USA vs. New Zealand
Sept. 15, 2017
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colorado.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. MT
Tonight’s Starting XI vs. New Zealand: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 22-Taylor Smith, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 5- Kelley O’Hara (capt.); 8-Julie Ertz, 3-Samantha Mewis, 9-Lindsey Horan; 2-Mallory Pugh, 13-Alex Morgan, 15-Megan Rapinoe
Subs: 6-Morgan Brian, 11-Sofia Huerta, 14-Casey Short, 18-Jane Campbell, 19-Crystal Dunn, 20-Allie Long, 23-Christen Press
- The most recent meeting between the teams came in the opening game of the 2016 Olympics, a 2-0 victory in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, that featured goals from Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan.
- Two of tonight’s starters Lindsey Horan (Golden) and Mallory Pugh (Highlands Ranch) will be playing in front of home crowds in Commerce City, Colorado.
- As is U.S. WNT tradition, captaining the USA tonight is Kelley O’Hara, who will earn her 100th cap, becoming the 36th woman in U.S. history to play 100 or more games for her country.
- Alyssa Naeher makes her 19th appearance for the USA and 17th start. It will be her sixth consecutive start, which includes all three games of the 2017 Tournament of Nations. She has 11 career shutouts, most recently earning a clean sheet on Aug. 3 against Japan in Carson, California.
- U.S. co-captain Becky Sauerbrunn earned her sixth career assist on Christen Press's goal against Norway on June 11. Sauerbrunn is set to make her 11th start and appearance this year, one of only two players – Samantha Mewis being the other – to be in every starting lineup this year. So far, she has played every minute of each match.
- Samantha Mewis makes her 17th career start and will earn her 28th cap. Alongside Sauerbrunn, she is the only other player to be in the starting lineup of every game the WNT has played in 2017. She has played 863 minutes so far in 2017, the most besides Sauerbrunn.
- Abby Dahlkemper earns her eighth cap for the WNT in what will be her fifth career start. She made her debut for the U.S. on Oct. 19, 2016 against Switzerland in Utah, and earned her first start against Norway on June 11, playing all 90 minutes to help the U.S. defense claim a shutout in Sandefjord.
- Lindsey Horan will make her 38th appearance for the WNT and eighth this year. Horan has three career goals for the USA with her most recent one coming in tonight’s same venue – Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on June 2, 2016, vs. Japan.
- Megan Rapinoe will earn her 124th cap today and fourth start of the year – she started every game at the 2017 Tournament of Nations. She will make her seventh appearance of 2017. Rapinoe has scored 33 goals in her career. Her most recent goal was against Japan on Aug. 3, and it was her second in two games after scoring against Brazil on July 30. Rapinoe is now within two goals of tying April Heinrichs and Sydney Leroux for 15th on the all-time goal scoring list.
- Mallory Pugh makes her 10th appearance of 2017 and seventh start. On Aug. 3 against Japan, she scored her fifth career goal. It was her first of 2017.
- Julie Ertz will earn her 52nd cap tonight. She is the 54th American player to earn 50 or more caps. Ertz will start at defensive midfield today, a position she played while at Santa Clara, and is currently playing for the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars. She also started there against Japan on Aug. 3. Ertz has nine career goals for the WNT, with her most recent being the game-winning goal in the 4-3 thriller against Brazil on July 30.
- Alex Morgan will earn her 129th cap. She scored her 74th career goal and first of 2017 against Japan on Aug. 3 in Carson California. She needs just one more to tie Cindy Parlow for seventh place on the USA's all-time goal scoring list.
- Taylor Smith will play in her fourth cap and make her third career start. She earned her first two career assists against Japan on Aug. 3 on the USA’s final two tallies of the game in the 3-0 U.S. win.
- Defender Sofia Huerta will be on the bench for her first WNT match after getting her change of national association approved by FIFA on Thursday. If she gets into the match, Huerta, who represented Mexico at the youth and senior levels, would become the first player from Idaho to earn a WNT cap as well as the first player to play for and against the USA. One of her senior team caps for Mexico was against the U.S. WNT.
- U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis brought a 23-player roster to the training camp for this pair of friendlies. However, only 18 will dress for each match.
- Stanford University sophomore Tierna Davidson, who trained with the USA for four days in Colorado, has left camp and returned to Palo Alto to play in her Sunday match for the Cardinal.
- Not dressing for this match are: Tobin Heath, Rose Lavelle, Ashlyn Harris and Lynn Williams.