Brian, Davidson, Ertz and Naeher set to represent USA
CHICAGO – With 40 days until the U.S. Women’s National Team’s opening match in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis has named the 23-player roster to represent the United States. Four Red Stars players are included on the roster: goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, defender Tierna Davidson, and midfielders Julie Ertz and Morgan Brian.
“Selecting a World Cup team is a long process, and I want to thank the players – the ones that made the final team and the ones that didn’t – for all of their hard work over the past two and a half years,” said Ellis. “They all pushed each other in every training session and every game and challenged the coaches to make some tough decisions. These 23 players have been through adversity and success, and it’s a group that has the talent, confidence, experience and desire to help us win the World Cup.”
Naeher is the No. 1 goalkeeper for Team USA heading into the World Cup after winning the gold medal in 2015 as the backup to Hope Solo. Making her debut for the senior national team in 2014, she has since earned 43 caps and 23 shutouts. After a strong 2018 season that saw her earn a clean sheet in all matches for her country, Naeher was awarded the CONCACAF Female Goalkeeper of the Year. The Penn State alumna has been a standout in the NWSL, earning 20 shutouts for Chicago since being acquired via trade in 2016.
Davidson was taken with the first overall pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft by the Red Stars. At just 20 years of age, Davidson is the youngest player on the U.S. WNT roster for the World Cup and earned her first cap on January 21, 2018. Since her first cap, the Red Stars rookie has tallied 19 caps for the United States and has played every minute of the 2019 NWSL season for Chicago.
Ertz returns to the World Cup roster for the U.S. WNT becoming a breakout star for her country in the 2015 World Cup. The 2017 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year, Ertz has appeared in 79 matches for the United States and scored 18 career goals. For Chicago, the captain has become a true force in the midfield as she has started every game in 2019. Since being drafted in 2014 by the Red Stars, Ertz has appeared in 86 matches for the club, including playoffs.
Brian is another returnee to the U.S. WNT World Cup roster after being the youngest player on the squad in the 2015 World Cup. The midfielder has been a member of Team USA since 2013, where she earned her first cap on June 15 and followed with her first international goal on September 3. Hampered with injuries for nearly two years, Brian has returned to Chicago in 2019 and has accomplished an 81.6% passing success rate, one of the highest in the league. The international veteran will bring a great deal of experience to the midfield that includes several players heading to their first World Cup.
The entire roster for the United States features three goalkeepers, seven defenders, six midfielders and seven forwards. The 23-player roster will make up the squad for the USA’s final three games before departing for France. The send-off series will include matches against South Africa (May 12, 3:30 p.m. CT; Levi’s Stadium), New Zealand (May 16, 7:00 p.m. CT; Busch Stadium), and Mexico (May 26, 11:00 a.m. CT; Red Bull Arena Salzburg).
This summer, the USA will face Thailand, Chile, and Sweden in group play at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Running from June 7-July 7, the FIFA Women’s World Cup will be aired live on FOX, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 and on tablets and mobile devices through the FOX Sports App.
2019 United States FIFA Women’s World Cup Roster
Goalkeepers (3): Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars)
Defenders (7): Abby Dahlkemper* (North Carolina Courage), Tierna Davidson* (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn* (North Carolina Courage), Ali Krieger*** (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara*** (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn*** (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett* (Portland Thorns FC)
Midfielders (6): Morgan Brian** (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz** (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan* (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle* (Washington Spirit), Allie Long* (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis* (North Carolina Courage)
Forwards (7): Tobin Heath*** (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd**** (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald* (North Carolina Courage), Alex Morgan*** (Orlando Pride), Christen Press** (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh* (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe*** (Reign FC)
*First Women’s World Cup
**Second Women’s World Cup
***Third Women’s World Cup
****Fourth Women’s World Cup
Chicago Red Stars Player Facts and Storylines:
- Morgan Brian – At 26 years of age, the midfielder will be heading to her second World Cup for Team USA. Hampered with injuries throughout 2017 and 2018, Brian has started out with a strong NWSL season for Chicago in 2019, including successfully completed 62 over her 76 pass attempts through the matches.
- Tierna Davidson – The first-overall draft pick in the NWSL departed after her junior season at Stanford University to play in the league in hopes to play against top opposition prior to the World Cup roster announcement. After being drafted, Davidson noted that “the biggest factor was putting me in the best position to develop as a soccer player in these coming months before the World Cup and beyond.” The 20-year-old will be participating in her first ever World Cup.
- Julie Ertz – The captain of Chicago, Ertz returns to her second World Cup for the United States after becoming a breakout star at the 2015 World Cup in Canada. One major difference between 2015 and 2019 World Cup’s though is that Ertz has slid from the central defender position to a defensive midfield role for both club and country. Her play from the midfield did not go unnoticed as Ertz was honored as the 2017 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year after scoring six goals and started in the final seven games for the United States. She’s played every minute for Chicago in the 2019 season and has won nearly 84% of her tackles in the NWSL, plus nearly winning 80% of her aerial duels, a strong element of her game to have in the midfield.
- Alyssa Naeher – The starting goalkeeper for Chicago, Naeher has been a standout in the NWSL for years. In her last game for the Red Stars on Sunday, Naeher earned a shutout for her team with five saves to her name against a top offensive team in Reign FC. With 11 saves to her name in 2019, strong enough for third best in the NWSL, she will look to be the No. 1 goalkeeper for Team USA in the World Cup.
- Davidson is the youngest player on the roster for Team USA. Born on September 19, 1998, Davidson is only 20. In the 2015 FIFA World Cup, Brian was the youngest player for Team USA at 22 years of age.
- Brian and Ertz, along with Dunn and Mewis, were part of the U.S. team that won the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan. Naeher was part of the U.S. team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile. Throughout the entire tournament, Naeher only conceded one goal and was awarded the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper in the U-20 World Cup.
- The entire roster for the U.S. Women’s National Team plays in the NWSL. Chicago, North Carolina and Portland each have four players each on the roster, Orlando and Utah are sending three each from their teams, Reign FC has two players, while Sky Blue FC has one.
- The roster has a combined total of 94 Women’s World Cup appearances.
- The United States is making its eighth appearance in a FIFA women’s World Cup and is one of seven countries to appear in all eight editions of the tournament. The others are Brazil, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Norway, and Sweden.