August 22, 2013
But NWSL brings some newcomers to USWNT roster
CHICAGO - The 18 player roster for the U.S. Women's National Team's upcoming game on September 3 against Mexico at R.F.K Stadium in Washington D.C., includes many familiar faces, but head coach Tom Sermanni has also added a couple of first timers to the list, based on performances in the National Women's Soccer League.
|The Boston Breakers Heather O'Reilly is one of the many veterans named to the U.S. Women's National Team roster.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
"I've thoroughly enjoyed the NWSL matches this summer and I know all the players will be sharp for the game against Mexico," said Sermanni. "We have several key players out with injuries, but I'm pleased we were able to call in a few new players to give them a brief look at this event. Looking forward, all the players need and deserve a break, so after this match we'll give them the rest of September off and get ready for our activity in mid-October."
As the USA will have just one practice session before the match - that being a training that is open to the public on Sept. 2 at 11 a.m. at RFK Stadium - Sermanni named just 18 players, all of whom will suit up for the game.
Due to the limited training time, Sermanni chose not to call up any of the USA's European-based players with the exception of Yael Averbuch, who will already be on the East Coast to attend a wedding.
The roster features 15 players from the National Women's Soccer League; two college players in Crystal Dunn from North Carolina (six caps) and Morgan Brian from Virginia (one cap); and Averbuch, who plays for Göteborg FC in Sweden.
While the roster features the USA's usual veteran contingent, Sermanni did give first call-ups to FC Kansas City defender Leigh Ann Robinson and midfielder Erika Tymrak, who won the 2013 NWSL Rookie of the Year Award after an excellent season in which she scored six goals with four assists while appearing in 21 of her club's 22 matches.
Lauren Holiday (formerly Lauren Cheney), who won the Golden Boot as the top goal scorer in the NWSL with 12 goals and also finished tops in the league in assists (9), will play her first WNT match under her new married name.
Alex Morgan, who was injured on Aug. 7 and whose status for Portland Thorns FC's playoff run is still to be determined, was named for the match but will not play if she is not deemed healthy.
"We will evaluate Alex's recovery from her injury when she comes into camp," said Sermanni. "At this point, the most important thing is that she is completely fit and healthy. If our medical staff says she's ready to play, then she'll play."
The game will feature six of the nine top scorers during the NWSL regular season in Holiday (12 goals), Sydney Leroux (11), Abby Wambach (11), Carli Lloyd (8) and Morgan (8). In addition, Mexico will likely feature Sky Blue FC forward Monica Ocampo, who finished tied for fourth in regular season scoring with eight goals. Mexico has 12 players who competed in the NWSL this season.
Eleven of the players called up are on teams participating in the semifinals of the NWSL playoffs this coming Saturday, Aug. 24, on Fox Sports 2. FC Kansas City faces Portland Thorns FC at 2 p.m. ET at Verizon Wireless Field in Overland Park, Kan., while the Western New York Flash host Sky Blue FC at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester, N.Y. at 8 p.m. ET.
Nicole Barnhart of FC Kansas City was named NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year after leading the league with 10 shutouts while ranking third in goals against average (0.95) and fifth in saves (67). FC Kansas City teammate Becky Sauerbrunn was recognized earlier Thursday as the NWSL Defender of the Year.
The 8 p.m. ET match will be broadcast the first international soccer match on the new FOX Sports 1.
U.S. Women's National Team Roster -
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns FC), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina), Kristie Mewis (FC Kansas City), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Leigh Ann Robinson (FC Kansas City), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Yael Averbuch (Göteborg), Morgan Brian (Virginia), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Western New York Flash), Heather O'Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC), Erika Tymrak (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (3): Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Abby Wambach (Western New York Flash)