Fresh off of leading the U.S. WNT to its 10th Algarve Cup championship, coach Jill Ellis has named a 25 player roster to face New Zealand April 4, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Ellis has kept faith with the same 25 players that triumphed last week in Portugal, including star striker Abby Wambach. The former Western New York Flash forward is listed as unattached on the roster released by U.S. Soccer, just days after announcing that she would forgo the NWSL season to concentrate on the upcoming Women’s World Cup.
The Algarve Cup has long been seen as a pleasant way for the U.S. WNT to start the calendar year, a low key bit of fun in the sun, on the way to collecting another honor to jam into the team’s bulging trophy case.
But 2014 changed all of that, as the Americans finished a historically bad seventh in the Algarve Cup, a result that led to the firing of Ellis’ predecessor, Tom Sermanni.
By selecting the same roster that won the Algarve Cup for this match against New Zealand, Ellis would appear to have settled on her top 25, with the 2015 Women’s World Cup coming up this summer in Canada.
Ellis will likely use the Send Off Series games against New Zealand, Ireland, Mexico, and South Korea to finalize her starting lineup and top substitutes for Canada 2015, running from June 6 through July 5.
Send Off Series
April 4, 2015 2:30 PM CT
WNT vs New Zealand Busch Stadium; St. Louis, Mo.
FOX Sports 1
May 10, 2015 11:30 AM PT
WNT vs Ireland Avaya Stadium; San Jose, Calif.
FOX Sports 1
May 17, 2015 6 PM PT
WNT vs Mexico StubHub Center; Carson, Calif.
FOX Sports 1, Univision Deportes
May 30, 2015 4:30 PM ET
WNT vs Korea Republic Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J. ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision Deportes
June 8, 2015 7:30 PM ET
WNT vs Australia Winnipeg Stadium; Winnipeg, Canada FOX
June 12, 2015 8 PM ET
WNT vs Sweden Winnipeg Stadium; Winnipeg, Canada FOX
June 16, 2015 8 PM ET
WNT vs Nigeria BC Place; Vancouver, Canada
GOALKEEPERS (3): 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 (7): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), 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 (Unattached)