By CAITLIN MURRAY
The U.S. Women’s National Team is officially in a World Cup year and coach Jill Ellis has named her first roster of 2015.
Ellis called in a group of 29 players for a three-week training camp starting Jan. 5 in Carson, California, U.S. Soccer announced Friday, and she saw fit to bring back all 24 players who featured at last month’s International Tournament of Brazil, including stars Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux and Hope Solo.
The five additions include some bubble players and one veteran return — 37-year-old Shannon Boxx is back after having been called in for training in September, but the midfielder hasn’t featured for the USWNT since March 2013. Boxx has just less than 200 USWNT caps.
Defender Rachel Van Hollebeke and midfielder Allie Long of the Portland Thorns make their return to the USWNT fold, along with Kristie Mewis of the Boston Breakers. Van Hollebeke has more than 100 caps for the USWNT, but has sat on the bubble through injury and coaching shifts in the last year.
Also returning is goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, who had done well with FC Kansas City last year but seemed to fall out of the USWNT picture, having last been capped in September 2013 under coach Tom Sermanni. Barnhart has more than 50 senior team caps.
Ellis will have to pare down her roster to 23 players for the Women’s World Cup in June. The USWNT will start their 2015 match schedule facing England on Feb. 13 in Milton Keynes.
Here is the full roster below:
GOALKEEPERS (4): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (10): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Western NY 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), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), 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 (Western NY Flash)
What do you think of this roster? Any choices surprise you? Any players you would’ve rather been called up?
Share your thoughts below.
I may be wrong, but boxx took time off to have a baby and the team’s policy (maybe it’s in the cba) is that players will get callups after having a kid (coaches can’t discriminate against players who got pregnant). I think that’s reasonable and fair – you’d hate to think players like rampone or a-rod wouldn’t have gotten a chance to reclaim a spot after having kids. However, boxx had her baby a while ago and has been called up a couple times since. This is something no one talks about but clearly is a factor. So are the duties to give boxx a chance to reclaim her spot over, or is Ellis seriously interested? There’s no question we need a DM and boxx is/was a great one, but at her age you have to wonder if it’s worth trying to squeeze a world Cup out of her instead of just training Morgan Brian or Julie Johnston. Abby’s spot with the team has become controversial because of her age; maybe I’m alone, but I think rampone is noticeably getting behind. So yes, the boxx call is interesting
I am in total agreement about Wambach….. it’s time to move on. I hope Ellis knows that her future is on trial here. If this group were outclassed in Brazil…. have they somehow gotten magically better? A fail at the WC, and I believe it’s coming, will be the end of Ellis and Wambach too
Sure hoping that Abby is only being considered as an emergency goal getting in the late stages of a match were losing. She is nothing but a broken spoke in the WNT wheel. Gotta keep Press up top in definite lieu of aging Abby.
Betting that Boxx is only in camp to help provide extra training foes for the serious competitors to make the squad.
Yeah, bringing in Boxx is a head scratcher. Maybe she’ll compete for a CB spot, who knows, she is well past it for Dmid…which is a glaring void right now.
yup, I’m sure Ellis “made” the decision to call in Boxx …
Probably Wambach did. That’s what happens when you let the inmates run the asylum. Sad. I feel like if they had just kept Sermanni and not succumbed to Wambach’s coup, they’d be in great shape right now. Instead thy’re floundering.
Ugh the USWNT just gets older and older. It’s bad enough that they’re still relying on Solo and especially Wambach (despite the fact that the team is far better when she’s not playing), but now they’re bringing Boxx back in?? Ridiculous. Give the kids a chance!
+1…. Boxx? this is ridiculous…
Solo’s case will be thrown out due to lack of appearances by the accusers.
Hearing on Jan 6 and trial begins on Jan 20
Doesn’t Hope Solo still have a criminal trial date soon? I guess Coach Ellis doesn’t think the trial will be a distraction to the team and important preparations this year?