished in third place at the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship (3-2-0; 17 GF, 7 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 3 – 1999 (16th), 2011 (11th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 1-30-1
Head Coach: Leonardo Cuellar
Championship Honors: CONCACAF Runner-Up (2010)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Charlyn Corral (4), Monica Ocampo (3), Stephany Mayor (3), Luz Duarte (2)
Key Players: Charlyn Corral (Merilappi United), Cecilia Santiago (Boston Breakers), Monica Ocampo (Sky Blue FC), Stephany Mayor (Universidad de las Americas Puebla)
Language: Spanish 

Fast Facts: Mexico lost its first game of the 2014 CONCACAF Championship to Costa Rica, but bounced back with a dominant 10-0 performance to remain alive … After losing the semifinal game to the eventual champion USA, El Tricolor Femenil battled it out with Trinidad & Tobago for the third and final automatic qualification spot … Trailing 2-1 with just over ten minutes to go, they equalized and then Charlyn Corral popped up with an extra-time brace to seal victory ... Canada 2015 will mark Mexico's third appearance at the tournament, having also competed at Germany 2011 and USA 1999... While their debut outings on the world stage all ended in defeat, last time out Las Tri managed two draws (against England and New Zealand), although this wasn't enough to advance beyond the group stage… Read more.

Women's World Cup Opponent Breakdown: CONMEBOL and CAF

SOUTH AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFEDERATION

BRAZIL
Current FIFA World Ranking: 6
FIFA Trigram: BRA
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Won the 2014 Copa America Femenina (5-1-1; 22 GF, 3 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 7 – 1991 (9th), 1995 (9th), 1999 (3rd), 2003 (5th), 2007 (2nd), 2011 (5th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 2-25-3
Head Coach: Oswaldo Alvarez
Championship Honors: South American Champions (1991, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2010, 2014)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Cristiane (6), Andressa (3), Maurine (3)
Key Players: Marta (FC Rosengård), Cristiane (WFC Rossiyanka), Andressa (Boston Breakers), Formiga (São José), Maurine (Western NY Flash)
Language: Portuguese

Fast Facts: Brazil will travel to their seventh FIFA Women’s World Cup as reigning six-time Copa America champions, having drawn on their much-vaunted attack to win their latest continental title in Ecuador … Veteran striker Cristiane ended the competition as its leading goal scorer, helping her side to first-round victories over Bolivia, Paraguay and Chile before the second string went down to Argentina … In the final four-team round the Brazilians cruised to respective 4-1 and 6-0 victories over Ecuador and the Argentinians before making the trophy theirs with a draw against Colombia …Though they secured their latest South American crown without her, Brazil will be only too happy to have five-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year winner Marta back in the fold in Canada … A star of the global scene for the last decade, she will have the support of a raft of similarly seasoned performers, among them Cristiane, goalkeeper Andreia and midfielder Formiga … Read more 

COLOMBIA
Current FIFA World Ranking: 31
FIFA Trigram: COL
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished second at the 2014 Copa America Femenina (5-0-2; 12 GF, 2 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 2 – 2011 (14th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-2-0
Head Coach: Felipe Taborda
Championship Honors: South American Runner-Up (2010, 2014)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Rincon (3)
Key Players: Yoreli Rincon (New Jersey Wildcats), Lady Andrade (PK-35 Vantaa), Sandra Sepulveda (Club Formas Intimas Medellin), Katherin Arias (Generaciones Palmiranas), Natalia Gaitan (Houston Aces), Diana Ospina (Club Formas Íntimas Medellin)
Language: Spanish

Fast Facts: Colombia will make its second straight appearance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup after making its debut in 2011 and having an early exit after failing to advance from the group stage… Four victories in four games had Las Cafeteras storm through their group stage with an undefeated record at the 2014 Copa America Femenina scoring nine goals and allowing only two… Draws against Argentina and to eventual Copa champion Brazil led Colombia to finish as the only undefeated side, racking 17 points and booking its trip to the World Cup with a runners-up finish… Colombia proved to be a defensive power, eventually only allowing two goals in the whole tournament, a tournament-best, while scoring 12 … 10 different Colombia players scored a goal during Copa qualifiers… Read more

ECUADOR
Current FIFA World Ranking: 49
FIFA Trigram: ECU
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Won a two-legged intercontinental playoff 1-0 against CONCACAF entrée Trinidad & Tobago.
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearance: 1 – 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-0-0
Head Coach: Vanessa Arauz
Championship Honors: 3rd Place 1998 Copa Sudamericana
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Giannina Lattanzio (3)
Key Players: Erika Vásquez, Mónica Quinteros, Andrea Pesantes, Ingrid Rodríguez
Language: Spanish

Fast Facts: 2015 will mark Ecuador’s first appearance in a FIFA Women’s World Cup … The Tricolors finished third in the final round of South American qualifying, which sent the team into a two-legged playoff against fourth-place CONCACAF finisher Trinidad & Tobago … After a 0-0 draw in Quito, Ecuador’s Mónica Quinteros bagged the play-off winning goal in the dying moments of the second leg in Port-of-Spain … Ecuador’s qualification to the second round of South American World Cup Qualifying is the first time the team has escaped elimination in the first round of a major tournament since 1998 when the Tricolors placed third at the Copa Sudamericana.

CONFEDERATION OF AFRICAN FOOTBALL

CAMEROON
Current FIFA World Ranking: 51
FIFA Trigram: CMR
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished 2nd in 2014 African Women’s Championship (5 GF, 4GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearance: 1 - 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-0-0
Head Coach: Ngachu Enow
Championship Honors: None
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Gaëlle Enganamouit (3)
Key Players: Gaelle Enganamouit (Eskilstuna United), Annette Ngo Dom (Nove Zamky)
Language: English, French 

Fast Facts: Qualified for Canada with a second-place finish at the 2014 African Women’s Championship, losing to Nigeria 2-0 in the final … Annette Ngo Dom was the goalkeeper of the tournament in the 2014 African Women’s Championship and plays her club soccer in Slovakia … Ngachu has a highly experienced squad, most of whom play their club football outside Cameroon and many of them have already appeared on the world stage after representing Les Lionnes at the London Olympics … Read more 

COTE D’IVOIRE
Current FIFA World Ranking: 64
FIFA Trigram: CIV
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished 3rd in 2014 African Women’s Championship (6 GF, 4 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearance: 1 - 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-0-0
Head Coach: Clementine Toure
Championship Honors: None
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Tia Vino Ines N'Rehy (3)
Key Players: Jose Nahi (Zvesda Perm), Tia N'Rehy (Spartak Subotica)
Language: French 

Fast Facts: Finished third at 2014 African Women’s Championship with a late goal from Ida Guehai against South Africa … Les Elephantes are a team without any real star players and are known for their team effort … Most players play their club soccer in Ivory Coast … Head coach Clementine Toure was a member of the Equatorial Guinea coaching staff … Read more 

NIGERIA
Current FIFA World Ranking: 35
FIFA Trigram: NGA
2015 Women's World Cup Qualifying: Finished 1st in 2014 African Women’s Championship (16 GF, 3 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 7 - 1991 (10th), 1995 (11th), 1999 (7th), 2003 (16th), 2007 (12th), 2011 (9th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-4-0
Head Coach: Edwin Okon
Championship Honors: African Women’s Championship (1991, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2014)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Desire Oparanozie (5)
Key Players: Desire Oparanozie (Guingamp), Azizat Oshoala (Rivers Angels)
Language: English 

Fast Facts: Nigeria are the dominant women’s side of Africa and have qualified for the Women’s World Cup every year it’s been held … The Super Falcons are also the most decorated side of the African Women’s Championship, which they’ve won seven times … Nigeria's best World Cup performance was in 1999 when they were knocked out in the quarterfinals by Brazil after finishing second in their group and seventh overall … Read more

Women's World Cup Opponent Breakdown: AFC and OFC

ASIAN FOOTBALL CONFEDERATION

AUSTRALIA
Current FIFA World Ranking: 10
FIFA Trigram: AUS
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished second in the 2014 AFC Women’s Cup (3-1-1; 9 GF, 5 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 6 –1995 (12th), 1999 (11th), 2003 (13th), 2007 (7th), 2011 (8th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-22-2
Head Coach: Alen Stajcic
Championship Honors: Oceania Champions (1995, 1998, 2003. Note: Australia moved to the AFC on Jan. 1, 2006); Asian Football Confederation Champions (2010)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Katrina Gorry (3), Kate Gill (2)
Key Players: Lisa De Vanna (Washington Spirit), Caitlin Foord (Sky Blue FC), Katrina Gorry (FC Kansas City), Kate Gill (Perth Glory)
Language: English

Fast Facts: With five Asian berths up for grabs, Australia comfortably won through to Canada by virtue of a runners-up finish at the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup … The team had endured a tumultuous preparation with Alen Stajcic filling the coaching role on an interim basis following the sudden departure of Hesterine De Reus just prior to the qualifying tournament in Vietnam  … Australia saw off Jordan and Vietnam, as well as drawing 2-2 with Japan in the group stage, before defeating Korea Republic 2-1 in the semifinals .. The Matildas came within a whisker of retaining their Asian crown only to fall 1-0 against world champions Japan in the final … The current team defy the traditional stereotype of Australian teams and a pacy youthful side boasts a host of talented ball-players including experienced forwards Lisa De Vanna and Kate Gill … Read more -- http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1882891/index.html

CHINA PR
Current FIFA World Ranking: 14
FIFA Trigram: CHN
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished third at the 2014 AFC Women’s Cup (3-1-1; 13 GF, 3 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 6 – 1991 (5th), 1995 (4th), 1999 (2nd), 2003 (6th), 2007 (5th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 8-32-12
Head Coach: Hao Wei
Championship Honors: Asian Champions (1986, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2006) 
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Yang Li (6)
Key Players: Zhang Yue (Beijing), Yang Li (Jiangsu), Wu Haiyan (Sportstoto), Zhang Rui (Army), Li Ying (Dalian)
Language: Chinese

Fast Facts: China made it through to the knockout stage in their past five appearances, including finishing runners-up at USA 1999, but the Asian qualifiers for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup proved to be a redemptive campaign for China PR after missing out on a place in the global showpiece at Germany 2011 for the first time in history … The eight-time champions opened with a 7-0 rout of Thailand which was followed by a 3-0 defeat of Myanmar during the group phase as China finished in the top two to progress to the semifinals, despite also being held by Korea Republic to a goalless draw … With their qualifying mission already completed, the Steel Roses switched their sights to the continental champions but their hopes were shattered losing 2-1 to Japan … Despite the setback, the Chinese went on to edge out Korea Republic by an identical score line in the third-place play-off … The current team are youthful and on the upswing after a long down period for Chinese women’s soccer, with the majority of players born after 1990 … Read more -- http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1882892/index.html

JAPAN
Current FIFA World Ranking: 3
FIFA Trigram: JPN
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: First Place at the 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup (4-0-1; 16 GF, 3 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 7 – 1991 (12th), 1995 (8th), 1999 (13th), 2003 (10th), 2007 (10th), 2011 (1st), 2015
Record vs. USA: 1-24-6
Head Coach: Norio Sasaki
Championship Honors: Women’s World Cup (2011); Asian Football Confederations Champions (2014)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Azusa Iwashimizu (2), Nahomi Kawasumi (2), Emi Nakajima (2), Mizuho Sakaguchi (2), Yuki Ogmi (2)
Key Players: Azusa Iwashimizu (NTV Beleza), Nahomi Kawasumi (Seattle Reign FC), Mizuho Sakaguchi (NTV Beleza), Yuki Ogmi (Chelsea)
Language: Japanese

Fast Facts:
Japan was crowned World Cup champions for the first time in its history in 2011 after defeating the United States in a penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 draw in regulation and extra time was completed … With the win, Japan also became the first Asian country to claim a World Cup… Despite their triumph in 2011 however, Japan had never won the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, but that finally changed in May 2014 as it secured two tight wins to end the eight-nation tournament as victors despite missing several key players … The Nadeshiko enjoyed comfortable wins over Jordan and Vietnam in the group stage, while also drawing 2-2 against Australia. They edged China PR 2-1 in the semi-final, before a hard-fought 1-0 win in the final against Australia with defender Azusa Iwashimizu the unlikely scorer of the historic goal. Read more-- http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1883723/index.html

KOREA REPUBLIC
Current FIFA World Ranking: 17
FIFA Trigram: KOR
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished fourth at the 2014 AFC Women’s Cup (2-2-1; 18 GF, 4 GA)
World Cup Finals Appearances: 2 – 2003 (14th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-8-1
Head Coach: Yoon Deokyeo 
Championship Honors: None
Leading World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Park Eun-sun (6), Jeon Ga-eul (3), Cho So-hyun (3)
Key Players: Cho Soh-hyun (Suwon FMC), Park Eun-sun (Rossiyanka), Ji So-yun (Chelsea Ladies), Kim Jung-mi (Hyundai Steel)
Language: Korean 

Fast Facts: Korea Republic booked passage to their second FIFA Women’s World Cup by finishing fourth at the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Vietnam … Pitted against China PR, Thailand and Myanmar in Group B, the Taeguk Ladies opened their qualifying campaign with a 12-0 demolition of Myanmar with both Jeon Ga-eul and Cho Soh-yun recording hat-tricks … Park Eun-sun then struck three times and set up another as the Koreans beat the Thais 4-0 to claim top-two in the group and a ticket to Canada  … Although a goalless draw with China PR was enough for them to top their group on goal difference, defending champions Australia proved too strong for the women in red as they lost 2-1 in the semifinals … They subsequently lost the third-place play-off by the same score against China PR … Read more -- http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1885010/index.html

THAILAND
Current FIFA World Ranking: 30
FIFA Trigram: THA
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished fifth at the 2014 AFC Women’s Cup (2-2-0; 3 GF, 11 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 1 - 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-0-0
Head Coach: Nuengruethai Sathongwien
Championship Honors: None
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Kanjana Sungngoen (3)
Key Players: Kanjana Sungngoen, Darut Changplook, Nisa Romyen, Naphat Seesraum, Taneekarn Dangda   
Language: Thai 

Fast Facts: Thailand qualified for its first FIFA Women’s World Cup thanks to a fifth-place finish in the AFC Women's Cup held in Vietnam in May of 2014 … However, their odyssey to Canada 2015 began a year earlier in the unlikely setting of Dhaka, Bangladesh where they secured a clean sweep of their preliminary stage group with comfortable wins over Iran and the hosts, as well as a tough 1-0 win over Philippines … In Vietnam they suffered defeats against China PR and Korea Republic, however a 2-1 win against Myanmar put them into the decisive fifth-place play-off … Once again they prevailed in a crucial match with a narrow one-goal margin as a historic double from Kanjana Sungngoen edged out the hosts 2-1 in a tense encounter … Thailand's main strength is their familiarity as many of the side boast lengthy careers in the international arena, either at senior or youth level … Read more -- http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1885009/index.html

OCEANIA FOOTBALL CONFEDERATION

NEW ZEALAND
Current FIFA World Ranking: 19
FIFA Trigram: NZL
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Won the 2014 OFC Women’s Championship (3-0-0; 30 GF, 0 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 4 –1991 (11th), 2007 (15th), 2011 (12th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 1-10-1
Head Coach: Alen Stajcic
Championship Honors: Oceania Champions (1983, 1991, 2007, 2010, 2014)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Amber Hearn (7), Helen Collins (5), Sarah Gregorius (3), Annalie Longo (3), Rosie White (3)
Key Players: Abby Erceg (Jena), Ali Riley (FC Rosengard), Amber Hearn (Jena), Hannah Wilkinson (Univ. of Tennessee), Katie Hoyle (Notts County)
Language: English 

Fast Facts: New Zealand’s journey to Canada lasted only five days as the Football Ferns topped their four-nation Oceania qualifying tournament with a perfect three-match record that accrued 30 goals and saw none conceded … Key striker Amber Hearn scored seven goals in the tournament while an even more notable milestone was achieved at the other end of the field as captain and central defender Abby Erceg became the first male or female New Zealander to reach 100 caps … New Zealand have come a long way on the international in recent years and it is no coincidence that the quantity of players plying their trade overseas has massively increased during the same period … Coach Tony Readings assumed the reins in the wake of John Herdman’s departure in 2011 with the latter taking over the coaching role with host nation Canada … He successfully led the team at the 2012 Olympic Games where the team reached the knockout stage of a major tournament for the first time. Read more -- http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1883725/index.html

Tickets Selling Fast for WNT and MNT Games in April

CHICAGO (Jan. 30, 2015) – Two hours into the public sales window, tickets for the U.S. Women’s National Team match in St. Louis and Men’s National Team game in San Antonio during the month of April are selling fast.

As of 12 p.m. CT today, more than 23,500 tickets have been sold for the WNT match against New Zealand on April 4 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, requiring the upper level sections to be opened.

Attendance is already projected to be the largest for a U.S. Women’s National Team home game in over 11 years (since 25,253 watched the WNT beat Canada at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup third-place match at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on Oct. 11, 2003). Meanwhile, more than 33,000 tickets have been purchased for the MNT’s game against CONCACAF rival Mexico, Presented by AT&T, on April 15 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Tickets for the WNT match can be purchased through ussoccer.com, by phone at 314-345-9000 and at the 8th Street ticket windows at Busch Stadium (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com. 

The U.S. WNT match in St. Louis will be the team’s first domestic contest after starting the year with six matches in Europe and is the first of four final preparation matches, and the only appearance in the Midwest, before the team departs for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. The match against New Zealand kicks off at 2:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1. Fans can follow all the upcoming WNT matches on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp.

For the MNT match against Mexico, Presented by AT&T, tickets are still available through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout San Antonio, as well as the Alamodome ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Groups of 30 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com. 

The U.S. MNT opened up its 2015 schedule with a 3-2 defeat to Chile on Jan. 28. Next, the team returns to the U.S. to open its domestic schedule with a game against Panama on Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. PT at StubHub Center in Carson, California (TICKETS). After two away matches during the international window in March against Denmark and Switzerland, the spotlight will turn to one of the biggest rivalries in international soccer when the U.S. faces Mexico.

The match against Mexico kicks off at 7:30 p.m. CT at the Alamodome and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network. Fans can also follow the game at @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp

Ellis Names WNT Roster for Matches in Europe against France and England

CHICAGO (Jan. 30, 2015) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 24 players for a 13-day trip to Europe that will feature matches against France on Feb. 8 in Lorient (12 p.m. ET on ESPN2) and against England on Feb. 13 in Milton Keynes (3 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1).

The USA has not played in France since 1995 when it was also preparing for a World Cup and played three matches against Italy, Canada and France over a span of five days. The USA last played a friendly match in England on April 2, 2011, falling to England, 2-1. The USA played four of its six 2012 Olympic matches in England with the first two being played in Glasgow, Scotland.

Both France and England went unbeaten in their UEFA Women's World Cup qualifying groups. France compiled a 10-0-0 record while scoring 54 goals and allowing just three. England also went 10-0-0, while netting 52 goals against just one allowed. France is currently ranked third in the world and England is sixth.

"These games are exactly what we need," said Jill Ellis when the matches were announced. "Our goal leading up to the World Cup is to play some of the best teams. These are two opponents that will test us and certainly two teams we could meet in Canada. Both teams are exceptionally well-organized, have a high level of athleticism and will pose some excellent challenges."

Twenty-three of the 24 players named participated in the USA’s three-week January camp, with the only addition being first-time call-up Tori Huster, a midfielder with the Washington Spirit.

Additional Notes:

  • The USA will be without three regulars for this tour as Megan Rapinoe (knee) and Christie Rampone (back) picked up minor injuries during the USA’s January training camp and will not be ready for action, and goalkeeper Hope Solo is serving a suspension.
  • The U.S. Women played France twice in June of 2014 in two highly competitive matches: a 1-0 U.S. victory in Tampa, Florida, on a score from Sydney Leroux and a 2-2 draw in East Hartford, Connecticut, in which Alex Morgan scored both goals.
  • The USA’s group for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup features Australia, Sweden and Nigeria. England and France are in Group F with Colombia and Mexico.
  • The USA is 14-0-2 all-time against France. The teams met in the semifinal of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and during group play at the 2012 Olympics.
  • The USA is 7-3-1 all-time against England. The teams haven't met since the match in London in 2011.
  • The U.S. WNT includes players who have played professional club soccer in both France and England. Tobin Heath played with Paris Saint-Germain from 2013-14 while Whitney Engen helped the Liverpool Ladies to a league title in 2013.
  • Carli Lloyd and Christen Press led the USA in games played in 2014, both seeing action in 23 out of the 24 total games. Lloyd started all 23 of her matches to lead the team.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers)
DEFENDERS (9): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Tori Huster (Washington Spirit), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (Western NY Flash)

U.S. Soccer Announces 2015 Schedule for U.S. Women's National Team

CHICAGO (Jan 26, 2015) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will play 10 matches in 2015 prior to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, including four across the United States in April and May as the team completes its final preparations for the tournament.

After six matches in Europe, the USA’s first domestic match will be played against New Zealand on Saturday, April 4, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The match will kick off at 2:30 p.m. CT and be broadcast on FOX Sports 1.

Tickets for the game in St. Louis go on sale to the public Friday, Jan. 30 at 10 a.m. CT through ussoccer.com, by phone at 314-345-9000 and at the 8th Street ticket windows at Busch Stadium (open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). 

Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com. 

Supporters Club members and fans following U.S. Soccer on Facebook and Twitter will have access to purchase tickets for all matches in advance of any public sale. More information on how to join the Supporters Club and its various levels of membership, as well as links to U.S. Soccer's Facebook and Twitter pages, can be found at ussoccer.com. For further questions, you may also contact supporters@ussoccer.org.

The final three matches take place in May and make up the Send-Off Series prior to departing for Winnipeg, Canada, in advance of the team’s first match of the Women’s World Cup. The USA’s first game will be against Ireland on Sunday, May 10, at 11:30 a.m. PT at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California, the new home of Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes. 

From there, the USA will travel down the coast for its second Send-Off Series match, facing Mexico on Sunday, May 17, at 6 p.m. PT at StubHub Center in Carson, California. Both California matches will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1. 

The U.S. heads to the East Coast to conclude the Send-Off Series against Korea Republic on Saturday, May 30, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. The match will kick off at 4:30 p.m. ET and be broadcast on ESPN and WatchESPN. Fans can follow all the upcoming WNT matches on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp.

Ticket information for the Send-Off Series matches will be announced at a later date. 

As previously announced, the U.S. WNT opens the 2015 schedule in February with a pair of international matches abroad. The team will first play France in Lorient on Feb. 8 (Noon ET on ESPN2), followed by a meeting with England on Feb. 13 in Milton Keynes (3 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1).

The U.S. WNT will then play four matches at the annual Algarve Cup in Portugal from March 4-11. The U.S. will play Norway, Switzerland and Iceland in group play on March 4, March 6 and March 9, respectively, along with a placement match on March 11. Information on the kickoff times and venues will be provided in the coming weeks. All Algarve Cup matches will be televised on FOX Sports 1 and will also be available on multi-platform devices via FOX Sports GO, FOX Soccer 2Go and FOXSportsGO.com.

This summer, the USA will face Australia, Sweden and Nigeria in Group D at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The USA opens against Australia on June 8 at Winnipeg Stadium, followed by Sweden on June 12 in Winnipeg and Nigeria on June 16 at BC Place in Vancouver.  

The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup runs from June 6-July 5 and all 52 games will be shown live on FOX, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and on tablets and mobile devices through the FOX Sports GO app and FOXSportsGO.com.

2015 U.S. Women’s National Team Schedule:

Date

Opponent

Time

TV

Venue

Feb. 8

France

12 p.m. ET

ESPN2

Stade du Moustoir; Lorient, France

Feb. 13

England

3 p.m. ET

FOX Sports 1

stadiummk; Milton Keynes, England

March 4

Norway

TBD

FOX Sports 1

Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal

March 6

Switzerland

TBD

FOX Sports 1

Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal

March 9

Iceland

TBD

FOX Sports 1

Lagos, Portugal

March 11

TBD

TBD

FOX Sports 1

TBD, Portugal

April 4

New Zealand

2:30 p.m. CT

FOX Sports 1

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 Republic

4:30 p.m. ET

ESPN, WatchESPN

Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.

June 8

Australia

6:30 p.m. CT

FOX

Winnipeg Stadium; Winnipeg, Canada

June 12

Sweden

7 p.m. CT

FOX

Winnipeg Stadium; Winnipeg, Canada

June 16

Nigeria

5 p.m. PT

FOX

BC Place Stadium; Vancouver, Canada

2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Ticket Prices and Sale Date Announced for Individual Games

CHICAGO (Jan. 20, 2015) – FIFA announced today that individual match tickets for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada will go on sale starting Feb. 6 for VISA card holders (through an exclusive presale where only VISA cards may be used) and Feb. 26 for the general public. Tickets will be available for purchase at FIFA.com/Canada2015.

Ticket prices start at $20.15 for select matches, providing fans an affordable opportunity to attend the games, support their team and experience the best women’s soccer in the world as they compete for the biggest honor in the sport.

In addition, U.S. Soccer is working with the Women’s World Cup Organizing Committee to give Supporters Club members access to tickets reserved exclusively for U.S. supporters.

In order to determine the number of tickets needed, as well as the level of interest in fan events in Canada, SC members will receive a brief survey via email in where they will be asked if they've already purchased tickets, which game(s) they are looking to attend, the ticket category desired, if they will accept a lower or higher category, and how many tickets they are looking to purchase. Questions regarding interest in various fan events will also be included. Supporters Club members will have until Friday, Jan. 23, to fill out the survey.

From there, U.S. Soccer will compile the responses and place an order for tickets. A ticketing link and code to members interested in purchasing U.S. supporter tickets in advance of the on-sale date will be provided shortly after. More information on how to join the Supporters Club and its various levels of membership can be found on ussoccer.com. For further questions, you may also contact supporters@ussoccer.org.

Fans hoping to attend the World Cup will also have the option to join U.S. Soccer’s Patrons Program. For information about the Patrons Program, U.S. Soccer’s exclusive VIP Experience and only travel program to follow the U.S. Women’s National Team in Canada, contact vip@ussoccer.org. Costs include a tax-deductible donation to support U.S. Soccer development initiatives.  

Complete information on 2015 individual ticket prices, including a comprehensive ticketing and stadium information guide, is available at FIFA.com. When individual tickets go on sale, a limited number of Stadium Passports will remain available while quantities last. Stadium Half Passes will no longer be available at the start of the VISA presale period.

The USA will face Australia, Sweden and Nigeria in Group D at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The USA opens against Australia on June 8 at Winnipeg Stadium, followed by Sweden on June 12 in Winnipeg and Nigeria on June 16 at BC Place in Vancouver. 

The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup runs from June 6-July 5 and all 52 games will be shown live on FOX, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and on tablets and mobile devices through the FOX Sports GO app and FOXSportsGO.com.

Rapinoe Ruled Out of WNT Camp Due to Minor Injury

CHICAGO (January 19, 2015) – U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Megan Rapinoe will be sidelined for several weeks due to an injury sustained in training during the USA’s January event in Carson, Calif. 

Rapinoe, who has earned 96 caps for the USA, strained a ligament in her right knee and has left camp and returned home to continue her rehabilitation, leaving the USA with 29 players for the final week of training.

2014 Hall of Fame Induction to be Held Feb. 14 During AGM in San Francisco

CHICAGO (Jan. 13, 2015) – Former U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Kristine Lilly, Men’s National Team forward Brian McBride and former U.S. MNT and Major League Soccer head coach Bob Bradley will be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame on Saturday, Feb. 14, during the U.S. Soccer Federation Annual General Meeting in San Francisco.

The induction ceremony will take place at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis as part of the AGM Anniversary Dinner. McBride and Lilly will be in attendance, but Bradley will be unable to attend due to his responsibilities as the manager of Stabaek in Norway.

Lilly, the sport’s all-time international caps leader, having played 352 games for the United States from 1987-2010, and McBride, who starred in three FIFA World Cups (1998, 2002 and 2006) for the U.S. MNT, are first-ballot Hall of Fame inductees. Bradley enters the Hall of Fame as a Builder after coaching soccer at the highest levels in the United States.

Lilly enters the Hall of Fame after appearing in international competition for 21 different years over a 24-year span. She won two of the five FIFA Women’s World Cups in which she played. A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Lilly played six seasons in domestic professional leagues, including five for the Boston Breakers in the Women’s United Soccer Association and Women’s Professional Soccer.

McBride enters the Hall of Fame as one of the most lauded Americans in the history of European club soccer. From 1993-2006, McBride earned 95 caps with the U.S., and his 30 international goals helped the team reach the semifinals of the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup, claim the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup title and reach the quarterfinals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup – the best finish by the team in the modern era. McBride played 11 seasons in MLS with the Columbus Crew (1996-2003) and Chicago Fire (2008-10), as well as seven seasons with three English teams, including five with Fulham, where he was named captain in his final season.

As head coach of the U.S. MNT, Bradley guided the team to the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup title, the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup final and a first-place finish in Group C at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. As an MLS head coach, Bradley brought success to the Chicago Fire from 1998-2002, winning an MLS Cup (1998) and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup twice (1998, 2002) before coaching the New York/New Jersey MetroStars from 2003-05 and Chivas USA in 2006.

The Colin Jose Media Award nomination committee determined there will not be an award given this year.

The National Soccer Hall of Fame election process is administered by U.S. Soccer Federation staff under election and eligibility guidelines established by the Hall of Fame Board of Directors. Established in 1950, the National Soccer Hall of Fame is dedicated to the sport of soccer in America by celebrating its history, preserving its legacy, inspiring its youth and honoring its heroes for generations to come.

FIFA Live Your Goals Tour Set to Make Stop at NSCAA Convention on Jan. 16 in Philadelphia

CHICAGO (Jan. 12, 2015) – In an effort to showcase the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and encourage the development of women’s soccer, FIFA’s Live Your Goals Tour will make a stop in the United States on Friday, Jan. 16 during the 2014 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Convention in Philadelphia.

The events will take place around the 2015 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft, starting with a welcome breakfast for media at 7:30 a.m. ET and press conference at 8:30 a.m. in room 112A to discuss the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the message of the Live Your Goals campaign.

Participants will include FIFA Deputy Director of the Competitions Division and Head of Women’s Competitions Tatjana Haenni, FIFA Senior Women’s Football Development Manager Mayi Cruz Blanco and U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team Technical Director April Heinrichs. Light breakfast will be served.

The Live Your Goals Tour will also include an extensive panel discussion about the development of women’s soccer in the United States. Speakers set to participate in the panel include FIFA ExCo Member Sonia Bien-Aime, NWSL and Sky Blue FC Head Coach and Technical Director Jim Gabarra, Haenni, Blanco and Heinrichs. The panel will take place at 2:30 p.m. in room 113B, the same location as the NWSL College Draft.

In addition, FIFA will also have the Women’s World Cup Trophy on display inside the Grand Hall of the convention center, providing attendees the opportunity to take photos. The trophy will be on display from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. ET.

The Live Your Goals initiative was launched by FIFA to build enthusiasm for football among girls and women around the world and inspire as many as possible to take up playing. The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada marks the first time that 24 teams will take part in the showpiece event. The tournament will take place from June 6-July 5 across six cities from coast to coast (Edmonton, Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Winnipeg).

Billed as “The World’s Largest Annual Gathering of Soccer Coaches,” each year the NSCAA Convention draws approximately 4,000 coaches from its 30,000-plus members, and more than 10,000 attendees over five days for live field demonstration and lecture sessions, networking socials, coaching diplomas and more.

Live Your Goals Tour | 2015 NSCAA Convention
Philadelphia Convention Center

Time (ET) / Event / Location
8:30 a.m.: Press Conference; 112A *Light breakfast to be served
11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Women’s World Cup Trophy Display; Grand Hall
2:30 p.m.: Panel Discussion on Women’s Development; 113B

McCaffrey Added to WNT Training Camp Roster

CHICAGO (Jan. 11, 2015) - U.S. head coach Jill Ellis has added forward Stephanie McCaffrey to the roster for the remainder of the team¹s training camp at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California, that runs through Jan. 25.

McCaffery, who scored 32 goals in her career at Boston College, attended the U.S. Under-23 WNT training camp at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center that ended last week and was held over to train with the senior side starting on Jan. 12. The addition of the speedy attacker brings the training camp roster to 30 players.

Ellis Names WNT Roster for January Camp at NTC

CHICAGO (Jan. 2, 2015) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 29 players for a 21-day training camp, running from Jan. 5-25 at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California, that will kick off the USA’s Women’s World Cup year.

Ellis named all 24 players that were recently in Brazil for the International Tournament of Brasilia and has added several veterans in midfielder Shannon Boxx, defender Rachel Van Hollebeke and goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, as well as midfielders Kristie Mewis and Allie Long. The camp begins an extensive schedule of training and matches in 2015 as Ellis and her staff work towards the naming of a 23-player roster for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which kicks off in Canada this June.

The U.S. WNT returns to international play with two matches in Europe; the first against France in Lorient on Feb. 8, followed by a meeting with England on Feb. 13 in Milton Keynes. The USA’s entire 2015 schedule for the run-up to the Women’s World Cup will be announced in the near future.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position (Detailed Roster):
GOALKEEPERS (4): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (10): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), 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), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (Western NY Flash)

Additional Notes:

  • Carli Lloyd led the USA in scoring in 2014 with 15 goals and was the MVP of the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament.
  • Lloyd and Christen Press led the USA in games played in 2014, both seeing action in 23 out of the 24 total games. Lloyd started all 23 of her matches to lead the team.
  • Lloyd also led the USA in assists in 2014 with eight. Megan Rapinoe was second with seven.
  • Lauren Holiday was named the 2014 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year.
  • The roster includes two finalists for the 2014 MAC Hermann Trophy, awarded to the top player in college soccer, in Morgan Brian of the University of Virginia and Samantha Mewis of UCLA. Both have completed their college careers and should be high picks in the 2015 NWSL Draft. Brian was also the 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year.
  • Rachel Van Hollebeke and Kristie Mewis, both of whom have been in Japan playing with Iga FC Kunoichi, return to the U.S. roster for the first time since a pair of September matches against Mexico. Van Hollebeke is recovering from a nagging calf injury and will join camp as soon as she is ready for training.
  • Nicole Barnhart, Shannon Boxx and Allie Long also return for the first time since September.

Wambach Named CONCACAF Female Player of the Year

CHICAGO (Dec. 23, 2014) – U.S. Women’s National Team forward Abby Wambach was named the 2014 CONCACAF Female Player of the Year. Wambach, who was the runner-up to Alex Morgan for the award in 2013, edged out Costa Rica’s Shirley Cruz for the top honor.

Wambach, a member of the National Women's Soccer League's WNY Flash, scored 14 goals and posted three assists in 20 games for the WNT. She is the team's all-time leading goal scorer with 177 in 232-career appearances.

Tim Howard

U.S. Men’s National Team and Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard was the CONCACAF Goalkeeper of the Year for the second consecutive occasion, beating out Mexico’s Guillermo Ochoa and Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas. Howard had a memorable 2014 FIFA World Cup highlighted by a 15-save performance against Belgium. Howard also was third in the CONCACAF Player of the Year voting.

USA referee Mark Geiger was named the 2014 CONCACAF Referee of the Year, finishing ahead of Mexico’s Marco Antonio Rodriguez and Costa Rica’s Walter Quesada. Geiger refereed three matches at the 2014 World Cup, including a Round of 16 match between France and Nigeria. He was the 2014 Major League Soccer Referee of the Year and manned the middle during the 2014 MLS Cup Final as the LA Galaxy won its fifth title.

Mark Geiger

2014 CONCACAF Awards
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Keylor Navas, Goalkeeper (Real Madrid/ESP & Costa Rica)
Second: Bryan Ruiz, Forward (Fulham FC/ENG & Costa Rica)
Third: Tim Howard, Goalkeeper (Everton/ENG & United States)

FEMALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Abby Wambach, Forward (Western New York Flash/USA & United States)
Second: Shirley Cruz, Midfielder (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA & Costa Rica)
Third: Veronica Charlyn Corral (Merilappi United/FIN & Mexico)

GOALKEEPER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Tim Howard (Everton/ENG & United States)
Second: Guillermo Ochoa (Malaga/ESP & Mexico)
Third: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid/ESP & Costa Rica)

COACH OF THE YEAR
Winner: Jorge Luis Pinto (Costa Rica)
Second: Luis Fernando Suarez (Honduras)
Third: Oscar Ramirez (LD Alajuelense/CRC)

REFEREE OF THE YEAR
Winner: Mark Geiger (USA)
Second: Marco Antonio Rodriguez (Mexico)
Third: Walter Quesada (Costa Rica)

GOAL OF THE YEAR
Winner: Bryan Ruiz, Costa Rica v Italy, 44th minute (June 20, 2014)
Second: Esteban Ramirez, Herediano v Saprissa, 20th minute Nov. 2, 2014)
Third: Joel Campbell, Costa Rica v Uruguay, 54th minute (June 14, 2014)

Rachel and Kristie’s Japan Adventure

For three months in the fall of 2014, U.S. WNT players Rachel Van Hollebeke and Kristie Mewis lived in Japan while playing for the Iga FC Kunoichi club. They went to Japan to get some great training and games, but left with an off-the-field life experience they will never forget.

Carli's Post-Practice Challenge: Scoring from the Six

After a recent U.S. WNT training, midfielder Carli Lloyd tried scoring from the end line, just six yards from the goal. That’s a tight angle, but she’ll give you some tips if you want to try it yourself.

WNT Kicks Off 2015

The U.S. Women’s National Team kicked off its 2015 schedule with a training camp at the U.S. Soccer National Team Training Center in Carson, Calif., with the first few days focused on fitness testing. U.S. fitness coach Dawn Scott talks about the team goals as the final preparations for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup have begun.

WNT vs. Brazil: Highlights - December 21, 2014

The U.S. WNT wrapped up 2014 with a 0-0 draw against Brazil in the International Tournament of Brasilia.

WNT Preps for Final Game of 2014

The U.S. Women’s National Team will finish off its 2014 schedule against Brazil in the title game of the International Tournament of Brasilia. The USA will be without three of its fleetest strikers in Alex Morgan (still not cleared for competition while recovering from her ankle injury), Sydney Leroux (suspended due to a red card in the last match) and Christen Press (returned to the USA due to a death in the family), but head coach Jill Ellis and the U.S. team are excited for one of the most difficult challenges in international women’s soccer – facing Brazil in Brazil.

WNT vs. Argentina: Highlights - December 18, 2014

Christen Press (four goals) and Carli Lloyd (three goals) accounted for all of the goal scoring as the U.S. WNT defeated Argentina 7-0 in its final group match of the International Tournament of Brasilia. The victory, combined with Brazil’s win against China later in the evening, gave the USA a berth to the tournament’s title game.

Dunn Preps Brian and Mewis for NWSL

With young U.S. WNT players Morgan Brian and Samantha Mewis having completed their college eligibility and set to be high picks in the 2015 NWSL Draft, Washington Spirit defender Crystal Dunn, who played her rookie season in 2014, sits down with the up-and-coming midfielders to discuss turning pro.

Unexpected Soccer Tennis

A heavy storm in Brasilia, Brazil, the night before the U.S. WNT’s scheduled match with Argentina on Dec. 17 forced the postponement of the game just hours before kickoff. Undeterred, the U.S. team got in a few highly competitive games of soccer tennis just to get the legs moving.

WNT vs. Brazil: Highlights - Dec. 14, 2014

The U.S. WNT was edged out 3-2 by Brazil in its second match at the International Tournament of Brasilia. After early goals by Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe, Marta responded with a hat trick to give the hosts the win.
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