Christen Press

USWNT head coach Jill Ellis Names 25 Players to Training Camp Roster for June Friendlies against Japan

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 25 players to a training camp roster ahead of two June matches against Japan. The USA will come together in Denver on May 27 in advance of its June 2 meeting with Japan at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. (7 p.m. MT on FS1) and then will travel to Cleveland for the second leg of the two-game set on June 5 at FirstEnergy Stadium (12:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2). Ellis will name 18 players to suit up for each match.

“We are going with a slightly larger roster for this camp than the last few, so internally we can play in more 11v11 training scenarios,” said Ellis. “My staff and I have been watching the league play, and now we get to evaluate them back together. Both environments are important.”

The U.S. roster features three players who are natives to the Denver area in midfielder Lindsey Horan, forward Mallory Pugh and defender Jaelene Hinkle. The match in Colorado is sold out while nearly 19,000 tickets have been sold for the game in Cleveland as the USA and Japan meet for the first times since the historic championship game of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. U.S. captain Carli Lloyd, who scored the famous hat trick in that match, is not on the roster as she continues rehabilitation of a strained MCL suffered during NWSL play with the Houston Dash.

Hope Solo comes into the matches with 98 career shutouts and the possibility of hitting 100, making her the first goalkeeper in U.S. history to achieve that milestone. Solo has eight shutouts in her nine wins in 2016.

Tickets for the match in Cleveland are on sale through, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout metro Cleveland (including many Giant Eagle and Walmart locations), as well as the FirstEnergy Stadium ticket office (open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Groups of 20 or more can order at

The roster features the return of defender Christie Rampone. She has not played for the USA since September of last year during the Women’s World Cup Victory Tour, but has since recovered from knee surgery and has played in all five matches for Sky Blue FC so far this season.

USA squad to training camp roster for Japan friendlies


Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC),
Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride),
Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars),
Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)


Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers),
Jaelene Hinkle (Western New York Flash),
Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars),
Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC),
Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit),
Gina Lewandowski (FC Bayern Munich),
Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC),
Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC),
Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City),
Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)


Morgan Brian (Houston Dash),
Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC),
Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC),
Rose Lavelle (Wisconsin),
Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC),
Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash),
Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City)


Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit),
Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride),
Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars),
Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)

  1. Ken Suzuki 6 years ago

    Asako Takakura, the new coach of Japan, forms her own squad.

    #1 Erina Yamane (Chiba)
    #12 Ayaka Yamashita (NTV)
    #18 Sakiko Ikeda (Urawa)

    #2 Saori Ariyoshi (NTV)
    #3 Tomoko Muramatsu (NTV)
    #4 Saki Kumagai (Lyon)
    #5 Yuri Kawamura (Sendai)
    #6 Rumi Utsugi (Montpellier)
    #19 Mayu Sasaki (Sendai)

    #7 Emi Nakajima (Kobe)
    #8 Sonoko Chiba (Harima)
    #10 Mizuho Sakaguchi (NTV)
    #13 Rika Masuya (Kobe)
    #14 Yu Nakasato (NTV)
    #15 Hikari Takagi (Nojima)
    #17 Ami Sugita

    #9 Yuki Ogimi (Frankfurt)
    #11 Yuika Sugasawa (Chiba)
    #16 Mana Iwabuchi (Bayern)
    #20 Kumi Yokoyama (Nagano)

    Takakura’s press conference.

    Some notable points.

    Ariyoshi, Sakaguchi and Ogimi, all born in 1987, are the eldest in this squad. Takakura said Miyama is the only one still older she wanted to include, but Miyama declined saying she is not in a condition to play internationally. Takakura did not even talk to other senior players. In other words, Ohno, Kinga, Iwashimizu, Kawasumi, Sameshima, Ando and Fukumoto (all in their 30s) are “retired” in Takakura’s mind.

    What I find most interesting is this comment by Takakura.

    “I want each player works hard to make herself indispensable, someone without whom the team collapses. However, I will do my own hard work to build a team which does not rely on any individual player.”

    I doubt Norio Sasaki could ever make such a provocative comment. But Takakura is right. When we speak of competition within a team we tend to believe it means competition among players. But a healthy competition between player and manager is also important.

    Two reporters asked why #10 is reassigned from Ogimi to Sakaguchi. We saw #10 used by Sawa for many years was given to Ogimi by Norio Sasaki during the (disastrous) Olympics qualifiers. In other words Sasaki named Ogimi as the successor of Sawa. Then Takakura took over Sasaki and say Sakaguchi is the Sawa’s successor. I believe the reporters’ real intended question was “Why do you overturn the Sasaki’s decision?” asked on behalf of the ex-coach who is undoubtedly displeased. Takakura answered Sawa’s successor is to assume the same role Sawa did and that’s Sakaguchi. Ogimi’s job is to score goal and therefore she should wear #9. Now, in my very personal view, it is most important that Takakura makes it clear she does not agree with Sasaki. Sasaki did a LOT of stupid things.

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