U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 23 players to the training camp for the final two matches of 2017 as the USA faces Canada on Nov. 9 at BC Place in Vancouver, Canada (7 p.m. PT on ESPN2, Univision app and UDN delayed at 1 a.m. ET) and on Nov. 12 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (6 p.m. PT on FS1). Ellis will name 18 players to suit up for each of the two matches.
Canada is ranked fifth in the world after a bronze medal finish at the 2016 Olympics, but the teams haven’t played since the title game of the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, which the USA won 2-0 to take the regional title after both teams had already qualified for Brazil by winning semifinal matches.
“To play Canada in Vancouver is another excellent challenge for our team. It’s a great rivalry with some classic history and these two matches in the home-and-home series will cap an important year in our growth towards 2019. We’ve targeted and evaluated a lot of players this year and moving forward, I’m genuinely excited to keep building with the group we have now.”
FAMILIAR FACES, NEW FACES
Of the 23 players Ellis named to this roster, 18 helped the USA to two wins against Korea Republic in October. Veteran Tobin Heath returns from an ankle knock suffered in the NWSL title game, while defender Taylor Smith has recovered from a shoulder injury suffered in that same game. Adrianna Franch, the 2017 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year, returns to the WNT roster after an excellent club season in which she helped the Portland Thorns win the league title. She most recently participated in a WNT training camp in January of this year.
Ellis has recalled Portland Thorns defender Emily Sonnett, who is playing in Australia’s W-League during the NWSL off-season with Sydney FC. Sonnett has 12 caps for the USA.
Ellis has given a first call-up to Chioma Ubogagu of Orlando Pride who will train as an outside back after playing that position at times with her club this season. Ubogagu was a key member of the USA’s 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup championship team along with current WNT players Samantha Mewis, Julie Ertz, Crystal Dunn and Morgan Brian.
BACK IN THE BAY AREA
The match in San Jose will mark a homecoming of sorts for numerous WNT players with ties to the Bay Area. Defender Kelley O’Hara, forward Christen Press, goalkeeper Jane Campbell and Ubogagu all attended Stanford, while Andi Sullivan currently plays for the Cardinal. Defender Abby Dahlkemper is from Menlo Park (about 18 miles from Avaya Stadium), forward Alex Morgan attended UC Berkeley across the Bay and, defenders Julie Ertz and Sofia Huerta attended Santa Clara University, which is adjacent to Avaya Stadium. Forward Lynn Williams is from Fresno, Calif., about 150 miles southeast of Avaya Stadium.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position (Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (4): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 21/0), Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 2/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 14/0)
DEFENDERS (8): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 11/0), Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars; 3/0), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC; 102/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City; 133/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 17/0), Taylor Smith (NC Courage; 5/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 12/0), Chioma Ubogagu (Orlando Pride; 0/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 55/13), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 41/4), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash; 244/97), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC; 32/6), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 32/7), Andi Sullivan (Stanford; 5/0)
FORWARDS (5): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 132/18), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 132/78), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars; 94/44), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 127/34), Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 13/4)
- The USA is 47-3-6 all-time against Canada.
- The USA’s roster features 11 players from the 2016 Olympic Team and nine players who played against Canada in February of 2016 at Olympic Qualifying.
- Carli Lloyd is on 97 career goals (sixth all-time) and with three more will become the sixth player in U.S. history to hit the 100-goal mark and the first since 2009 when Abby Wambach scored her 100th.
- Lloyd is the most capped player on the roster with 243 games played, followed by Becky Sauerbrunn with 133 caps. Tobin Heath and Alex Morgan have 132 each and Megan Rapinoe has 127.
- Morgan comes into the matches with 78 goals after moving past Cindy Parlow into sole possession of seventh place on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list.
- Andi Sullivan has played in 16 games for Stanford this season while scoring one goal with six assists as she continues her return to full fitness after recovering from ACL surgery at the end of 2016.
- Fourteen players on the roster have 32 caps or fewer.
- Emily Sonnett last played for the USA on Oct. 19, 2016 against Switzerland.
- Abby Dahlkemper was the 2017 NWSL Defender of the Year.
- Christen Press is six caps from becoming the 37th female player in U.S. history to hit 100 caps and six goals from becoming the 11th female player in U.S. history to score 50 career goals.
- While the USA has a long history of success against Canada, the 10 meetings since the turn of the decade have featured two ties and four one-goal wins for the USA.
- The match in Northern California will mark the USA’s ninth visit to San Jose but just the third visit to Avaya Stadium, home of the San Jose Earthquakes. The USA played at Avaya on Mother’s Day 2015, defeating the Republic of Ireland 3-0, and again on Nov. 10, 2016 in an 8-1 victory against Romania.
- The USA’s first six matches in San Jose were all at historic Spartan Stadium.
- The U.S. Women have never lost in San Jose, going 8-0-0 while scoring 39 goals and allowing just two.
- The matches against Canada will feature numerous club teammates squaring off as the Canadians have 11 players in the NWSL, including all-time leading scorer Christine Sinclair of the Portland Thorns.
- The match in Vancouver marks the USA’s return to BC Place for the first time since winning the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup there on July 5, 2015. The historic 5-2 victory against Japan featured Lloyd’s famous hat trick and epic long-range goal.
- While the USA and Canada have played each other 56 times (tied with China PR for the most common opponent in U.S. WNT history), only twice before have the neighbors played back-to-back games in a home-and-away format.
- The first came in 1995 when the USA defeated Canada 9-1 in Dallas on May 19 and then traveled to Edmonton and won 2-1 in what were the final matches before the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Sweden. In 2001, the teams tied 2-2 in Toronto on June 30 and then traveled to Blaine, Minn., where the USA earned a 1-0 victory on July 3.
- Forward Mallory Pugh (hamstring), midfielder Rose Lavelle (hamstring) and midfielder Morgan Brian (hamstring) were unavailable for selection for this event due to injuries. Forward Crystal Dunn was not released by her club Chelsea FC, which is playing Champions League Round of 16 matches against FC Rosengård of Sweden.