Photo by USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
With a pair of friendlies against Mexico on the horizon, U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has called in an experienced group for the head coach’s first extended training camp.
Ellis has called in a group of 28 players for a training camp set to take place ahead of the team’s scheduled friendlies with Mexico Sept. 13 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, and on Sept. 18 at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y.
Regulars Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, Hope Solo and Sydney Leroux highlight the roster that also includes the returns of midfielder Shannon Boxx and goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, who have yet to feature in 2014. Ellis will name an 18-player rosters ahead of each friendly. National Women’s Soccer League standouts, midfielder Allie Long and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, also made the list.
“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 September camp represents Ellis’ first extended training period with the team since taking over in May. The pair of friendlies will also serve as the team’s final two matches prior to the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, where the USWNT will attempt to qualify for the 2015 World Cup.
Take a closer look at the roster after the jump:
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)
What do you think of Ellis’ squad? Is it the right mix of experience and youth as the USWNT looks to qualify for the World Cup? Who will you be watching when the U.S. takes on Mexico?
Share your thoughts below.