5 Things to Know: England Roster

England NT
England NT

On Saturday, March 4, the U.S. Women’s National Team will take on England in its second game of the 2017 SheBelieves Cup at 5 p.m. ET (FOX) at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. Here are five things to know about the England roster:

England Women’s National Team Roster by Position:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Siobhan Chamberlain (Liverpool), Mary Earps (Reading)
DEFENDERS (9): Laura Bassett (Notts County), Gemma Bonner (Liverpool), Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash, USA), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Alex Scott (Arsenal), Casey Stoney (Liverpool), Demi Stokes (Manchester City)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City), Jade Moore (Notts County), Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Fara Williams (Arsenal)
FORWARDS (6): Karen Carney (Chelsea), Toni Duggan (Manchester City), Nikita Parris (Manchester City), Jodie Taylor (Arsenal), Rachel Williams (Notts County), Ellen White (Birmingham City)

England NT
Fara Williams

Experienced Roster

England’s roster includes 15 of the 23 players that helped England to a historic third-place finish at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. Among them are goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, who grew up in Southern California, and captain Steph Houghton, who played every minute of the Women's World Cup and scored vs. Norway in the Round of 16. The roster also includes midfielder Fara Williams, who scored three times from the penalty spot during the World Cup, including the game-winner against Germany in overtime of the third-place match. Former University of North Carolina defender Lucy Bronze is also on the roster, and scored twice in the World Cup, including the game-winner against Canada in the quarterfinal match. In some unfortunate news, England defender Alex Scott (137 caps/12 goals) has been ruled out from the tournament due to an injury suffered against France in the first match. Head coach Mark Sampson chose not to call a replacement, leaving England with 22 players on its roster.

Young Ones

If there is one thing in England’s favor is its experience as only four players on the roster were born in 1992 or later. Twenty-two-year-old Nikitta Parris is the youngest player on the SheBelieves Cup squad. Parris only has seven caps with the Lionessess (with four of those games coming during UEFA qualifying and one versus France in the first match of the SheBelieves Cup tournament), but she also has scored three goals, an excellent average for a newcomer.

England NT
Nikitta Parris

Powerful Attack

England’s attacking front includes former Portland Thorns forward Jodie Taylor (six goals in 19 caps), who scored the first goal against Canada at the Women's World Cup, as well as Karen Carney (123 caps/31 goals), Fara Williams (158 caps/40 goals) and Ellen White (59 caps/19 goals). Midfielder Jill Scott (116 caps/18 goals) is also a crafty weapon for the Lionessess.

UEFA Qualifying

England won Group 7 during qualifying, winning seven matches and drawing just once while scoring 32 goals and allowing just one. Belgium finished second with 17 points to England’s 22. England was drawn into Group D at the 2017 UEFA Women’s Euro with Portugal, Scotland and Spain and will be the group favorite. An England-Scotland clash will open the tournament for both teams on July 19 in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Six of England’s goal scorers during qualifying are competing at this year’s SheBelieves Cup in Karen Carney (six goals and three assists in six games), Jill Scott (five goals, one assist in eight games), Nikita Parris (three goals, two assists in four games), Ellen White (two goals, two assists in three games), Izzy Christiansen (two goals and one assist in four games) and Rachel Daly (one goals in three games).

England NT
Mark Sampson

A New Era With Mark Sampson

Since 2013, England has been led by Mark Sampson, who at 34 years old is one of the youngest head coaches in international women’s soccer. At the helm, Sampson has led England to the 2015 Cyprus Cup title and a third-place finish at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the country’s highest finish in its history, after defeating Germany 1-0 in extra time for the first time in 21 games. Sampson was a finalist for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Coach of the Year award.