CHICAGO (Nov. 10, 2017) – The U.S. Women's National Team has played 15 matches in 2017 and has one remaining, against Canada, on Nov. 12 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (6 p.m. PT on FS1). The USA is 11-3-1 in 2017 with all three losses (two by 1-0 scores) coming to teams ranked third, fourth and sixth in the world.
Not only has the USA played its most difficult schedule ever for a post-World Cup/Olympic year, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis has also used the year to learn about her team, her veterans and new players, while trying several different formations, playing players in various positions and giving call-ups to numerous younger players. Since the end of the 2016 Olympics, Ellis has used 34 players in matches and seen more than 50 in a training camp environment. Of the 20 players who have earned first caps under Ellis, 13 have been since the end of the 2016 Olympics.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position (Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (4): 18-Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 2/0), 21-Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), 24-Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 14/0), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 22/0)
DEFENDERS (8): 7-Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 12/0), 11-Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars; 3/0), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC; 103/2), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City; 134/0), 2-Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 18/0), 22-Taylor Smith (NC Courage; 6/0), 14-Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 12/0), 19-Chioma Ubogagu (Orlando Pride; 0/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 8-Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 56/13), 9-Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 42/4), 10-Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash; 245/97); 20-Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC; 33/6), 3-Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 33/7), 6-Andi Sullivan (Stanford; 6/0)
FORWARDS (4): 13-Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 133/79); 23-Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars; 95/44), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign; 128/34), 12-Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 14/4)
Canada Women's National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Stephanie Labbe (Washington Spirit), Sabrina D'Angelo (North Carolina Courage), Kailen Sheridan (Sky Blue FC)
DEFENDERS (6 ): Lindsay Agnew (Washington Spirit), Allysha Chapman (Boston Breakers), Jayde Riviere (Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite), Shelina Zadorsky (Washington Spirit), Rebecca Quin (Duke University), Ariel Young (Ottawa Fury)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Jessie Fleming (UCLA), Julia Grosso (Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite), Maegan Kelly (FC Kansas City), Desiree Scott (Kansas City)
FORWARDS (6): Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns), Janine Beckie (Houston Dash), Deanne Rose (University of Florida), Adriana Leon (Boston Breakers), Nichelle Prince (Houston Dash), Jordyn Huitema (Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite)
USA vs. Canada: The USA is 47-3-7 all-time against Canada and the Americans have had a long history of success in this series, but the 11 meetings since the turn of the decade have featured three ties and four one-goal wins for the USA. Before the 1-1 draw on Nov. 9 in Vancouver, the teams had most recently met in the title game of the 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship on Feb. 21, 2016, in Houston, Texas, a 2-0 U.S. win on goals from Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan.
Most Common Opponent: With 57 games between the two, Canada tops the list as the team the USA has played more times than any country in the world. The USA and Canada have been playing since the second year of the U.S. Women's National Team program in 1986 and met in the fifth and sixth matches in U.S. history, which also were the first domestic games for the U.S. Women. While the USA and Canada have played each other multiple times in their history, only twice before they’ve played back-to-back games in a home-and-away format. The first came in 1995 when the USA defeated Canada 9-1 in Dallas on May 19 and then traveled to Edmonton and won 2-1 in what were the final matches before the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup in Sweden. In 2001, the teams tied 2-2 in Toronto on June 30 and then traveled to Blaine, Minn., where the USA earned a 1-0 victory on July 3. Multiple meetings in a calendar year between the USA and Canada are far from a rarity. In fact, the teams played five times in both 2000 and 2008, tied for the most meetings in a year for the U.S. team against any opponent.
One Year to Qualifying: The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup that will be contested from June 7-July 7, 2019, in nine cities in France is still on the distant horizon, as is the CONCACAF Qualifying tournament, which will be held about a year from now. The tournament host and teams have not been solidified, but the USA, Canada and Mexico will earn automatic berths into the final eight-team tournament, while the other five nations will have to go through pre-qualifying in their respective regions. From that eight-team tournament, three teams will qualify directly to France while a fourth will enter a two-leg playoff against the third-place team from South America. With just four games left on the 2017 schedule, the USA is focused squarely on the end-goal of 2018, a place among the 24 teams in France.
Consistent Starters: Only two players this year have started every game the USA has played so far: Samantha Mewis and Becky Sauerbrunn. Mewis has 33 caps, has started all 15 matches and has scored seven WNT career goals, her most recent tallies coming against Korea Republic on Oct. 22. It was her first career brace. U.S. co-captain Sauerbrunn had her sixth career assist on Christen Press’s goal against Norway on June 11. With 134 caps, Sauerbrunn has moved ahead of Alex Morgan and Tobin Heath into a tie for 22nd place on the all-time caps list. She is one of 28 female players to play 125 or more times for the USA.
Morgan and Ertz Lead U.S. WNT in Scoring: In 2017, 12 players have found the back of the net for the U.S. WNT but two lead the pack: Julie Ertz (five goals) and Alex Morgan (six goals). Ertz, who has been playing as a defensive midfielder since July 30 against Brazil, scored her first goal under her married name in that game, the dramatic game-winner in the 89th minute. Since then, she has continued to grow into her new position and has performed extremely well, scoring five goals in seven games. Ertz, who is just 25, played her 50th game for the USA against Brazil, becoming the 54th American female player to achieve that milestone and now has 56 caps and 13 goals. All of Ertz' 13 WNT career goals have come directly from, or as a result of, a set play.
Morgan scored her sixth goal of the year on Nov. 9 against Canada, and comes into the match on Sunday with 79 goals having sole possession of seventh place on the USA's all-time goal scoring list. She did not find the net against Korea Republic on Oct. 22, but scored in her four previous games. She scored her first WNT goal of the year in the 3-0 victory against Japan at the Tournament of Nations on Aug. 3, followed by one on Sept. 15 vs. New Zealand, two on Sept. 19 against the Ferns and one against Korea on Oct. 19. Morgan has scored seven international goals against Canada in her career, her second-most vs. any country (eight vs. Japan).
Canada Building As Well: While veterans like Christine Sinclair (260 caps) and Desiree Scott (127 caps) are part of this Canada roster, the group also includes several younger players and newcomers. Of the six teenagers on the roster, Rose, Fleming and Grosso are eligible to play in the 2018 CONCACAF U-20 Women's Championship in Trinidad & Tobago, while Huitema, Riviere and Young are eligible to play in the 2018 CONCACAF Women's U-17 tournament in Nicaragua. The call-up is also the first for four of them in Riviere, Young, Grosso, and Kelly. Canada has a 6-2-2 record in 2017 with the only losses coming by one goal to second-ranked Germany (in a friendly) and 17th-ranked Spain (in the Algarve Cup Final). The wins have been over Mexico, Denmark, Russia and Sweden (all by one goal) and two big wins over Costa Rica. READ: Five Things About Canada.
Bay Area Connections: The match at Avaya Stadium in San Jose will mark a homecoming of sorts for numerous WNT players with ties to the Bay Area. Defender Kelley O’Hara, forward Christen Press, goalkeeper Jane Campbell and defender Chioma Ubogagu all attended Stanford, while Andi Sullivan currently plays for the Cardinal. Defender Abby Dahlkemper is from Menlo Park (about 18 miles from Avaya Stadium), forward Alex Morgan attended UC Berkeley across the Bay and, defenders Julie Ertz and Sofia Huerta attended Santa Clara University, which is adjacent to Avaya Stadium. Forward Lynn Williams is from Fresno, Calif., about 150 miles southeast of Avaya Stadium.