Photo by Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports
By DAN KARELL
The U.S. Women’s National Team will be taking a loaded squad to Brazil in their first preparation matches ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Canada.
USWNT coach Jill Ellis has called in the entire 20-player squad that qualified for the Women’s World Cup at the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, and added another four players to make a 24-player squad for the International Tournament of Brasilia, set to take place from Dec. 10-21 in Brazil’s capital.
The U.S. will take on China on Dec. 10, Brazil on Dec. 14, and Argentina on Dec. 17 in group play, with a final match on Dec. 21 to determine first place or third place. All games will be taking place at the Estadio Mane Garrincha in Brasilia.
“It’s a chance to travel to a new environment and play international matches in unfamiliar territory, which is always valuable when getting ready for a World Cup,” Ellis said in a statement. “It’s pretty exciting to get to play in a World Cup stadium, and many of our players have never played or even been to Brazil before. It’s a unique opportunity to go to a fantastic soccer country, have a great cultural experience and get four competitive games to end the year on a high note.”
Stars Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux, and Megan Rapinoe headline the squad, but notably it features the recall of Chicago Red Stars defender Lori Chalupny, who has missed five years with the national team due to concussion problems. Other recalls include defender Crystal Dunn, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, and midfielder Samantha Mewis.
Here’s a closer look at the USWNT squad:
USWNT SQUAD FOR INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT OF BRASILIA
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (WNY Flash), 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)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), 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 this squad? Like the USWNT’s chances? How do you see the USWNT faring? Glad to see Chalupny back with the USWNT?
Share your thoughts below.