USA vs. New Zealand
Date: Sept. 19, 2017
Venue: Nippert Stadium; Cincinnati, Ohio
Pre-Game Show: 7:30 p.m. ET
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Tonight’s Starting XI vs. New Zealand: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 14-Casey Short; 8-Julie Ertz, 3-Samantha Mewis, 16-Rose Lavelle; 2-Mallory Pugh, 23-Christen Press, 15-Megan Rapinoe
Subs: 6-Morgan Brian, 9-Lindsey Horan, 12-Lynn Williams, 13-Alex Morgan, 17-Tobin Heath, 22-Taylor Smith, 24-Ashlyn Harris
- Midfielder Rose Lavelle gets the starting nod tonight. Lavelle was born and raised in Cincinnati and will play in front of friends and family for the first time as a member of the U.S. WNT. She returns to the field tonight for the USA for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury on June 11, 2017, in Norway that sidelined her for the last few months. She will earn her seventh career cap and start tonight. She has two goals for the WNT, her most recent being the game-winner against Sweden on June 8 in Gothenburg.
- Captaining the USA tonight is Becky Sauerbrunn who is set to make her 12th 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.
- Kelley O’Hara, will earn her 101th cap, after reaching the century mark on Sept. 15 in Colorado. She became the 36th woman in U.S. history to play 100 or more games for her country.
- Alyssa Naeher makes her 20th appearance for the USA and 18th start. She will become the ninth goalkeeper in U.S. history to play 20 or more times for her country. It will be her seventh 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.
- Casey Short will make her 10th start of this year and 11th appearance. Before coming in as a sub in the Sept. 15 game against New Zealand, Short had started every game she had played in for the USA. It will be her 15th career cap.
- Samantha Mewis will earn her 30th cap tonight. 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 923 minutes so far in 2017, the most besides Sauerbrunn.
- Abby Dahlkemper earns her ninth cap for the WNT in what will be her sixth 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.
- Megan Rapinoe will earn her 125th cap today and fifth start of the year – she started every game at the 2017 Tournament of Nations. She will make her eighth appearance of 2017 and becomes the 29th player to play 125 or more times for the USA. 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.
- Christen Press will play in her 12th game of 2017, and make her sixth start. Press has scored 43 goals for the USA, her most recent coming against Brazil on July 30 in San Diego. Press is in 14th place on the all-time WNT goals list. She averages just under a goal every two games (0.47 goals per game) for the WNT. She earns her 92nd career cap tonight.
- Mallory Pugh makes her 11th appearance of 2017 and eighth start. On Aug. 3 against Japan, she scored her fifth career goal. It was her first of 2017.
- Julie Ertz will earn her 53rd cap tonight. She is the 54th American player to earn 50 or more caps. Ertz will once again 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 and on Sept. 15 against New Zealand. Ertz has 11 career goals for the WNT, with her most recent ones coming last Friday when she scored her second career brace.
- On tonight’s bench will be three of the four players that did not dress last game (the fourth is Lavelle, who is starting). These players are: goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, midfielder Tobin Heath and forward Lynn Williams.
- For Harris and Heath, this marks the possibility of returning to action for the USA since a couple of injuries sidelined them for the last few months. Harris last played for the WNT on April 9, while Heath hasn’t seen any game action since March 7, 2017 at the SheBelieves Cup.
- U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis brought a 23-player roster to the training camp for this pair of friendlies. Stanford University sophomore Tierna Davidson, who trained with the USA for four days in Colorado, left camp before the Sept. 15 match and returned to Palo Alto to play in her weekend game for the Cardinal, leaving a 22-player roster from which 18 will suit up for this match.
- Not dressing for this match are: goalkeeper Jane Campbell, forward Crystal Dunn, defender Sofia Huerta and midfielder Allie Long.