USWNT hosting China for Thursday night friendly in Utah
USA vs. China PR
Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
June 7, 2018
(Via U.S. Soccer) – After a rousing start to the year with a 5-1 win against Denmark, followed by a SheBelieves Cup title in a tournament that featured four of the world’s best teams, and then two dominating victories against Mexico, the U.S. Women’s National Team now heads into two friendly matches against China PR that will provide valuable preparation for the 2018 Tournament of Nations.
The games against the Steel Roses will take place on Thursday, June 7 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, Presented by Cutter Insect Repellent (7 p.m. MT / 9 pm ET; FS1 & UDN) and on Tuesday, June 12 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland (7 p.m. ET; ESPN2). Ellis named 24 players to the training camp roster that came together in Sandy, Utah on June 1 – and later added midfielder Rose Lavelle – but will name 18 players to suit up for each of the matches. These will be the final games before Ellis chooses a 23-player roster for the 2018 Tournament of Nations featuring the USA, Australia, Brazil and Japan that will take place from July 26-Aug. 2. The USA is 5-0-1 so far in 2018, with wins over Denmark, Germany, England and Mexico (twice), along with a tie against France.
PARING IT DOWN: U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis used 2017 to learn more about her team, her veterans and new players, while trying several different formations, playing players in various positions and giving call-ups to numerous younger players. Since the end of the 2016 Olympics, Ellis has used 40 players in matches and has seen 60 different players in a training camp environment. In 2018, while Ellis and her staff will still be constantly evaluating players in various environments, those numbers will go down. With a solid core that emerged from last year’s tough schedule and heavy evaluation period, the current core group will be the one to move forward and receive the most opportunities to earn roster and starting spots. For the 25-player training roster for these China games, there are no first-time call-ups, but there are four uncapped players and four players getting just their second looks with the WNT. Ellis has used 28 players in game action so far in 2018.
Here are some facts and figures since October of 2016 (after the Olympics) regarding call-ups by Ellis and her staff:
- Total number of players called in for at least one training camp: 60
- Total number of new players called-up for the first time: 29
- Players who have seen game action over the past 17 months: 40
- Number of players to earn first caps: 18 – Abby Dahlkemper, Ashley Hatch, Andi Sullivan, Casey Short, Jane Campbell, Jessica McDonald, Kealia Ohai, Lynn Williams, Megan Oyster, Rose Lavelle, Sofia Huerta, Taylor Smith, McCall Zerboni, Savannah McCaskill, Tierna Davidson, Haley Hanson, Hallie Mace and Tegan McGrady.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position (Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (4): 24- Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 15/0), 18-Casey Murphy (Montpellier HSC, FRA; 0/0), 1- Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 28/0), 21- Abby Smith (Utah Royals FC; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (6): 7- Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 18/0), 2- Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 6/0), 14-Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars; 5/0), 27- Merritt Mathias (Seattle Reign FC; 0/0), 22- Margaret Purce (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), 4- Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 137/0)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 6- Morgan Brian (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 74/6), 8- Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 59/15); 9- Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 49/5), 16- Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 7/2), 10-Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash; 252/100); 3- Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 34/7); 20- Allie Long(Portland Thorns FC; 37/6), 25- McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 1/0)
FORWARDS (7): 19- Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC, ENG; 62/23), 17- Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns; 132/18), 26- Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue FC; 5/0), 13- Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 140/85), 23-Christen Press (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC, SWE; 98/44), 15- Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign; 135/36), 12- Amy Rodriguez (Utah Royals FC; 130/30)
FIVE FAMILIAR FACES BACK IN THE FOLD: The matches mark the return to the roster for five players who have made recoveries from injuries, several who have been out of a U.S. jersey for months. Forward Tobin Heath, the 2016 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year, makes a roster for the first time since playing against New Zealand in September of 2017. Midfielder Samantha Mewis, who started every match in 2017, makes her first roster since the two matches against Canada in early November of 2017. Julie Ertz, the 2017 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year, played in the first two matches of the year but missed the final two games at the SheBelieves Cup and the Mexico series in early April. Since injuring her hamstring in June of 2017, midfielder Rose Lavelle has played in just one match for the USA, that coming in her hometown of Cincinnati in September of 2017. She has been in several training camps for rehab purposes, but this is the first camp in which she will be fully cleared to train. Forward Amy Rodriguez has played just once for the USA since October of 2015, that coming in a 10-minute performance on April 6, 2017 (in which she joined a small group of players to play for the U.S. WNT after having two children). A-Rod missed almost all of 2016 due to pregnancy and the birth of her second son, and all of 2017 due to an ACL injury suffered in the first game of the 2017 NWSL season.
ToN SET FOR THE SUMMER: After hosting the 2018 SheBelieves Cup in early March, which was won by the USA, U.S. Soccer will stage its second elite four-team women’s international tournament of the year as Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan., Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford, Conn., and Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., play host to the USA, Australia, Brazil and Japan for the 2018 Tournament of Nations. The competition format is the same as the SheBelieves Cup and last year’s Tournament of Nations with the four teams each participating in three doubleheader events at three different venues over an eight-day period. The winner will be based on total points (three for a win, one for a tie), with the first tie-breaker being overall goal difference, followed by most total tournament goals scored, then head-to-head result and, lastly, FIFA Ranking if necessary. FOX Sports, home of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, will present live coverage of the USA’s matches on FS1. Games will also be available via FOXSports.com.
2018 TOURNAMENT OF NATIONS SCHEDULE
|Date||Matches||Stadium||City||Kickoff (Local / ET)||TV|
|July 26||Brazil vs. Australia||Children’s Mercy Park||Kansas City, Kan.||3:15 p.m. / 4:15 p.m.|
|July 26||USA vs. Japan||Children’s Mercy Park||Kansas City, Kan.||6 p.m. / 7 p.m.||FS1|
|July 29||Japan vs. Brazil||Pratt & Whitney Stadium||East Hartford, Conn.||4:15 p.m. / 4:15 p.m.|
|July 29||USA vs. Australia||Pratt & Whitney Stadium||East Hartford, Conn.||7 p.m. / 7 p.m.||FS1|
|Aug. 2||Australia vs. Japan||Toyota Park||Bridgeview, Ill.||4:45 p.m. / 5:45 p.m.|
|Aug. 2||USA vs. Brazil||Toyota Park||Bridgeview, Ill.||7:30 p.m. / 8:30 p.m.||FS1|
COUNTDOWN TO CONCACAF QUALIFYING: The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup that will be held from June 7-July 7 in nine cities in France is still a year away, but the Concacaf World Cup Qualifying tournament will be staged in just a few months, taking place from Oct. 4-17. The 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship, which will qualify three teams to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France and a fourth into a two-game playoff with Argentina, the third-place team from South America, will be played in three host cities: Cary, N.C., Edinburg, Texas, and Frisco, Texas, home of the new National Soccer Hall of Fame, which is set to open just three days after the completion of the qualifying tournament. The competition will feature eight countries divided into two groups of four. After round-robin play within the groups, the top two finishers from each group will move on to the all-important semifinals.
USA HEADLINES GROUP A: The USA, which is ranked first in the world, will be seeded into Group A while Canada, which is ranked fourth, will be seeded into Group B. The USA, Canada and Mexico have automatic berths into the tournament. The five other participants will qualify via the 2018 Concacaf Caribbean Women’s Qualifier and 2018 Concacaf Central America Women’s Qualifier. The placement in the groups for the other six teams will become known at the Final Draw later this year. All three first round doubleheaders in Group A – which will take place on Oct. 4, 7 and 10 – will be played at the 10,000-seat Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. All three doubleheaders in Group B – which will be played on Oct. 5, 8 and 11 – will take place at H-E-B Park in Edinburg, Texas, a 9,700-seat stadium that is home to the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros of the USL and is one of the top venues in the league. The top two finishers in each group will then cross over to meet in the on Oct. 14 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The Third-Place Match and Championship Game will be at Toyota Stadium on Oct. 17. FOX Sports, the home of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, will present 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship coverage across the FOX Sports family of networks. Ticket information will be made available once it is finalized.
NEW LOOK WNT: The U.S. WNT will debut its new dark kits for the first time in the series against China PR. Since 2014, the unifying phrase, “One Nation. One Team.” has defined U.S. Soccer. In the 2018 kits, the words are emblazoned on the inner neck of both light and dark shirts. There, the adage forms a distinct starting point for a set of uniforms that will see both teams through initial qualifying stages for their next major international tournaments. READ MORE
SUCCESS IN SANDY : The WNT have played four previous international friendlies at Rio Tinto Stadium – home of Utah Royals FC in the NWSL – since the venue’s October 9, 2008 opening. The USA has a perfect 4-0-0 record in Sandy, on top of a dominant 5-0 win at Rice-Eccles Stadium against Ireland in 2003, prior to Real Salt Lake’s existence. The USA last played in Utah on Oct. 19, 2016 in a 4-0 victory vs. Switzerland during which five players made their WNT debut: Abby Dahlkemper, former BYU star Ashley Hatch, Casey Short, Andi Sullivan and Lynn Williams. Rio Tinto was also the site of Alex Morgan’s first cap on March 31, 2010, a 1-0 victory against Mexico in a match played in ankle-deep snow.
BACK IN THE LAND : This will be just the fourth visit to Cleveland for the U.S. WNT. The previous three matches also took place at FirstEnergy Stadium with the most recent visit a 2-0 win against Japan on June 5, 2016. One of those three previous Cleveland matches – the first – came against China, a 2-0 win in June of 2007. FirstEnergy Stadium was also the site of a 4-0 win over Germany on May 22, 2010, that featured the 130th and final goal of Kristine Lilly’s historic international career.
MORGAN CLIMBS THE MULTI-GOAL LISTS: With two goals in both April matches against Mexico, Alex Morgan is now third all-time in two-goal games for the USA and fourth all-time in multi-goal games.
U.S. WNT All-Time Two-Goal Games Leaders
Abby Wambach 37
Mia Hamm 28
Alex Morgan 19
Michelle Akers 18
Kristine Lilly 16
Tiffeny Milbrett 10
Cindy Parlow 9
Carli Lloyd 8
U.S. WNT All-Time Multi-Goal Games Leaders
2G 3G 4G 5G Total
Abby Wambach 37 5 2 1 45
Mia Hamm 28 8 2 0 38
Michelle Akers 18 6 0 1 25
Alex Morgan 19 3 0 0 22
Kristine Lilly 16 1 0 0 17
Cindy Parlow 9 7 1 0 17
Carli Lloyd 8 7 0 0 15
Tiffeny Milbrett 10 2 1 1 14
U.S. WNT LEGENDS TIFFENY MILBRETT & CINDY PARLOW ELECTED TO NATIONAL SOCCER HALL OF FAME: The National Soccer Hall of Fame introduced its 2018 class on May 31 with a series of surprise announcements in five different cities across the country and 1999 WWC winners and 1996 Olympic gold medalists Tiffeny Milbrett and Cindy Parlow, both legendary goal scores for the U.S. team, were informed of their induction by Hall of Famers Brandi Chastain and Anson Dorrance, respectively. The newest members of the HOF also included former U.S. Soccer President Dr. Bob Contiguglia, legendary goalkeeper Brad Friedel and long-time MLS Commission Don Garber.
JILL ELLIS FACT FILE: After leading the USA to the Women’s World Cup title, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis was rewarded with a multi-year contract extension on Aug. 5, 2015. She is the third U.S. coach – and first female American coach — to win a Women’s World Cup at the senior level, following Anson Dorrance (1991) and the late Tony DiCicco (1999). Ellis was named the 2015 FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Soccer on Jan. 11, 2016, at the FIFA Awards Gala in Zurich, Switzerland. She was also named the Concacaf Female Coach of the Year. Ellis, who previously served two stints as interim head coach of the U.S. WNT, is the eighth official head coach in U.S. history. She coached seven games as interim coach in 2012 (5-0-2) and two games (1-0-1) as interim in 2014 before she officially came on board, which gave her a 6-0-3 record before she ever was formally named the head coach in May of 2014. She has gone 69-6-12 since then for an overall record of 75-6-15, earning her 50th career WNT win on July 22, 2016, vs. Costa Rica and her 75thon April 8 vs. Mexico. With the win against New Zealand on Sept. 15, 2017, Ellis moved past Anson Dorrance and into fourth place on the all-time wins list. Since taking over as head coach, Ellis has won five tournaments: the 2015 Algarve Cup, the 2015 Women’s World Cup, the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, the 2016 SheBelieves Cup and the 2018 SheBelieves Cup. Jill Ellis Full Bio
U.S. ROSTER NOTES
- In part, due to numerous players returning from injuries, just 14 of the 25 players on this roster were with the USA for the April friendlies against Mexico. Fifteen of the 25 players on the training camp roster were on the 23-player U.S. roster for the 2018 SheBelieves Cup in March.
- Thirteen players on the roster have 35 caps or fewer, and on the other end of the spectrum, 10 have 59 or more, with six having 100 or more.
- Since the start of 2017, four players have been involved (goals or assists) in more than seven goals. Alex Morgan (16), Megan Rapinoe (11), Mallory Pugh (11) and Lindsey Horan (eight).
- The training camp roster consists of 21 NWSL players, three players currently based in Europe and one college player in defender Tierna Davidson. Davidson is once again the youngest player on the roster. She does not turn 20 until September.
- The two goals allowed on corner kicks against Mexico on April 8 broke a streak of not allowing more than one goal in a game in the last 12 games. The USA has done 11-0-2 during that run, and has scored at least three goals in nine of those 13 games. The match before the 12-game run was the 4-3 win against Brazil at the 2017 Tournament of Nations and the 6-2 win vs. Mexico ended it.
- The USA is unbeaten in its last 14 matches (12-0-2). The USA has outscored its opponents 46-12 over those 14 matches, and have scored in all 14 games.
- Three members of Utah Royals FC will be hoping to see minutes in their home stadium in defender Becky Sauerbrunn, forward Amy Rodriguez and goalkeeper Abby Smith.
- Due to injuries or still in the process of regaining fitness, several players were unavailable for selection, including three outside backs in Casey Short, Kelley O’Hara and Emily Sonnett, as well as forward Mallory Pugh.
- After scoring in the opening match of the year against Denmark and twice each in both April games against Mexico, Alex Morgan has 85 goals in 140 caps and at age 28 sits in sole possession of seventh place on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list. She has scored 12 goals over her last 13 WNT matches through the end of 2017 and start of 2018. She did not score in the SBC, but did pick up the game-winning assist against Germany on March 1.
- Morgan’s brace vs. Mexico on April 8 marked the 19th two-goal game of her career and 22nd multi-goal game.
- Morgan’s opening goal vs. Mexico on April 5 was the first of her international career to come via a penalty kick.
- For players with more than 50 goals/assists combined, Morgan has averaged a goal or an assist for every 70.0 minutes on the field in her international career. The only player to have done better is Mia Hamm (68.5). Abby Wambach averaged a goal or assist for every 71.5 minutes and Michelle Akers finished her career at 74.0 minutes per goal or assist.
- The Tournament of Nations last year sparked a quality end of 2017 for Megan Rapinoe, who scored three goals with five assists over the last eight matches of the year. Rapinoe had a monster game on April 8 vs. Mexico, getting four assists and a goal while also setting up the other goal in the match. With the goal, a beautiful crafted chipped from distance after the Mexican goalkeeper had come out to clear the ball, Rapinoe now has 36career goals, moving ahead of April Heinrichs and Sydney Leroux into sole possession of 15th on the all-time goals list. She leads the USA with five assists on the year and now has 49 for her career, one behind Carli Lloyd and good for ninth in U.S. history. Rapinoe’s 49 assists in 137 caps is the best of anyone ahead of her on the all-time list except for Mia Hamm, who has a remarkable 145 assists in her 276 caps.
- At the SheBelieves Cup, Rapinoe took seven shots against Germany, as many as the whole German team, and scored the game-winner in the 1-0 victory. It was also her free kick against France that led to Mallory Pugh’s goal on March 4 and her cross on March 7that led to the USA’s lone goal against England.
- In September of 2017, Tobin Heath returned to the U.S. roster for the first time in six months after being sidelined with a back injury. In those friendlies against New Zealand, she did not suit up on Sept. 15, but made her return to the field on Sept. 19, playing the final 18 minutes in what was just her fourth match of 2017. She had previously played in all three SheBelieves Cup games in March. Heath then took a knock in the NWSL title game and missed the October friendlies vs. the Korea Republic. Soon after she was bothered by an ankle injury and in December she decided to have ankle surgery to clear up the old issue, which has kept her out of a U.S. uniform until now. The 2016 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year has 132 caps, putting her in 23rd place on the USA’s all-time caps list.
- Crystal Dunn scored four goals in 2017, all in back-to-back braces against Russia in April, and got her first of 2018 on Jan. 21 against Denmark, finishing a rebound off a Christen Press shot. The always versatile Dunn came off the bench to play outside back against France on March 4 after Casey Short was injured about 30 minutes after coming on as a sub herself. Dunn then played an excellent game at outside back against England, going the full 90 minutes on the left side to help the USA shutout England, and several of her former Chelsea teammates.
- She got both starts against Mexico in April at outside back, although she did moving up to wing later in both game after second half subs, once again showing her value on all three lines for the USA.
- Christen Press has 98 caps and 44 career goals, most recently scoring on a brilliant strike from distance against Korea Republic on Oct. 22 of last year. Press is in 14th place on the all-time WNT goals list and with one more goal will tie Julie Foudy for 13th place. She averages just under a goal every two games (0.45 goals per game) and 0.82 goals per every 90 minutes she’s been on the field. Press moved from the NWSL to Sweden this spring and started well for Koppersberg/Goteborg in her second stint with the club, scoring four goals in the first three games and was named the Player of the Month for April in the Damallsvenskan. In her first stint with the club in 2012, she helped them finish second in the league while scoring 17 goals and claiming the Swedish Cup. She scored 25 goals in all competitions (17 Damallsvenskan, three in Champions League and five in the Swedish Cup).
- Savannah McCaskill , who was taken second overall in the 2018 NWSL College Draft by the Boston Breakers and then was picked by Sky Blue FC in the Dispersal Draft, has worked herself into consistent call-ups with the WNT this year. McCaskill made the game roster for the Jan. 21 match against Denmark and earned her first cap when she came into the game in the 70th minute for Andi Sullivan. She earned her second cap on March 1against Germany, coming into the match at attacking midfield with 18 minutes left and put in a solid shift to help the USA earn the victory. She also had good performances against France, playing the entire second half in the midfield, and England, when she played the final 10 minutes to help secure the victory. She played the final 19 minutes of the April 5match vs. Mexico.
- Amy Rodriguez made her NWSL debut this year on April 14, 2018 after missing almost two full club seasons. She returns to the U.S. roster for the first time since April of 2017. During that camp, she came back from the birth of her second son, playing 10 minutes against Russia on April 6, but then tore her ACL in the NWSL opener and missed the entire season. Rodriguez, who has 30 goals in her 130 caps, which include several notable scores in U.S. history, was a member of the 2015 Women’s World Cup champions, the 2012 Olympic gold medal team, and played in the 2011 Women’s World Cup. She famously scored the goal in the 1-0 victory against Italy in the second-leg of the 2011 Women’s World Cup playoffs that clinched the USA’s berth to Germany.
- Carli Lloyd is a two-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year (2015, 2016) and finished second in the voting in 2017. She is the all-time active caps leader with 252. She scored just seconds after coming into the match against Mexico on April 5 and then got the start on April 8 vs. Mexico and bagged her historic 100th goal, becoming the sixth player to score 100 or more for the USA, and the first since 2009 when Abby Wambach scored her 100th. Lloyd is tied with Tiffeny Milbrett for fifth place on the USA’s all-time goals list. Lloyd is in sixth place on the all-time caps list and is the sixth player in U.S. history to earn 250 caps. She is three away from tying Wambach for fifth place.While she played as a withdrawn forward for many of her minutes since the knockout round of the 2015 Women’s World Cup, she is still the highest scoring midfielder in U.S. history.
- Lloyd is the highest active goal scorer in U.S. history with the players ahead of or tied with her – Mia Hamm, Wambach, Kristine Lilly, Michelle Akers and Tiffeny Milbrett – all retired.
- Lloyd scored 36 international goals between the time she debuted six days before her 23rd birthday, and her 30th birthday. Since turning 30, she has scored 64 goals in 117 games in just under six years. The 117 games after the age of 30 rank her seventh all-time in U.S. history that category. Christie Rampone is far and away the leader with 175.
- Lloyd earned the 50th assist of her career on Julie Ertz’ goal against Brazil on July 30, joining just seven other U.S. players to earn 50 or more assists in their careers. Lloyd is in eighth-place in all-time assists, but with six more, can move into fifth.
- Julie Ertz returns to the roster after missing the final two SheBelieves Cup games and both Mexico games in April due to a knee injury. She scored her first goal under her married name vs. Brazil on July 30, 2017, the dramatic game-winner in the 89th while playing defensive midfielder, and then grew into the position the entire year, scoring five more and playing so well that she was named 2017 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year.
- She got 2018 off to a great start as well, scoring the game-winner on Jan. 21 vs. Denmark, before the knee injury set her back a bit. Ertz is the third player to be named both the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year and Young Female Player of the Year. Lauren Holiday (2014 & 2007) and Tobin Heath (2016 & 2009) are the other two, making the five years between the awards for Ertz the shortest time for any player.
- Just 26 years old, she played her 50th game for the USA against Brazil, becoming the 54th American female player to achieve that milestone and now has 59 caps and 15 goals.
- Lindsey Horan enjoyed a fine 2017, helping the Portland Thorns win the NWSL title while scoring four goals with two assists. She played mostly holding midfielder during the year and scored the game-winning goal in the championship. For the WNT, she came off the bench for six of her first seven appearances of the year, but then finished strong, started four of the last six games, establishing herself in the lineup, while scoring a goal and getting four assists. She played 90 in the last three matches of 2017 and full 90s in the first two matches of 2018, as well as the first half of the March 4 match against France before giving way to McCaskill. She then started and played 74 minutes against England on March 7 before being replaced by Morgan Brian. Horan played the full 90 minutes against Mexico on April 5 and set up two critical goals – for Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd – that blew the game open early in the second half. She started on April 8 against Mexico, and scored her fifth career goal, drilling home a brilliant header off a corner kick.
- Morgan Brian was hampered by injuries last year and played in just six games, starting two, but has already played in five this year. She made her return to the field against Germany on March 1, coming on for Carli Lloyd in the 65th minute to see her first action for the National Team since Sept. 15, 2017, when she came off the bench to play the final 16 minutes against New Zealand. On March 4, she got her first start since the France game at last year’s SheBelieves Cup and went the full 90 minutes. She played in all three SheBelieves Cup matches, hitting the field for the final 15 minutes against England on March 7 to help seal the game and tournament. She got the start in her youth soccer hometown of Jacksonville, Fla., on April 5 and started on April 8 vs. Mexico but had to leave with a minor injury after 30 minutes. She is one cap away from 75 and will become the 42nd female player in U.S. history to play 75 or more times. She is still just 25-years-old.
- Brian has been playing in France with Olympique Lyon that recently won its third consecutive UEFA Champions League title by defeating Wolfsburg of Germany, 3-1, although Brian did not feature in the match.
- Allie Long scored her first three career goals (all on headers) in 2016. She scored her fourth and fifth goals, also off headers, vs. Russia on April 6, 2017. It was the second brace of her career. She finally got a WNT goal with her feet on Oct. 22 against Korea Republic, slotting home a pass from Horan, and now has 36 caps after coming on against Mexico on April 5 to help secure the match. She appeared in 14 games for the USA in 2017 and played at the end of the Germany game on March 1 before helping seal the England game with a 15-minute appearance on March 7. She came off the bench for both Mexico games in April, playing 19 and 61 minutes.
- Rose Lavelle has been in two U.S. training camps this year, but just for rehab. She hasn’t played for the USA since Sept. of 2017 against New Zealand in her hometown of Cincinnati. Lavelle made her U.S. WNT debut on March 4, 2017 against England – the 14th player to be given a first cap under Ellis – and earned her first two senior team caps at the 2017 SheBelieves Cup. She scored her first international goal, against Russia, on April 9.
- She went on to score her second international goal, the game-winner, against Sweden on June 8, 2017 in Gothenburg in her fifth cap, but a hamstring injury suffered against Norway on June 11 has for the most part kept her off the field for club and country ever since.
- Lavelle was the first overall pick in the 2017 NWSL Draft by the Boston Breakers, but was taken by the Washington Spirit in the Dispersal Draft where she plays with 2018 #1 pick Andi Sullivan. Lavelle recently returned to the field for the Washington Spirit in her first action of the NWSL season.
- Samantha Mewis returns to the U.S. roster for the first time since suffering a knee injury against Canada in the final game of 2017. Mewis played in every game in 2017 and was second on the team in minutes played behind Becky Sauerbrunn. She has 34 caps and seven career goals.
- McCall Zerboni, long one of the top midfielders in the NWSL, gets her second career call-up. She was called in as an injury replacement for the USA’s match against Korea Republic in Cary, N.C. in October of 2017 and earned her first cap when she entered the match at halftime. Zerboni, who was just a few months shy of her 31st birthday when she debuted, became the oldest player to earn a first cap for the U.S. WNT.
- Becky Sauerbrunn missed January Camp and the SheBelieves Cup while recovering from a foot injury, but was back in action for the USA’s two games vs. Mexico in April, getting the start on April 8 and going 90 minutes. She came on in the 77th minute on April 5 to see her first action of 2018. With 137 caps, Sauerbrunn is tied for 20th on the all-time caps list. She is one of 29 female players to play 125 or more times for the USA.
- Sauerbrunn was one of only two players to start all games in 2017 and when she came out at halftime on Sept. 19 vs. New Zealand it was the first time she left the field for club or country in 2017.
- Abby Dahlkemper took advantage of a big opportunity when she played in both games in Europe in June of 2017, the first one off the bench in which she played the entire second half against Sweden, and then started and playing all 90 minutes against Norway. The Norway match marked her first start for the WNT and the first time she had played 90. She then played all 90 minutes at center back in each of the final nine games of the year, establishing herself on the U.S. backline. She ended up starting 10 of the 11 games she appeared in while playing 945 minutes, fifth best on the team. She started the first match of the year against Denmark on Jan. 21 next to debutante Tierna Davidson and the duo also went the full 90 together on March 1 against Germany, March 4 vs. France, March 7 against England. She also went 90 on April 5 against Mexico before getting a rest on April 8. Dahlkemper had a stellar 2017 club season and was named the NWSL Defender of the Year.
- After gaining her change of national association on Sept. 14, Sofia Huerta was named to the 18-player roster for the Sept. 15 match against New Zealand and entered the game in the 51st minute to earn her first cap. She earned her second on Oct. 19, coming off the bench to play the final 27 minutes vs. Korea. She got her first start and played her first complete 90 minutes in a U.S. uniform on Oct. 22 against Korea in Cary, N.C.
- Huerta played in one match at the SheBelieves Cup, coming on at the end of the England match on March 7, playing well to help preserve the win. Her fifth cap was somewhat unique in that she played against her former National Team, Mexico, when she came into the April 8 with 15 minutes left, thereby becoming the first player to play for Mexico against the USA and for the USA against Mexico.
- Huerta played for Mexico at the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and has five caps for the Mexico senior team, including the one against the USA, making her the first female player in history to play for and against the U.S. Women’s National Team in a senior level international match. She’s also the first player from the state of Idaho to earn a cap for the senior U.S. WNT.
- Tierna Davidson helped lead Stanford to the NCAA Championship this past season as a sophomore and has been a consistent call-up in 2018 as the youngest player on the roster. She started and played the entire 90 minutes to earn her first cap in the 5-1 victory against Denmark on Jan. 21. She also got the game-winning assist on Julie Ertz’ goal. She went the full 90 minutes in all three SheBelieves Cup matches in what were serious tests for the 19-year-old that she passed with honors. Davidson played 90 minutes against Mexico on April 5 and when she came out of the came in the 60th minute on April 8, it was the first time she had left the field this year. Davidson is the third teenager since 2013 to earn a first cap for the WNT. Pugh (17 in 2016) and Horan (19 in 2013) are the most recent teenagers to debut for the WNT.
- Davidson was named to the roster for the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship and departed on Jan. 22 after the Denmark match to join her U-20 teammates in Trinidad & Tobago where she helped them qualify for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
- North Carolina Courage defender Merritt Mathias gets her second call-up after training with the USA during October 2016 friendlies against Switzerland. Matthias, who was an important player for FC Kansas City and the Seattle Reign during her first five years in the league before getting traded to the Courage, scored one of the best goals of the year in the NWSL season on a long-distance strike against Utah Royals FC on April 21.
- Portland Thorns outside back Margaret “Midge” Purce gets her second call-up. She was on the roster for the 2017 ToN, but did not play. The rookie has had an excellent first half of the season at right back.
- Against England on March 7, Alyssa Naeher earned her 14th career shutout. Now with 28 caps, Naeher earned 13 in 2017 and five so far in 2018. She is the seventh goalkeeper in U.S. history to earn 25 or more caps. She’s allowed 14 goals in her 27 caps, but six came over two games, a 3-0 loss to France at the 2017 SheBelieves Cup and vs. Brazil in the 4-3 win at the 2017 Tournament of Nations.
- Veteran Ashlyn Harris has 15 caps, earning her most recent off the bench against Mexico on April 8 in which she logged 23 scoreless minutes.
- Six-foot-1 goalkeeper Casey Murphy, the USA’s starter at the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, gets her second call-up after training with the U.S. team during the January training camp in 2017.
- The 22-year-old Murphy, who has been playing in France with Montpellier HSC, was recently named to the D1 Feminine Best XI and was named the top goalkeeper in the league. Since joining Montpellier in January, Murphy played the full 90 in 12 matches, only three of which were losses, two to Chelsea FC in the UEFA Champions League and one to eventual Champions League champs Olympique Lyon in the French Cup. She allowed just five goals in the other nine matches.
- Goalkeeper Abby Smith was with the USA for the June 2017 friendlies in Scandinavia and then was on the roster for the 2017 Tournament of Nations. She took over the starting job with the expansion Utah Royals FC from veteran goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart.
- U.S. Soccer Partners with You Can Play to Support LGBTQ Pride Month
- 5T2K About the 2018 Tournament of Nations, Presented by Thorne
- Sofia Huerta’s Journey from Green to Red, White and Blue
- Distinctive New Kits Launch U.S. Soccer Next Generation
- USA will host 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship in October
- Ellis Blazes Trail for Female Coaches
- Big 2018 Begins for WNT || USA vs. China PR in June: Utah & Ohio
- The Journey, Presented by Motrin: Brian || Pugh || Short || Mewis || Sauerbrunn ||Lavelle
IN FOCUS: CHINA PR
FIFA World Ranking: 17
AFC Ranking: 5
Women’s World Cup Appearances (6): 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015
Best Women’s World Cup finish: Runners-Up in 1999
Record vs. USA: 9-34-13
Head Coach: Jia Xiuquan
China Women’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Peng Shimeng (Jiangsu FC), 24-Yang Yan (Henan FC), 31-Zhou Li (Shandong FC)
DEFENDERS (8): 2-Liu Shanshan (Beijing FC), 4-Li Danyang (Dalian FC), 5-Wu Haiyan (Wuhan FC), 6-Lin Yuping (Wuhan FC), 8-Ma Jun (Jiangsu FC), 26-Wang Yan (Dalian FC), 27-Yao Wei (Wuhan FC), 29-Li Tingting (Shandong FC
MIDFIELDERS (6): 13-Lyu Yueyun (Wuhan FC), 14-Xu Yanlu (Jiangsu FC), 16-Yan Jinjin (Shanghai FC), 19-Tan Ruyin (Guangdong FC), 20-Zhang Rui (Changchun FC), 23-Ren Guixin (Changchun FC)
FORWARDS (9): 7-Wang Shuang (Wuhan FC), 9-Tang Jiali (Jiangsu FC), 10-Li Ying (Shandong FC), 11-Wang Shanshan (Dalian FC), 18-Han Peng (Changchun FC), 21-Xiao Yuyi (Shanghai FC), 25-Lou Jiahui (Henan FC), 28-Miao Siwen (Shanghai FC), 30-Yang Li (Jiangsu FC)
- China has brought 18 players from its 23-player squad that qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup at the 2018 AFC Women’s Cup held in Jordan in April.
- Zhou Li, Li Tingting, Yao Wei, Lou Jiahui, Yang Yan and Miao Siwen are the new faces in the squad.
- Of the players on this China roster, eight played against the USA in the last match between these teams on Dec. 16, 2015, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
- China qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup by winning its group at the 2018 AFC Asian Women’s Cup. In the semifinal, China lost to Japan, 3-1, but defeated Thailand, 3-1, in the Third-Place match and will join fellow Asian qualifiers Japan, South Korea, Australia and Thailand in France.
- Li Ying scored China’s lone goal against Japan in the semifinal via a 90th minute penalty kick. Against Thailand, China scored its three goals in an 11-minute span early in the second half, getting goals from Li Ying, Wang Shanshan and Song Duan.
- Li Ying scored seven goals in five games at World Cup qualifying to lead the tournament.
- China won all three of its group play matches to top Group A and clinch the automatic berth to France that came with that. China opened with a 4-0 win against Thailand on goals from Song Duan (2), Wang Shuan and Li Ying, all in the first half. China then beat the Philippines 3-0 on goals from Li Ying (2) and Ma Jun, and finished with an 8-1 thrashing of host Jordan on hat trick from Wang Shuang, an own goal, one score from Song Duan, two from Li Ying and one from Tang Jiali.
- Before the AFC Women’s Cup, China prepped by hosting the Four Nations Tournament (a competition that USA attended many times) and won it, defeating Vietnam (4-0), Thailand (2-1) and Colombia (2-0). China then had a poor showing at the Algarve Cup, losing to Portugal (2-1), Norway (2-0) and Australia (2-0), before defeating Russia (2-1) in the 11th place match.
- The Steel Roses, who were one of the world’s best teams in the 1990s, and lost in two world finals to the USA (at the 1996 Olympics and 1999 Women’s World Cup), went through a tough patch a few years back, missing both the 2011 Women’s World Cup and the 2012 Olympics, but has since had a resurgence despite having four head coaches from 2015 until now.
- China has gone through two head coaches since the last meeting with the USA. Frenchmen Bruno Bini, who had excellent success for many years with his home country from 2007-2013, leading the team to fourth places finishes at the 2011 Women’s World Cup and 2012 Olympics, was hired in September of 2015 to replace Hao Wei, who led China to a quarterfinal berth in the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada. Bini, who was in charge during the two meetings vs. the USA in December of 2015, was replaced by Icelandic head coach Sigurdur Ragnar Eyjolfsson in November of 2017. On May 23, Eyjolfsson, who qualified China for the upcoming Women’s World Cup, was replaced by 54-year-old Jia Xiuquan, who earned 55 caps for China.
- Jia played professionally in Serbia, Malaysia and Japan and has overseen various age-grade National Teams, as well as Henan Jianye and Shanghai Shenhua in the Chinese Super League, but he has never previously worked in the women’s game.
USA VS. CHINA:
- China has been the second-most frequent opponent in U.S. history. The U.S. has played China 56 times, behind only Canada (58). These two games will tie the Steel Roses with the Maple Leafs.
- Since 1991 – a span of 27 years – the U.S. and China have failed to play a match in a calendar year only seven times, but two of those were 2016 and 2017.
- China’s nine all-time wins against the USA are the most of any team besides Norway (19).
- The most recent meetings came in December of 2015 in what were the final two games on the post-World Cup Victory Tour. The USA won 2-0 on Dec. 13 before falling 1-0 on Dec. 16 at the New Orleans Superdome in what was Abby Wambach’s final game.
- That loss at the Superdome which finished up a memorable 2015 for the U.S. Women ended a 104-match home unbeaten streak dating back to 2004. It also snapped a 26-game unbeaten streak against China (23W-3D).
- The previous meeting before those December 2015 friendlies was the 1-0 victory in the quarterfinal of the 2015 Women’s World Cup. That was the fourth meeting between the USA and China in a World Cup. The USA prevailed on a header goal from Carli Lloyd in front of an electric crowd in Ottawa. With an average age of 23-years-old, China had one of the youngest teams at that World Cup.
- China has 12 players from its 2015 Women’s World Cup Team on this squad.
- The last World Cup match between the USA and China before the quarterfinal meeting in 2015 was at the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final in Pasadena, California, which culminated with the USA winning its second World Cup following the shootout and Brandi Chastain’s famous penalty kick to give the USA a 5-4 edge.
- The USA has only allowed China to score more than two goals once. The game was a 3-3 tie in Gavle, Sweden, during the 1995 Women’s World Cup.
- The USA has scored two or more goals in 30 of their 56 meetings with China.
On the field for the USA:
April 8, 2018 – BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas
USA 6 Pugh 3; Horan 25, Lloyd, 34, Morgan 44, 68; Rapinoe 64
MEX 2 Ocampo 17; Palacios 24
USA: 18-Jane Campbell ( 24-Ashlyn Harris, 67); 16-Emily Sonnett (14-Sofia Huerta, 75), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 17-Tierna Davidson (25-Hailie Mace, 59), 19-Crystal Dunn; 6-Morgan Brian (20-Allie Long, 29), 9-Lindsey Horan (26-Haley Hanson, 40), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 11-Mallory Pugh (27-Tegan McGrady, 58), 13-Alex Morgan, 15-Megan Rapinoe
Substitutes: 21-Savannah McCaskill
Head coach: Jill Ellis
MEX: 12-Cecilia Santiago; 2-Kenti Robles, 3-Bianca Sierra, 22-Greta Espinoza(5-Mónica Flores, 50), 23-Christina Murillo(13-Annia Mejía, 46); 6-Karla Nieto, 7-Cristina Ferral (4-Vanessa Flores, 79), 10-Stephany Mayor, 11-Mónica Ocampo (capt.) (17-María Sánchez, 60); 8-Ariana Calderón (9-Anisa Guajardo, 70), 18-Kiana Palacios ( 21-Renae Cuéllar, 74)
Substitutes: 1-Bianca Henninger, 14-Jocelyn Orejel, 16-Marcela Valera
Head coach: Roberto Medina
On the field for the USA vs. China PR:
Dec. 15, 2015 – Superdome; New Orleans, Louisiana
USA 0 Pugh 3; Horan 25, Lloyd, 34, Morgan 44, 68; Rapinoe 64
MEX 1 Wang Shuang 59
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 5-Kelley O’Hara (26-Jaelene Hinkle, 46), *4-Becky Sauerbrunn, *19-Julie Johnston (27-Emily Sonnett, 46), 22-Meghan Klingenberg (28-Stephanie McCaffrey, 78); 9-Heather O’Reilly (*25-Crystal Dunn, 60), *14-Morgan Brian, *10-Carli Lloyd, *17-Tobin Heath; 20-Abby Wambach (capt.) (*23-Christen Press, 72), *13-Alex Morgan (*31-Lindsey Horan, 44)
Subs Not Used: 2-Sydney Leroux, 3-Christie Rampone, 6-Whitney Engen, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 11-Ali Krieger, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 21-Alyssa Naeher, 29-Samantha Mewis, 30-Rose Lavelle, 32-Danielle Colaprico
Head coach: Jill Ellis
*Players on the current U.S. roster for the June Friendlies
CHN: 22-Zhao Lina; *2-Liu Shanshan, *5-Wu Haiyan, 6-Li Dongna, *9-Wang Shanshan, *10-Li Ying (*20-Zhang Rui, 85), *11-Wang Shuang, *19-Tan Ruyin, *23-Ren Guixin (35-Yang Man, 6), 24-Xue Jiao, 31-Ma Xiaoxu (17-Gu Yasha, 90+2)
Subs Not Used: 7-Xu Yanlu, 12-Bi Xiaolin, 14-Zhao Rong, 15-Lei Jiahui, 16-Lou Jiahui, 18-Han Peng, 21-Wang Lisi, 28-Jiang Meizi, 32-Miao Siwen
Head coach: Bruno Bini
*Players on the current China Roster for the June 2018 Friendlies