Short earns invite back, Johnston returns
CHICAGO – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 24 players to the training camp roster, including Chicago Red Stars Julie Johnston, Alyssa Naeher, Christen Press and Casey Short, ahead of two matches against Romania, on Nov. 10 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (7 p.m. PT on ESPN2) and Nov. 13 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. (6:30 p.m. PT on FS1). Ellis will name 18 players to suit up for each match. These will be the final games for the USA in 2016.
Starting and playing the entire 90 minutes in both matches for the USA against Switzerland, Short returns to camp after impressing the coaching staff during her first call up.
“It was amazing,” Short said of earning her first cap. “I was definitely having some nerves and it took me little bit to settle in, but with the players around me, the veterans, they comforted me and gave me direction. To put that jersey on… it just meant a lot.”
Short will join the three Chicago Red Stars who have had significant time representing the United States in Johnston, Naeher and Press.
Johnston returns to the U.S. WNT after an absence in the October camp. Playing all 90 minutes of the 12 games in which she appeared, Johnston’s strength to disable attacking opponents is one ability to be reckoned with. In her third year with the Red Stars, the 2014 Rookie of the Year has consistently been a player to watch, being named to the NWSL’s Best Teams the past three seasons.
Naeher, acquired by Chicago in November 2015 from Boston, led the league in a tie for most shutouts (6), earning just 1.00 goal against per game after showcasing 13 times for the Red Stars. Naeher earned her ninth cap and fifth clean sheet of her international career during the first match against Switzerland.
Leading Chicago with 8 goals in the regular season, Press posted the best goals-per-game average in the NWSL at 0.57. A second half substitution in both Switzerland matches, she finished each game with a goal and assist.
Ellis named 11 uncapped players to the USA’s roster for the matches against Switzerland earlier this month and six of those earned first caps, with two players, forwards Lynn Williams and Kealia Ohai, scoring their first goals. Of those six players, five return to this roster: Williams, Ohai, defender Short, defender Abby Dahlkemper and midfielder Andi Sullivan. Two uncapped players have been called up in goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, who has been in with the U.S. team for several camps over the last few years, and first time call-up Kristen Edmonds, who enjoyed a fine NWSL season with the Orlando Pride while leading the team in scoring with six goals. Defender Jaelene Hinkle of the NWSL champion Western New York Flash, who has earned eight caps over the past two years, was also named to the roster.
In addition, five veterans of the 2015 Women’s World Cup Team and 2016 Olympic Team, who were not called in for the games against the Swiss return to the roster: defenders Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg and Ali Krieger, midfielder Megan Rapinoe and forward Alex Morgan.
“Our last training camp and games with Switzerland were extremely positive in regards to giving new players a chance to perform, continuing the process of deepening the player pool and fostering competition within the squad,” said Ellis. “With this dynamic mix of players, we are looking forward to the environment and to finishing off the year on a winning note.”
Tickets for the both games are on sale through ussoccer.com, including group orders of 20 tickets or more.
Tickets for the match in San Jose can also be purchased by phone at 1-800-745-3000, and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the Bay Area (including many Walmart locations). [Note: Tickets are not sold at Avaya Stadium except on the day of the event.]
Tickets for the game in the Los Angeles area can also be purchased by phone at 1-888-929-7849 and at the StubHub Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (8): Abby Dahlkemper (Western New York Flash), Jaelene Hinkle (Western New York Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Kristen Edmonds (Orlando Pride), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign), Andi Sullivan (Stanford)
FORWARDS (5): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Lynn Williams (Western New York Flash)
• The USA is 20-0-3 in 2016 and will try to remain unbeaten in regulation for just the third time in a calendar year in which it has played 10 or more matches. The USA went 18-0-4 in 2006 and 13-0-3 in 2013. The penalty kick loss to Sweden in the Olympics officially counts as a tie.
• Seven different players scored the USA’s nine goals in the two matches against Switzerland.
• Fourteen different players have scored for the team in 2016.
• Andi Sullivan, currently a junior at Stanford, is the only collegiate player in camp. She played for the USA in the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
• 2016 NWSL Golden Boot winner Lynn Williams scored 11 times for the Western New York Flash last season, plus two more in her club’s playoff semifinal victory over the Portland Thorns and the dramatic equalizer in overtime of the championship game before her team triumphed in penalty kicks. She set a record for fastest goal in a WNT debut when she scored 49 seconds after coming on at halftime against Switzerland on Oct. 19. The record would last just four days.
• Houston Dash forward Kealia Ohai, who also scored 11 goals during the regular season, did Williams one second better, scoring 48 seconds into her debut on Oct. 23 after coming on as a substitute against Switzerland in the 81st minute. She also famously scored the game-winning goal in the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup Final as the USA defeated Germany, 1-0, to win its third championship for that age level.
• Fourteen of the 18 players that were on the 2016 Olympic Team were named to this roster, plus two of the four alternates.
• U.S. captain Carli Lloyd will not be on the roster for these games as she is getting married in November.
• Alex Morgan comes into the camp with 71 career goals and needs four more to tie Cindy Parlow for seventh on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list.
• Former U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team captain Abby Dahlkemper came off the bench in both matches against Switzerland to earn her first two caps.
• Chicago Red Stars defender Casey Short started both matches against Switzerland, one at outside midfield and one at outside back, to earn her first two caps. She played 90 minutes in both games.
• First-time call-up Kristen Edmonds played professionally in Iceland and Russia after a college career at Rutgers.
• The two friendlies will mark the first matches between the USA and Romania in women’s soccer. Romania is the 51st different country the U.S. Women have played in their history.
• Romania, currently 36th in the FIFA rankings, finished second behind France in Group 3 of qualifying for the 2017 UEFA Women’s Euro, earning a spot in the playoffs against Portugal for the final berth to the 16-nation tournament being held in the Netherlands. Romania barely missed out on being one of the six best group runners-up, and thus qualifying directly for the final tournament. Russia edged Romania for the sixth spot by just one more goal scored.
• In the playoffs, Portugal and Romania drew 0-0 in the first leg in Portugal, but a 1-1 draw in Romania gave Portugal the final berth to the Euros next summer on away goals.
• The match in Northern California will mark the USA’s eighth visit to San Jose, but just the second visit to Avaya Stadium, home of the San Jose Earthquakes. The USA’s previous six matches in San Jose were all at historic Spartan Stadium.
• The USA last played at Avaya Stadium on Mother’s Day in 2015, a 3-0 win vs. the Republic of Ireland.
• The U.S. Women have never lost in San Jose, going 7-0-0 while scoring 28 goals and allowing one.
• The U.S. Women have played 20 matches in Southern California, 10 of them at StubHub Center, where the team has gone 10-0-0, scoring 37 goals and allowing just three. The most recent match was a 2-1 win vs. Australia on Sept. 16, 2012.