May 22, 2013
Sermanni selects USWNT roster for Canada trip
CHICAGO - U.S. Women's National Team head coach Tom Sermanni has named a 21-player roster that will travel to Canada in preparation for the USA's friendly match against the Maple Leafs on June 2 at Toronto's BMO Field. The match will kick off at 4:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPNews.
Sermanni named 15 players currently competing for clubs in the National Women's Soccer League, four players who are playing in Europe and two rising college seniors. Sermanni will name 18 players from the training camp roster to suit up against Canada at BMO Field, which is sold out for the first meeting between these two countries since the epic semifinal match at the 2012 Olympics.
The match, which marks the first friendly for the U.S. Women during the inaugural season of the NWSL, is part of U.S. Soccer's Centennial Celebration weekend, which also includes the U.S. Men's National Team facing Germany at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., on June 2 at 2:30 p.m. ET, live on ESPN2, WatchESPN and UniMas.
"It's always an important match when you play a neighbor, and with the strong contingent of Canadian players in the new league and how close the competition has become between the two countries over the past few years, there's an intensity about this game far greater than a typical international friendly," said Sermanni. "I know our players are really looking forward to the match and to the crowd, but also to getting back together as a national team and continuing to evolve in a positive direction."
Due to the one-off match, which takes place on an official FIFA match date, as well the roster limitations, Sermanni chose not to call up several European-based players who were with the USA at the Algarve Cup in Portugal, including midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who has the UEFA Women's Champions League Final coming up as well as the championship match of the French Cup with Olympique Lyon.
"Megan has two big matches coming up and we thought it best for all involved for her to stay in France to properly recover from the first and prepare for the second without that international travel mixed in between," said Sermanni. "We wish Megan the best in her pursuit of what would be a tremendous achievement in winning the treble with Lyon, and we'll see her on the East Coast for the South Korea matches in mid-June."
The two college players named to the roster are defenders Crystal Dunn and Julie Johnston, both critical components of the team that won the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup in Japan last year. Both have performed well since debuting for the USA at the beginning of 2013. The only uncapped player on the roster is midfielder Amber Brooks, a former U-17, U-20 and U-23 U.S. international. A veteran of two FIFA youth World Cups for the USA, she trained with the team in Germany in April, but this the first time she has been named to an official WNT roster.
U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, who underwent wrist surgery in early March, will join the U.S. team in Canada for some training and evaluation of her wrist but will not be on the game roster. The U.S. coaching and medical staff is hoping for her to make a return to full fitness by mid-June.
"Hope's rehabilitation has been progressing well, but we want to make sure she doesn't jump back into competition prematurely," said Sermanni. "The week in Canada seemed like the perfect time to give our medical staff and our goalkeeper coach, Paul Rogers, the chance to gauge her progress. Then we can take the appropriate steps to make a plan for her return to action."
The match also marks the return to the U.S. roster of midfielder Carli Lloyd and goalkeeper Jill Loyden, both of whom have recovered from broken bones (shoulder and hand, respectively) suffered last March at the Algarve Cup in Portugal. Lloyd debuted for the Western New York Flash on May 11 while Loyden has yet to see league action for Sky Blue FC.
U.S. Women's National Team Roster -
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC)
DEFENDERS (8): Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns FC), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina), Whitney Engen (Liverpool), Julie Johnston (Santa Clara), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Amber Brooks (Bayern Munich), Lauren Cheney (FC Kansas City), Tobin Heath (Paris Saint-Germain), Carli Lloyd (Western NY Flash), Kristie Mewis (FC Kansas City), Heather O'Reilly (Boston Breakers)
FORWARDS (4): Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Abby Wambach (Western NY Flash)