United States Women’s National Team head coach Tom Sermanni has called in 15 players off NWSL rosters for a June 2 International Friendly against the Canadian Women’s National Team at BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario. The match will be aired live on ESPN News at 4:30 EDT (1:30 PDT) and is part of the U.S. Soccer Centennial Celebration, a doubleheader with the United States Men’s National Team, who faces Germany at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. earlier in the day.
Players will join the National Team following their matches this weekend, and return to their respective clubs June 3.
“It’s always an important match when you play a neighbor, and with the strong contingent of Canadian players in the new league and how close the competition has become between the two countries over the past few years, there’s an intensity about this game far greater than a typical international friendly,” said Sermanni in a release from U.S. Soccer. “I know our players are really looking forward to the match and to the crowd, but also to getting back together as a national team and continuing to evolve in a positive direction.”
This match marks the first time that members of the United States Women’s National Team have been called up during the NWSL season. Six of the eight teams in the NWSL had players called up.
Among those called up is forward Abby Wambach (Western New York Flash), currently sitting at 155 goals scored in her international career, three goals behind all-time international record holder Mia Hamm (158).
Also among those called up are star forwards Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns) and Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers), midfielders Lauren Cheney (FC Kansas City), Carli Loyd (Western New York Flash), and defenders Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit) and Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), as well as goalkeepers Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), and Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC).
Hope Solo (Seattle Reign) will also train with the team, but she is currently recovering from wrist surgery and is not on the official roster.
“Hope’s rehabilitation has been progressing well, but we want to make sure she doesn’t jump back into competition prematurely,” said Sermanni. “The week in Canada seemed like the perfect time to give our medical staff and our goalkeeper coach, Paul Rogers, the chance to gauge her progress. Then we can take the appropriate steps to make a plan for her return to action.”
Also included on the roster are current 2013 leading goalscorer forward Christen Press (Tyreso) and midfielders Tobin Heath (Paris Saint-Germain) and Amber Brooks (Bayern Munich). Heath will join the Portland Thorns following PSG’s season, while Brooks was drafted by the Thorns with the 8th pick in the 2013 Supplemental Draft, but has elected to stay in Germany.
A notable omission is midfielder Megan Rapinoe (Olympique Lyon), who is expected to join the Seattle Reign upon the completion of European Season.
“Megan has two big matches coming up and we thought it best for all involved for her to stay in France to properly recover from the first and prepare for the second without that international travel mixed in between,” said Sermanni. “We wish Megan the best in her pursuit of what would be a tremendous achievement in winning the treble with Lyon, and we’ll see her on the East Coast for the South Korea matches in mid-June.”
The friendly against Canada is the first of three in the month of June. The United States Women’s National Team will also face Korea Republic in a pair of friendlies on June 15 and June 20.
The Canadian Soccer Association is expected to announce head coach John Herdman’s selections for the June 2 friendly in the next few days.
United States Women’s National Team Callups by Club Team
Boston Breakers – F Sydney Leroux, M Heather O’Reilly
FC Kansas City – GK Nicole Barnhart, M Kristie Mewis, D Becky Sauerbrunn, M Lauren Cheney
Portland Thorns – D Rachel Buehler, F Alex Morgan
Sky Blue FC – GK Jill Loyden, D Kelley O’Hara, D Christie Rampone
Washington Spirit – GK Ashlyn Harris, D Ali Krieger
Western New York Flash – M Carli Loyd, F Abby Wambach
International – D Whitney Engen (Liverpool), M Amber Brooks (Bayern Munich), Tobin Heath (Paris Saint-Germain), Christen Press (Tyreso)
Collegiate – D Crystal Dunn (North Carolina), D Julie Johnston (Santa Clara)
United States Women’s National Team Callups by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC)
DEFENDERS (8): Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns FC), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina), Whitney Engen (Liverpool), Julie Johnston (Santa Clara), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Amber Brooks (Bayern Munich), Lauren Cheney (FC Kansas City), Tobin Heath (Paris Saint-Germain), Carli Lloyd (Western NY Flash), Kristie Mewis (FC Kansas City), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers)
FORWARDS (4): Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Abby Wambach (Western NY Flash)