The U.S. WNT will face Mexico on Sept. 13 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT and Sept. 18 at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, NY, but first, 28 players have been called up for training camp.
Head coach Jill Ellis released the fateful list Aug. 29 and it will be the first extensive training between coach and team. And, with the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup around the corner, this stands as the final camp and set of friendlies before the U.S. ladies get down to serious business.
“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,” Ellis said in a press release.
Training begins in Salt Lake City on Sept. 5, with eight players starting on Sept. 8 after competing in the 2014 NWSL Championship on Aug. 31. Twenty-seven of the 28 players called up took part in this NWSL season, including Goalkeeper of the Year Alyssa Naeher, Defender of the Year Becky Sauerbrunn and Rookie of the Year Julie Johnston.
Naeher who made the cut – has yet to nail her first U.S. WNT cap. Midfielder Morgan Brian will be the only non-professional player in camp, joining after weekend games with University of Virginia.
Hope Solo is on a hunt to shatter records- one in particular, which she and Briana Scurry share. They currently have 71 career shutouts each under their belt, and Solo has been inching closer to surpassing it.
There is much to be observed and determined, because after this final stage in training, 20 players will earn a spot on the roster for the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship held in Kansas City, KS, Bridgeview, IL, Washington D.C. and Chester, PA Oct. 15-26.
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)