Jill Ellis Names 22-Player USWNT Roster for September Matches Against New Zealand
U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 22 players to the roster for two international friendly matches against New Zealand, taking place Sept. 15 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. (8 pm MT on ESPN2) and on Sept. 19 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati (7:30 ET on FS1). Ellis will name 18 players to suit up for each of the two matches.
“We are looking forward to getting to Denver and having a couple of days together prepping for our first New Zealand match,” Ellis said. “With only six matches left in 2017, we want to take advantage of the time we have together and finish the year with solid performances. New Zealand, South Korea, and Canada all present different challenges, and these games will round out one of the most competitive schedules the WNT program has played in a calendar year.”
The matches will bring several players back to their hometowns as midfielders Mallory Pugh (Highlands Ranch) and Lindsey Horan (Golden) return to the Denver area. In Horan’s last match at DSGP, she scored what looked to be the winning goal to put the USA up 3-2 late in the match against Japan on June 2, 2016, but Japan equalized in stoppage time.
Midfielder Rose Lavelle returns to the roster after recovering from a hamstring injury suffered against Norway on June 11 that kept her out of the Tournament Nations and off the field for the Boston Breakers for a good portion of the NWSL season. Lavelle grew up in Cincinnati and if she makes the game day roster, will be playing in front of her hometown crowd for the first time as a professional.
Veteran midfielder Tobin Heath returns to the roster after recovering from a back injury that kept her out of the U.S. lineup since March. Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris also returns after recovering from a quad injury that kept her off the field for several months. Midfielder Morgan Brian returns after missing the last three WNT events due to injuries. The recent Chicago Red Stars acquisition has not played for the USA since March. Midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who had been out for several weeks after minor knee surgery following the Tournament of Nations where she scored twice, has recovered sufficiently to be available for selection for the New Zealand games.
Defender Kelley O’Hara comes into the matches with 99 caps. With her next appearance, she will become the 36th female player in U.S. history to play 100 or more times for her country. O’Hara debuted for the USA in 2010 and switched to playing primarily defender in 2012. Her goal against Germany in the semifinal of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup – her first at the senior level – will go down as one of the most memorable moments in U.S. history.
USA squad to play New Zealand
Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars;18/0),
Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 1/0),
Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 13/0)
Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 7/0),
Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 0/0),
Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 51/9),
Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC; 99/2),
Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City; 129/0),
Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 13/0),
Taylor Smith (NC Courage; 3/0)
Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 67/6),
Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 131/18),
Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 37/3),
Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers; 6/2),
Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC; 30/5),
Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 28/5),
Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 123/33)
Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC; 54/22),
Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 128/74),
Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars; 90/43),
Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 26/5),
Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 10/2)
Denver: Tickets are on sale through ussoccer.com and by phone at 1-866-461-6556 (Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. MT; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT). Tickets are also on sale at box office locations. The Dick’s Sporting Goods Park box office is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the Pepsi Center box office is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cincinnati: Tickets are on sale through ussoccer.com and by phone at 1-800-745-3000. [Note: Tickets are not sold at Nippert Stadium except on the day of the event.]
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