U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Tom Sermanni has named 18 players to the roster that will face Mexico on Sept. 3 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The match will be the first for the USA following the conclusion of the inaugural National Women’s Soccer League season.
The match at the home of Major League Soccer’s D.C. United will kick off at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1. Fans will be able to follow along on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt. It will also mark the first international soccer match on the new FOX Sports 1, America’s new sports network, which launched on Aug. 17 in approximately 90 million homes.
“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.”
FOX Sports 1, which will broadcast the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, will also air the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament that will take place at the end of 2014 at a site and dates that have yet to be determined.
Tickets are on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia area (including many Walmart locations). Tickets will not be sold at RFK Stadium except on the day of the event and at the WNT’s open training session at the stadium the day before the game. Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.
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.
USWNT Roster to face Mexico:
Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City),
Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
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)
Yael Averbuch (Göteborg),
Morgan Brian (Virginia),
Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City),
Carli Lloyd (Western New York Flash),
Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers),
Vanessa DiBernardo – Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC),
Erika Tymrak (FC Kansas City)
Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers),
Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC),
Abby Wambach (Western New York Flash)
UPDATE (2 Sept): Vanessa DiBernardo replaces injured Megan Rapinoe