CHICAGO – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 24 players to a training camp roster ahead of the July 9 match against South Africa at Soldier Field in Chicago (12 p.m. CT on FS1).
The game will mark the first meeting with South Africa [TICKETS] and it will be the USA’s second-to-last match before departing for Brazil with the final Olympic send-off game taking place on July 22 vs. Costa Rica at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas (8 p.m. CT on ESPN) [TICKETS].
“We’re looking forward to finalizing our Olympic roster,” said Ellis. “We have been evaluating players since our Victory Tour last year, so we are anticipating a great camp and finishing that process. It’s exciting to play a new opponent and South Africa instantly has our respect for earning an Olympic berth from Africa.”
Twenty-two of the players were on the roster for the USA’s two early June friendlies against Japan, but two familiar faces make their returns. U.S. co-captain Carli Lloyd is back on the roster after missing the Japan matches with a knee injury and should be available for selection. Also on the roster for the first time since last December is midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who is continuing her recovery from ACL surgery. Rapinoe is in camp for training and evaluation and will not play in the match.
U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo comes into the match with 99 career shutouts and the possibility of hitting 100, making her the first goalkeeper in U.S. and world history to achieve that milestone. Solo has nine shutouts in her 10 wins in 2016.
Tickets for the match in Chicago are on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Chicagoland (including Walmart stores). [Note: Tickets are not sold at Soldier Field except on the day of the event.] Groups of 20 or more can order at ussoccer.com.
Tickets for the match in Kansas City are on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the Kansas City area (including Hen House Markets). [Note: Tickets will not be sold at the Children’s Mercy Park ticket office except for the day of the event.] Purchases are limited to eight tickets per household.
Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the games, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Jaelene Hinkle (Western New York Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Gina Lewandowski (FC Bayern Munich), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)
-The USA’s 2016 Olympic roster will feature 18 players made up of 16 field players and two goalkeepers.
-The USA is 12-0-1 in 2016 heading into its final two matches before the Olympics, having scored 47 goals and allowed four.
-The match against South Africa will be the first meeting between the two countries in women’s international play, just the second African country the USA has faced in its history and marks the first-ever friendly against an African team. The Americans have played Nigeria four times, all in World Cup or Olympic competition.
-South Africa, which qualified for its second consecutive Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament, was drawn into a difficult Group E with Brazil, China and Sweden.
-In its first women’s FIFA event at the 2012 Olympics, South Africa did not advance out of its group, falling 4-1 to Sweden and losing 3-0 to Canada, but then drawing 0-0 with eventual silver medalist Japan.
-The U.S. Women have played 11 matches in Chicago, but have not played at Soldier Field since 2007.
-The USA has never lost in Chicago, home to the U.S. Soccer Federation headquarters, going 4-0-1 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., and 6-0-0 at Soldier Field. Four of those matches came before the massive renovation of the stadium, which originally opened in 1924. The WNT’s most recent visit to the historic venue resulted in a 6-1 victory against New Zealand on Aug. 12, 2007.