CHICAGO – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 28 players for a training camp prior to two matches against Mexico, on Sept. 13 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah (4:30 p.m. MT on ussoccer.com), and on Sept. 18 at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, New York (7 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and WatchESPN). Of that 28, three Chicago Red Stars players have earned roster spots including midfielder Shannon Boxx, forward Christen Press, and National Women’s Soccer League Rookie of the Year defender Julie Johnston.
This will be the first extended training period Ellis has had with the team since she was officially named the head coach on May 16. It will also be the final camp and matches before she names a 20-player roster that will attempt to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup at the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship being held in Kansas City, Kansas; Bridgeview, Illinois; Washington, D.C.; and Chester, Pennsylvania, from Oct. 15-24.
“Obviously as a coaching staff in the international arena, you are delighted when you can get a large group of players together for an extended period,” said Ellis. “It’s no secret that the battle for spots on the qualifying roster will be extremely competitive and we’re looking forward to the training environment and two tough games against a Mexico team that we will likely see again during the CONCACAF Championship.”
The majority of the roster will begin training in Salt Lake City on Sept. 5 with the eight players who are playing in the NWSL Championship Game this weekend getting a few extra days off. Seattle Reign FC and FC Kansas City players will arrive on Sept. 8.
Goalkeeper Hope Solo will likely get a shot to break the USA’s all-time shutout record in one of the matches against Mexico. She is currently tied with former U.S. great Briana Scurry at 71 career shutouts.
• Jill Ellis will name 18 players to suit up for each of the matches.
• The USA comes into the matches with an 8-2-3 record in 2014.
• Twenty-seven of the 28 players named played in the NWSL this season.
• The five U.S. strikers scored a combined 36 goals in the NWSL this season, although Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach missed significant parts of the season due to injury and Christen Press played half the season’s matches after returning from Europe.
• Should Christie Rampone play in both Mexico matches, her cap total would grow to 297, meaning she would have a chance to hit 300 during the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship in October. Kristine Lilly is the only other player in soccer history to play 300 or more times for their country.
• Ali Krieger’s next cap with be her 50th, which would make her the 48th player in U.S. WNT history to reach 50 international appearances.
• The USA is 27-1-1 all-time against Mexico.
• Several U.S. players won NWSL postseason awards: Alyssa Naeher was the Goalkeeper of the Year, Becky Sauerbrunn was the Defender of the Year and Julie Johnston was the Rookie of the Year.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (4): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (10): Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Houston Dash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)