Jills Ellis names 23-player USWNT roster for late summer friendlies
CHICAGO (Via U.S. Soccer) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 23 players to the training camp roster for two late summer friendlies against Chile, taking place on Friday, Aug. 31, at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. (8 p.m. PT on ESPN2) and on Tuesday, Sept. 4 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (7 p.m. PT on ESPN2 and UDN). Ellis and her staff will choose 18 players to suit up for each of the games.
These will be final matches before the USA enters the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship in October on a quest for a berth to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Twenty of the players were a part of the U.S. roster that won this summer’s 2018 Tournament of Nations while forward Mallory Pugh and defender Kelley O’Hara return after recovering from long-term injuries. O’Hara, who has been capped 107 times, last played for the USA against France in March at the 2018 SheBelieves Cup while Pugh last played on April 8 against Mexico, a match in which she scored her 11th international goal.
UCLA senior Hailie Mace, who earned her first cap on April 8 vs. Mexico in a substitute appearance, was also named to the roster.
The NWSL players will arrive in camp in Los Angeles following their club matches on Aug. 25.
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 22/0), Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 10/0), Hailie Mace (UCLA; 1/0), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC: 107/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 141/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 24/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 20/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 77/6), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 64/16),Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 54/6), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 11/3), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 257/100), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 37/7), McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 5/0)
FORWARDS (6): Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 67/23), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 136/20), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 145/90), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 103/44), Mallory Pugh(Washington Spirit; 35/11), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 140/38)
Chile Presents New Challenge
It doesn’t happen very often that the U.S. WNT faces a country it has never played before, but the two matches against Chile will be the first games between the countries in women’s soccer. Chile is also just the fourth South American team the USA has faced in its history, along with Brazil (35 games), Colombia (6) and Argentina (3). Chile will be the 52nd country the U.S. women have faced in full international competition.
Chile was a surprise qualifier to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, finishing second behind Brazil in the Final Stage of the 2018 Copa América Femenina, which it hosted last April, to earn its first FIFA Women’s World Cup berth. Chile played in front of large and boisterous crowds on home soil and emphatically clinched its spot in France with a 4-0 victory against Argentina.
“Our team is in a good place coming off the Tournament of Nations and this is a great time to get two games against a country that has already qualified for the World Cup. We’ve never played them before, but their style of play will be helpful in our final preparations for World Cup qualifiers. Our players are obviously deep into the chase for NWSL playoff spots, and they are coming off some intense games, so this will be a good chance to get the group together and share playing time before we come back together in October.”
World Cup Qualifying Kicks Off Oct. 4
The Final Draw for the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship will be held Sept. 4 at 10 a.m. ETbefore the USA plays Chile at Avaya Stadium. Fans will be able to follow the Final Draw on Concacaf.com, Univision Deportes and Fox Sports in the United States, and Yahoo Sports in Mexico and Central America.The USA will then learn its Group A opponents for the World Cup Qualifying tournament that will be held from October 4-17 and determine this region’s three representatives at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.The USA will play its qualifying group games on Oct. 4, 7 and 10 at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. N.C. Ellis and her staff will choose 20 players for the final qualifying roster.
Did You Know…
- The U.S. roster features 21 NWSL players and two collegiate players in Stanford junior Tierna Davidson, who scored in Stanford’s season opening win, a 5-0 victory against UC Davis, and UCLA senior Hallie Mace, who scored the game-winning goal with two seconds left in regulation in a 1-0 victory vs. Long Beach State on Aug. 17. It was UCLA’s first official match of the season.
- Davidson is once again the youngest player on the roster. She does not turn 20 until September 20.
- Eight of the nine NWSL teams are represented on the roster.
- Alex Morgan comes into the match with 90 career goals, 10 short of becoming the seventh player in U.S. WNT history to reach the century mark.
- The match at StubHub Center at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center will be the USA’s 14th match at the venue, marking the most games at one stadium for the U.S. Women.
- The USA last played at StubHub Center in August of 2017 during a 3-0 victory against Japan to conclude the Tournament of Nations. The match at Avaya Stadium will be the fourth for the USA at the venue where it ended its 2017 schedule with a 3-1 victory against Canada on Nov. 12.
- The 14th match at the StubHub Center moves the venue past the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn., where the U.S. Women have played 13 times, as the most frequent venue in U.S. WNT history. Nine of the matches in Blaine came in the 1980s and 90s and the USA has not played there since ’06.
- The U.S. WNT program started in 1985, but the team did not play a full international match in California until 1996. That took place at Titan Stadium on the campus of Cal State Fullerton (a 6-0 win vs. Holland), long before StubHub Center and Avaya Stadium were built.
- Since then, the U.S. Women have played 42 total games in California – 30 in Southern California, one in Central California and 11 in Northern California.
- Lindsey Horan, who is tied for second in the NWSL in goals with 11, was named the NWSL player of the Month for July.
- Adrianna Franch, who was named NWSL Player of the Week for Week 20, was also named to the Team of the Month along with McCall Zerboni and Megan Rapinoe.
- Tobin Heath is tied for first in NWSL assists with six.
- Midfielder Allie Long was unavailable for selection due to a knee injury suffered during NWSL play with the Seattle Reign.