34 NWSL Players to Compete in 2017 Tournament of Nations
Megan Rapinoe and Samantha Kerr highlight a group of 34 players from the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) set to compete for their respective national teams in the 2017 Tournament of Nations.
The top four goal scorers in the NWSL will be going head-to-head as Seattle Reign FC forward and U.S. international Megan Rapinoe (12 goals, assist), Sky Blue FC and Australia forward Samantha Kerr (11 goals, 3 assists), Orlando Pride and Brazil midfielder Marta (8 goals, 4 assists) as well as Chicago Red Stars forward and U.S. international Christen Press (8 goals, 3 assists) prepare to showcase their offensive exploits.
In all, NWSL players will make up five players on the Australia roster, six on Brazil, one on Japan and 22 for the United States.
The inaugural edition of the four-team tournament will have match days on July 27 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle and July 30 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego before concluding Aug. 3 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The competition will feature four of the top 10 teams listed in the most recent FIFA Women’s Rankings – with the U.S. Women’s National Team (No. 1) set to host Japan (No. 6), Australia (No. 7) and Brazil (No. 8).
The plan is for U.S. Soccer to host the tournament every summer that does not have the FIFA Women’s World Cup or Olympics. The four teams ready to feature in the inaugural tournament are also slated to compete in the 2018 edition.
Sky Blue FC forward Samantha Kerr has delivered an explosive performance in the NWSL this season with 11 goals and three assists. She ranks second in goals behind U.S. international Megan Rapinoe and has scored in each of her last five matches.
Portland Thorns forward Hayley Raso has two goals and two assists so far this season. She has been a clutch presence for her club team – scoring the game-winning goal July 15 against the North Carolina Courage and assisting on the game-tying goal May 18 versus the Boston Breakers.
Orlando Pride defender Alanna Kennedy has three goals and an assist in 15 games this year. She has not missed a minute of the 2017 season.
Orlando Pride defender Steph Catley has also played every minute of the season and was voted to the Best XI in 2014.
Houston Dash goalkeeper Lydia Williams has made eight appearances this year, registering shutouts in each of her first two starts in 2017.
Australia Women’s National Team roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): McKenzie Arnold (Brisbane Roar, Australia), Lydia Williams (Houston Dash)
DEFENDERS (8): Laura Alleway (Unattached), Ellie Carpenter (Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia), Steph Catley (Orlando Pride), Caitlin Cooper (Illawarra Stingrays, Australia), Alanna Kennedy (Orlando Pride), Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar FC, Australia), Hayley Raso (Portland Thorns), Gema Simon (Avaldsnes, Norway)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Tameka Butt (Klepp I-L, Norway), Alex Chidiac (Adelaide City Women’s, Australia), Katrina Gorry (Vegalta Sendai, Japan), Elise Kellond-Knight (FC Turbine Potsdam, Germany), Chloe Logarzo (Avaldsnes, Norway), Emily van Egmond (VfL Wolfsburg, Germany)
FORWARDS (5): Lisa De Vanna (South Melbourne Women’s, Australia), Caitlin Foord (Vegalta Sendai, Japan), Emily Gielnik (Avaldsnes, Norway), Princess Ibini (Football NSW NTC, Australia), Sam Kerr (Sky Blue FC)
Orlando Pride midfielder Marta has enjoyed a dominant first season in the NWSL – with eight goals and four assists in 14 appearances in 2017. She is tied for third in the league in goals, tied for second in assists and is third in points with 12.
Houston Dash midfielder Andressinha has two goals and three assists in 12 appearances this year and was named the NWSL Player of the Week for Week 13 of the 2017 season. She became the third youngest player in league history to be honored with the award.
Houston Dash defender Bruna Benites has played 529 minutes in eight appearances (5 starts) for her club.
Orlando Pride defender Monica has made 11 appearances (8 starts) for her NWSL team, logging 564 minutes in the process.
Orlando Pride defender Camila has three goals and four assists this year. She has played in all 15 games so far this season – making 14 starts and logging 1,242 minutes – and registered a goal or an assist in five consecutive matches between May 14 and June 17.
North Carolina Courage midfielder Debinha has three goals and an assist in 15 appearances (14 starts) this season. She also scored the first home goal in club history for the Courage as she netted the lone tally in a 1-0 victory over the Portland Thorns on April 22.
Brazil Women’s National Team roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Bárbara (SE Kindermann, Brazil), Dani Neuhaus (Santos, Brazil)
DEFENDERS (7): Bruna Benites (Houston Dash), Jucinara (Corinthians/Audax, Brazil), Leticia (SC Sand, Germany), Maurine (Santos, Brazil), Monica (Orlando Pride), Andreia Rosa (Avaldsnes IL, Norway), Tamires (Fortuna Hjørring, Denmark)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Andressinha (Houston Dash), Camila (Orlando Pride), Debinha (North Carolina Courage), Djenifer (Iranduba, Brazil), Fran (Avaldsnes IL, Norway), Maria (Santos, Brazil), Gabi Nunes (Corinthians/Audax, Brazil),
FORWARDS (4): Chu (São José EC), Ludmila (São José EC), Marta (Orlando Pride), Bia Zaneratto (Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels, South Korea)
Seattle Reign midfielder Rumi Utsugi has featured in all but two matches for her club team this season. She has made 12 appearances (10 starts) with no goals or assists in 960 minutes thus far in 2017.
Japan Women’s National Team roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Sakiko Ikeda (Urawa Red Diamonds, Japan), Ayaka Saitoh (Vegalta Sendai, Japan), Ayaka Yamashita (Nippon TV Beleza, Japan)
DEFENDERS (7): Nana Ichise (Vegalta Sendai, Japan), Hikaru Kitagawa (Urawa Red Diamonds, Japan), Kaede Nakamura (Albirex Niigata, Japan), Ayumi Oya (Ehime FC, Japan), Riho Sakamoto (AC Nagano Parceiro, Japan), Aya Sameshima (INAC Kobe Leonessa, Japan), Hikari Takagi (Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara, Japan)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Madoka Haji (Iga FC Kunoichi, Japan), Yui Hasegawa (Nippon TV Beleza), Emi Nakajima (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Yu Nakasato (Nippon TV Beleza), Hikaru Naomoto (Urawa Red Diamonds, Japan), Mizuho Sakaguchi (Nippon TV Beleza), Rin Sumida (Nippon TV Beleza), Rumi Utsugi (Seattle Reign)
FORWARDS (5): Yuka Momiki (Nippon TV Beleza), Yuika Sugasawa (Urawa Red Diamonds, Japan), Mina Tanaka (Nippon TV Beleza), Shiho Tomari (AC Nagano Parceiro), Kumi Yokoyama (FFC Frankfurt, Germany)
NWSL players make up 22 of the 23 members of the U.S. squad for the tournament – with former Washington Spirit forward and current Chelsea FC player Crystal Dunn (the 2015 NWSL MVP) the only player on the roster not currently in the league.
Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe currently leads the league with 12 goals and has scored two or more goals in a match four times this season – including a hat trick in a 5-4 victory over Sky Blue FC on July 22.
Chicago Red Stars forward Christen Press has tallied eight goals this year and already recorded a career-high three assists. Press and Rapinoe rank second and third all-time respectively in minutes per goal, with Press scoring every 144 minutes and Rapinoe recording a goal every 146 minutes. They trail only FC Kansas City forward Amy Rodriguez (goal every 141 minutes), who suffered a season-ending injury in the first game of the year.
Houston Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell, Chicago Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and Boston Breakers goalkeeper Abby Smith have combined for 10 shutouts in the league this season – with Naeher accounting for five, Campbell notching three and Smith recording two.
All 10 NWSL clubs are represented on the U.S. roster, with the Chicago Red Stars and North Carolina Courage leading the way with four players each, followed by the Houston Dash with three. The Boston Breakers, FC Kansas City, Orlando Pride and Portland Thorns FC have two players each on the squad, while the Seattle Reign FC, Sky Blue FC and Washington Spirit have one representative.
Portland Thorns FC midfielder Allie Long scored the 30th goal of her NWSL career July 22 in a 2-1 victory against the Washington Spirit as she joined Press as two of the five players to reach that milestone in the league’s history.
Boston Breakers midfielder Margaret Purce – along with Campbell – are the only two rookies from the NWSL to feature on the U.S. roster. Purce has one goal in 655 minutes (14 appearances, 5 starts), while Campbell has made seven starts in goal for the Dash.
Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan won the 2017 UEFA Women’s Champions League with Olympique Lyon before returning to the NWSL this year. Morgan and the French club defeated Houston Dash midfielder Carli Lloyd and Manchester City in the semifinals of the competition. Orlando Pride defender Ali Krieger previously won the UEFA Champs League with FFC Frankfurt in 2008.
United States Women’s National Team roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Abby Smith (Boston Breakers)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Taylor Smith (North Carolina Courage)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage), Margaret Purce (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign)
FORWARDS (7): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC, England), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns), Sydney Leroux (FC Kansas City), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage)
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