U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Tom Sermanni has named a roster of 24 players for a three-game, three-week road trip as the USA opens its 2014 schedule.
The USA will play its first match of year on Jan. 31 against Canada at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas (8 p.m. CT on FOX Sports 1). The team then travels to Florida to face Russia on Feb. 8 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton (3:30 p.m. ET on ussoccer.com web stream), followed by a quick trip to Atlanta to play Russia again on Feb. 12 at the Georgia Dome (7:30 p.m. ET on ussoccer.com web stream).
Sermanni will name 18 players to suit up for each of the matches.
“The players and staff are looking forward to playing matches,” said Sermanni. “We had productive training camps in December and January, but having three games in less than two weeks is a great opportunity for these players to continue to show their growth as individuals and as a team. This is the start of a year in which competition for places becomes much more critical, as does team performance and results.”
All the players named to this roster participated in the USA’s early January camp at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif. With the exceptions of forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Tobin Heath, both of whom are still recovering from injuries, the USA will bring its full complement of regulars into these first matches of the year.
The roster includes the first and third overall picks in the 2014 NWSL College Draft, with defender Crystal Dunn going No. 1 to the Washington Freedom and midfielder Julie Johnston at No. 3 to the Chicago Red Stars.
Sermanni also gave a first roster spot to rising UCLA senior Samantha Mewis, who helped the Bruins to the NCAA title last fall. The 6-foot-tall Samantha is the younger sister of current U.S. WNT defender Kristie Mewis.
The Mewis sisters played together on both the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Team and the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Team, but this is first time they are on a full U.S. Women’s National Team roster together. The younger Mewis trained with the USA for a few days at the end of the January camp in Los Angeles.
The series of matches also marks the first that will see defender Rachel Buehler switch to her married name on the back of her jersey. Buehler, who was married in November of 2012, will now go by Rachel Van Hollebeke (pronounced “van HALL-ah-beck”).
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster:
Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City),
Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC),
Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC),
Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit),
Whitney Engen (Tyresö),
Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit),
Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers),
Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC),
Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC),
Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City),
Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
Morgan Brian (Virginia),
Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City),
Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars),
Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash),
Samantha Mewis (UCLA),
Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers),
Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC),
Erika Tymrak (FC Kansas City)
Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC),
Christen Press (Tyresö),
Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City),
Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)
View the Russia Women’s National Team roster for this upcoming fixture.
What are your views? Leave your comments below.