Your 2015 World Cup US Women’s National Team

Your 2015 World Cup US Women’s National Team

 

First off, who the hell cares about women’s soccer right?  Probably not a ton of our readers at this point (outside of a couple of us die hard soccer fans), however we’re betting that inevitably you’ll tune into at least one match (even if it’s only the first match – but hey, to be perfectly honest here – that’s a pretty good place to start).  Add in that even though it’s women’s soccer, it’s still a team representing the ole US of A, so I’m sure over the next couple of weeks you’ll end up seeing hundreds of YouTube videos of random reaction videos like this.

In the event that happens, we’ve got your back. Today we bring you a quick introduction to the USWNT (that’s US Women’s National Team for the uniformed).

Because the team is so versatile, I’ve broken the groupings up into Keepers, Defenders, Midfielders, Wingers, and Forwards.  Yes, yes, I know the roster counts the Wingers as Midfielders, but if you look at the way the roster is built there’s most certainly a midfield grouping and a winger grouping.

*Author’s Note – If you don’t care about Women’s Soccer then so be it, but you’re missing some pretty damn good athletes at the top of their game.

 

Keepers

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Hope Solo

College – Washington

Club Team – Seattle Reign FC

Twitter – @hopesolo

You might know Solo for being the first team keeper for the USWNT for the past 7 years or you might know her for being married to former NFL TE Jerramy Stevens or you might know her from her (now infamous) ‘The fappening’ photos.  Regardless, Solo is arguably the best woman’s goalkeeper in the world.  Something would have to had gone horribly wrong if she doesn’t start every match for the US.

 

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Ashlyn Harris

College – North Carolina

Club Team – Washington Spirit

Twitter – @Ashlyn_Harris

While Solo might be the best keeper in the world, Harris could easily unseat her as the USWNT’s #1 keeper.  When Solo was out with her suspension, Harris stepped in and did a very good job.  There’s really not much fall off from Solo when Harris is in goal and let’s all not overlook the fact that she’s also a badass that very well could take you in a bar fight.

 

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Alyssa Naeher

College – Penn State

Club Team – Boston Breakers

Twitter – @AlyssaNaeher

This is Naeher’s first World Cup and as the third keeper on the roster the odds of her getting any meaningful (if any) playing time seems slim at this point.  In fact, Naeher has only one Senior National Team Cap but was a mainstay on the U-23 and below teams throughout her career.

 

Defenders

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Ali Krieger

College – Penn State

Club Team – Washington Spirit

Twitter – @alikrieger

Krieger has been the starting Right Back for the USWNT for quite some time now and is best known for winning the Brazil match (the same game Abby Wambach tied with her stoppage time header) during the 2011 World Cup.  On any other team Krieger would be a star midfielder or winger – and perhaps one of the world’s best at either one of those positions.

 

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Christie Rampone

College – Monmouth

Club Team – Sky Blue FC

Twitter – @christierampone

At 39, Rampone is the oldest member of the squad but she’s arguably the quickest on the pitch as well.  Rampone is the only member that has a World Cup title to her credit (the 1999 Brandi Chastain tearing off her top team) and has been the team’s captain for quite some time now.  She may not play a ton of minutes this go around but she should be counted on to start the big games or matches that have a quick front line opposing the US defense.

 

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Becky Sauerbrunn

College – Virginia

Club Team – FC Kansas City

Twitter – @beckysauerbrunn

Sauerbrunn has come on in the past four years as she’s gone from regular defensive sub to starting Center Back for the USWNT.  She does have some World Cup starting experience and has played meaningful minutes in the Olympics.  If Christie Rampone isn’t starting next to her, look for Sauerbrunn to control the backline.

 

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Whitney Engen

College – North Carolina

Club Team – Western New York Flash

Twitter – @whitneyengen

When Christie Rampone isn’t starting, look for Engen to start.   Engen has been a regular on the USWNT since 2011 and although the 2015 World Cup will be her first she does have a ton of experience playing in big matches as she’s played in the UEFA Women’s Champion’s League finals.

 

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Meghan Klingenberg

College – North Carolina

Club Team – Houston Dash

Twitter – @meghankling

Barring injury Klingenberg should be the team’s starting Left Back for the entirety of the tournament.  Like most of her teammates, Klingenberg played Forward and Midfield throughout her college career; this experience much like Krieger’s bodes well for the team when the outside backs come forward on the attack.

 

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Kelley O’Hara

College – Stanford

Club Team – Sky Blue FC

Twitter – @kohara19

O’Hara is perhaps one of Women’s College Soccer’s best players of all time.  Comparatively speaking we’re talking along the lines of Herschel Walker for college football.  In 2009 O’Hara scored 26 goals, had 13 assists, and won the college soccer equivalent to the Heisman.  Having someone that has those scoring chops in the back line speaks to the riches the USWNT has.  O’Hara can play all four defensive positions and can also play holding or attacking midfield.

 

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Lori Chalupny

College – North Carolina

Club Team – Chicago Red Stars

Twitter – @lorichalupny

This is Chalupny’s second World Cup and her first meaningful tournament since returning to the USWNT picture after suffering a string of concussions.  Prior to her exit from the USWNT (in 2008) Chalupny regularly captained the team when Christie Rampone wasn’t playing.  Look for her to sub in at Left Back or slide inside to play Left Center Back.

 

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Julie Johnston

College – Santa Clara

Club Team – Chicago Red Stars

Twitter – @_JulieJohnston_

At age 23 Johnston is one of the younger players on the team and in 2013 she was a Hermann Trophy (College Soccer Heisman) semi-finalist.  If the US team gets down a goal late, look for Johnston to be subbed in specifically for set pieces; all three of her Senior National goals have come either from headers or corners.

 

Midfielders

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Carli Lloyd

College – Rutgers

Club Team – Houston Dash

Twitter@CarliLloyd

Lloyd is one of America’s most celebrated Midfielders (let alone Attacking Midfielders) of all time.  In her 195 caps, Lloyd has scored 63 goals.  She is the all-time USWNT Midfield leading scorer and has was named the Female US Soccer player of the year in 2008.

 

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Lauren Holiday

College – UCLA

Club Team – FC Kansas City

Twitter@laurenholiday12

Holiday is by far one of the best Holding Midfielders in the world but when the US goes to a 4-3-3 she is also one of the world’s best Left Midfielders.  Should the need arise, Holiday can play in the #10 role but considering the wealth the US possesses up front having a versatile player like Holiday in the midfield is almost unfair.  A little known fact about Holiday is that she’s married to New Orleans Pelicans Point Guard Jrue Holiday.

 

shannon_boxx_683X458

Shannon Boxx

College – Notre Dame

Club Team – Chicago Red Stars

Twitter@ShannonBoxx7

At 37 Boxx is the second oldest member of the team.  Once one of the world’s best Holding Midfielders (a 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year finalist) Boxx should be used primarily as a defensive sub during this World Cup.  What physical ability most people would say she lacks due to her age she more than makes up for in experience.  Do not be surprised to see her subbed in late in a match to help lock down a lead.

 

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Morgan Brian

College – Virginia

Club Team – Houston Dash

Twitter – @moeebrian

At 22 Morgan Brian is the youngest member of the team.  While young, Brian isn’t any less accomplished than her teammates.  The 2013 and 2015 Hermann Trophy Winner, Brian was selected number one overall in the National Women’s Soccer League draft.  Although playing up top for most of her career Brian may have a long future on the USWNT as an Attacking Midfielder.  Brian could be this World Cup’s Alex Morgan, meaning a goal scoring, assist giving “super sub”.

 

Wingers

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Megan Rapinoe

College – Portland

Club Team – Seattle Reign FC

Twitter@mPinoe

If Pino can come back from an injury that held her out of the final sendoff game, she should be the team’s starting Left Wing or Left Midfielder (depending on the formation).  Any one that watches woman’s soccer can tell you, there’s not too many players out there that can send in a left footed cross better than Rapinoe.

 

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Christen Press

College – Stanford

Club Team – Chicago Red Stars

Twitter@ChristenPress

With a first cap in 2013, Press is a relative new comer to the Senior National Team.  Although new, Press has made her mark as an impact player registering 20 goals and 9 assists in only 40 caps.  While the majority of her career has been playing up top, she’s pretty much cemented herself as the USWNT’s starting Right Winger.  When the US shifts into a different formation Press can play either up top or underneath in the #10.  This World Cup could be her coming out party…. think James Rodriguez last summer.

 

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Heather O’Reilly

College – North Carolina

Club Team – FC Kanas City

Twitter@HeatherOReilly

With 219 caps under her belt, O’Reilly comes into this World Cup as one of the best players to ever pull on the US jersey.  While she’s not a goal scoring machine she most certainly is an assist machine.  Her 51 assists ranks in the Top 10 all time for the USWNT.  Look for her to spell Press on the Right Wing.  Because of her speed and pure tenacity she’ll almost always be subbed in to add some pace to the right side of the field.  O’Reilly has by far the best game face on the entire team.

 

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Tobin Heath

College – North Carolina

Club Team – Portland Thorns FC

Twitter@TobinHeath

Heath is by far the most talented player with the ball in all of USA Soccer, Men’s or Women’s team. Hands down, no questions asked.  For this World Cup, Heath will probably either sub in at Left Wing or Left Midfield.  If the US is down and they need attackers look for Heath to be the first player off the bench.  If Heath played for any other team in the world she’d regularly be a FIFA Women’s Player of the Year finalist.

 

Forwards

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Abby Wambach

College – Florida

Club Team – None for 2015

Twitter@AbbyWambach

At 35 this is probably Wambach’s last major Tournament for the USWNT, although the 2016 Olympics isn’t beyond the realm of reality.  With 182 international goals, Wambach is the all-time leading goal scorer in USA Soccer history (Men’s or Women’s team).  At nearly six foot tall Wambach is still one of the most dominant heading goal scorers in the world.  Anytime there’s a corner kick, look for Wambach to be the target.

 

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Alex Morgan

College – California

Club Team – Portland Thorns FC

Twitter@alexmorgan13

Who doesn’t know who Alex Morgan is?  Everyone knows her from her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and her hundreds of commercials, but what most people forget is that behind the good looks she’s pretty damn good soccer player.  In 84 caps she’s scored 51 goals and if she can bounce back from a knee injury she most certainly could add to that total.  Morgan is your typical goal scorer. She can poach, she can shoot off the dribble, she can score off set pieces, and she’s pretty good in the air.

 

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Sydney Leroux

College – UCLA

Club Team – Western New York Flash

Twitter@sydneyleroux

This is going to be one hell of an experience for Leroux.  Not only is Abby Wambach starting to show her age, but Alex Morgan may not have fully recovered from a knee injury.  The goal scoring weight of the USWNT’s world may end up on Leroux’s shoulders.  Add in the fact that this World Cup is in Canada, Leroux’s birth country, and you’ve got yourself made for TV drama.  Speaking of drama, it will be interesting how Leroux handles the Canadian fans and media; she’s had run-ins with both in the past concerning her choosing to play for the US instead of Canada.

 

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Amy Rodriguez

College – USC

Club Team – FC Kansas City

Twitter@AmyRodriguez8

Lost in all of the Wambach, Morgan, Leroux talk is Amy Rodriguez.  Rodriguez once was the future of US Women’s goal scoring; from 2010 to 2012 Rodriguez scored and impressive 20 goals.  In after the 2012 season she took a year off to have a baby and has been working her way back into the National Team Picture ever since.  If Morgan can’t go or if Wambach struggles in a starting role, Rodriguez has the speed and goal scoring savvy to compliment Leroux.  If all goes well for the other three look for Rodriguez to get a ton of late minutes playing time to rest the other three.