(May 18, 2016) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 25 players to a training camp roster ahead of two June matches against Japan. Boston Breakers defender Whitney Engen is amongst the 25 players called in.
(May 18, 2016) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 25 players to a training camp roster ahead of two June matches against Japan. Boston Breakers defender Whitney Engen is amongst the 25 players called in. The USA will come together in Denver on May 27 in advance of its June 2 meeting with Japan at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. (7 p.m. MT on FS1) and then will travel to Cleveland for the second leg of the two-game set on June 5 at FirstEnergy Stadium (12:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2). Ellis will name 18 players to suit up for each match.
Whitney Engen, center, has been named to the 25-player roster (Photo By T. Horak Photography)
“We are going with a slightly larger roster for this camp than the last few, so internally we can play in more 11v11 training scenarios," said Ellis. "My staff and I have been watching the league play, and now we get to evaluate them back together. Both environments are important."
The U.S. roster features three players who are natives to the Denver area in midfielder Lindsey Horan, forward Mallory Pugh and defender Jaelene Hinkle. The match in Colorado is sold out while nearly 19,000 tickets have been sold for the game in Cleveland as the USA and Japan meet for the first times since the historic championship game of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. U.S. captain Carli Lloyd, who scored the famous hat trick in that match, is not on the roster as she continues rehabilitation of a strained MCL suffered during NWSL play with the Houston Dash.
Hope Solo comes into the matches with 98 career shutouts and the possibility of hitting 100, making her the first goalkeeper in U.S. history to achieve that milestone. Solo has eight shutouts in her nine wins in 2016.
Tickets for the match in Cleveland are on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout metro Cleveland (including many Giant Eagle and Walmart locations), as well as the FirstEnergy Stadium ticket office (open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Groups of 20 or more can order at ussoccer.com.
The roster features the return of defender Christie Rampone. She has not played for the USA since September of last year during the Women’s World Cup Victory Tour, but has since recovered from knee surgery and has played in all five matches for Sky Blue FC so far this season.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (4): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (10): 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), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (Wisconsin), Allie Long (Portland Thorns 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.
· In Commerce City, Colo., the USA will be looking to tie its best ever start to a calendar year. In 1991 and 1997, the USA started the year 12-0-0, scoring 80 goals in 1991 through the first 12 games while allowing only one goal, and scoring 55 goals through the first 12 games in 1997 while allowing six.
· The USA is 11-0-0 in 2016 and has out-scored its opponents 42-1, winning 10 games by shutout. The only goal the USA has allowed this year came in a 2-1 victory against Germany in the SheBelieves Cup.
· Of the 25 players called into camp, 24 have been with the U.S. team in 2016. The other, defender Gina Lewandowski, recently helped FC Bayern Munich sew up the 2015/2016 Women’s Bundesliga title. She earns her second career call-up after earning her first cap last October during the Women’s World Cup Victory Tour when she came on as a sub against Brazil.
· Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, who is currently starting for Portland Thorns FC, and midfielder Rose Lavelle, a rising senior at Wisconsin, get their first call-ups since January.
· The USA and Japan have met in the last three world championship finals – the 2011 Women’s World Cup, the 2012 Olympics and the 2015 Women’s World Cup – but Japan failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics at the very difficult Asia qualifying tournament earlier in March.
· This will be the USA’s fourth visit to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and fifth to the Denver area. The WNT has won all four games, playing at DSG Park in 2008 (1-0 vs. Brazil), 2012 (6-2 vs. Australia) and 2014 (2-0 vs. China PR). The USA defeated Brazil 6-0 at Mile High Stadium back in 1999 following the Women’s World Cup triumph on home soil.
· This will be the USA’s third visit to Cleveland and the first in over six years, with the previous two matches at FirstEnergy Stadium (formerly Cleveland Browns Stadium) coming in June 2007, a 2-0 win against China PR, and May 2010, a 4-0 victory over Germany.
· These will be the first matches of the year against a team from the Asia Confederation, with the previous 11 games coming against CONCACAF, European and South American teams.
· Japan, which is currently ranked 7th in the world, has a new head coach after parting ways with long-time head coach Norio Sasaki, who led the team to its greatest triumphs.
· Asako Takakura has been appointed as the first-ever female coach of Japan’s senior Women’s National Team. The four-time Asian Women’s Coach of the Year was a midfielder in her playing days and earned 79 caps for Japan, appearing in 1991 and 1995 World Cups as well as the 1996 Olympics. She has been an integral part of the Japanese coaching infrastructure for years, having coached every age group from Under-13 upwards. She led Japan to the 2014 Under-17 Women’s World Cup title and the 2015 Asian U-19 Championship while also serving on the FIFA technical study group at last year’s World Cup.
15 players on the U.S. roster were members of the 2015 Women’s World Cup championship team.