CHICAGO (Jan. 24, 2014) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Tom Sermanni has named a roster of 24 players for a three-game, three-week road trip as the USA opens its 2014 schedule.
The USA will play its first match of year on Jan. 31 against Canada at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas (8 p.m. CT on FOX Sports 1). The team then travels to Florida to face Russia on Feb. 8 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton (3:30 p.m. ET on ussoccer.com web stream), followed by a quick trip to Atlanta to play Russia again on Feb. 12 at the Georgia Dome (7:30 p.m. ET on ussoccer.com web stream). Sermanni will name 18 players to suit up for each of the matches.
“The players and staff are looking forward to playing matches,” said Sermanni. “We had productive training camps in December and January, but having three games in less than two weeks is a great opportunity for these players to continue to show their growth as individuals and as a team. This is the start of a year in which competition for places becomes much more critical, as does team performance and results.”
All the players named to this roster participated in the USA’s early January camp at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif. With the exceptions of forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Tobin Heath, both of whom are still recovering from injuries, the USA will bring its full complement of regulars into these first matches of the year.
The roster includes the first and third overall picks in the 2014 NWSL College Draft with defender Crystal Dunn going No. 1 to the Washington Freedom and midfielder Julie Johnston at No. 3 to the Chicago Red Stars.
Sermanni also gave a first roster spot to rising UCLA senior Samantha Mewis, who helped the Bruins to the NCAA title last fall. The 6-foot-tall Samantha is the younger sister of current U.S. WNT defender Kristie Mewis.
The Mewis sisters played together on both the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Team and the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Team, but this is first time they are on a full U.S. Women’s National Team roster together. The younger Mewis trained with the USA for a few days at the end of the January camp in Los Angeles.
The series of matches also marks the first that will see defender Rachel Buehler switch to her married name on the back of her jersey. Buehler, who was married in November of 2012, will now go by Rachel Van Hollebeke (pronounced “van HALL-ah-beck”).
U.S. Women's National Team Roster By Position –
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Tyresö), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Virginia), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC), Erika Tymrak (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)
- The 2014 schedule begins with the 51st meeting between the USA and Canada. The USA is 42-3-5 all-time against the host of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
- Seventeen players on the training camp roster played in the NWSL last season. Twenty-two of the 24 players have committed to play in the league during its second season in 2014.
- It was announced this week that Megan Rapinoe has ended her tenure with French club Lyon and will be available to play for Seattle Reign FC for the entire NWSL season.
- Three players on the roster were new allocations to NWSL clubs for the upcoming season: Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Whitney Engen (Houston Dash) and Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars).
- All nine NWSL clubs are represented on the roster. FC Kansas City has the most players with five.
- Since taking over as the U.S. Women’s National Team head coach in January of 2013, Tom Sermanni has seen 44 players called in to at least one training camp. Of those 44 players, 32 have earned at least one cap.
- Sermanni has thus far also given 10 players their first caps.
- After Abby Wambach, who has 163 career goals, midfielder Carli Lloyd is the top scorer on the roster with 46 career international goals, followed by Heather O’Reilly with 37.
- Wambach finished second in the voting for the 2013 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year after winning the award for 2012.
- 2012 Olympic gold medalist Kelley O’Hara, who was a late addition to the January camp roster, could return to game action for the first time since April 9, 2013, when she started against the Netherlands in The Hague.
- The call-up of both Mewis sisters – Kristie and Samantha – marks the first time sisters have played together on the full U.S. Women’s National Team since 1998, when identical twins Lorrie (120 career caps) and Ronnie Fair (3 caps) played together.
- Alex Morgan will be with the U.S. team for a few days during the middle of the trip, but only for rehabilitation and evaluation purposes as she continues to come back from her ankle injury.
- Tobin Heath, who is currently in France with her club Paris Saint-Germain, is progressing well with her recovery from a foot injury but is not ready yet for National Team action.
- The roster also includes the winner of the 2013 MAC Hermann Trophy as college soccer’s top player in University of Virginia senior Morgan Brian.