October 6, 2016
USWNT call-ups include 11 uncapped players, plus veterans O'Hara, Long, Dunn
CHICAGO - The U.S. women's national team for its next match is an intriguing combination of the new and some of the old.
|Kelley O'Hara was one of the veteran players recalled to the U.S. women's national team for a pair of friendlies against Switzerland later this month.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Head coach Jill Ellis Thursday called into camp 11 players who have never been capped.
She also recalled three players with local ties -- defender Kelley O'Hara, midfielder Allie Long and forward Crystal Dunn -- who were named among the 24 players ahead on the U.S. women's national team roster ahead of two matches against Switzerland.
O'Hara plays for Sky Blue FC, Northport, N.Y. native Long for the Portland Timbers and Rockville Centre, N.Y's Dunn for the Washington Spirit.
The Americans meet Switzerland, on Oct. 19 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah (9 p.m. ET on ESPN2) and Oct. 23 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (2:45 p.m. MT on FS1).
Ellis will name 18 players to suit up for each match.
The roster for the USA's first two matches following the 2016 Olympics - wins against Thailand and the Netherlands in September - featured only players that were in Brazil.
But as the U.S. team begins the new cycle leading up to qualifying for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, Ellis chose not to call up several veterans, making space in camp for 11 uncapped players, eight from the NWSL and three from the college ranks.
"Right now, we are in a phase where we want to try to expand the player pool, look at a number of players and start the long process to qualifying for the next World Cup," she said. "That means several of our more experienced players won't be in for this camp while we get to evaluate some different personnel. In order to see if these players can contribute, we need to get them into a National Team training environment and in games."
All of the new players called up have previous U.S. youth national team experience at the Under-23 level or younger. Goalkeeper Jane Campbell, a senior at Stanford, started for the USA in the 2012 Under-17 Women's World Cup, was a member of the 2014 U-20 Women's World Cup Team and previously trained with the senior team for one camp February of 2013 when she was 17-years-old. Campbell joins veterans Alyssa Naeher and 2016 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year Ashlyn Harris as one of three 'keepers on the roster.
Chicago Red Stars midfielder Danielle Colaprico also spent time in WNT camps at the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016. For the other nine players, this is their first full WNT call-up.
Ellis named 2016 NWSL Golden Boot winner Lynn Williams who scored 11 times for the Western New York Flash and two more in her club's playoff semifinal victory over the Portland Thorns. Houston Dash forward Kealia Ohai also scored 11 goals during the regular season. She famously scored the game-winning goal in the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup Final as the USA defeated Germany, 1-0, to win its third championship for that age level.
"Our staff has been watching NWSL games this season and these are the ones that stood out," Ellis said. "The league is vitally important to create a tremendous competitive environment for these players to show their talents as professionals and we are excited to give them a chance with the National Team."
The other collegiate players named were Stanford junior Andi Sullivan, a veteran of the USA's 2012 FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup and the 2014 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup teams, and BYU forward Ashley Hatch, who currently leads the nation in goals with 15.
The USA roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Stanford), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (Western New York Flash), Arin Gilliland (Chicago Red Stars), Merritt Mathias (Seattle Reign), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Andi Sullivan (Stanford)
FORWARDS (6): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Shea Groom (FC Kansas City), Ashley Hatch (BYU), Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Lynn Williams (Western New York Flash)