Fans and players are counting down the days until the start of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup on June 8th in Canada. With less than 50 days until the first game, USWNT head coach Jill Ellis has released her final 23-player roster. The official list will be submitted to FIFA on May 25th, but no changes are anticipated to this roster filled with depth, versatility and balance.
Balance of New and Old
The roster features a mix of both rookie and returning players, giving the team a combination of skill and experience, with a multitude of highly motivated players hoping to make an impact. The captain, Christie Rampone, will be playing in her fifth Women’s World Cup. Five members of the roster have played in at least two, including Shannon Boxx and Hope Solo. For many, it will be their second tournament, and eight players will experience their first World Cup this summer. However, the honor of being chosen for the team does not diminish over the years, as Hope Solo stated after the roster announcement:
“It’s funny, because I am a veteran now and it’s my third World Cup, but still, when the roster was set, when Jill called me up and said ‘Congratulations, you’ve made the World Cup roster,’ I still felt emotional, happy, filled with joy and proud."
Versatile and Agile Players
Every player on the talented roster has unique skill sets, which Ellis can utilize in a variety of ways throughout the tournament. The roster includes five forwards, each with their own strengths. Abby Wambach has tremendous finishing abilities in the penalty box, Alex Morgan has speed, and Sydney Leroux plays with a daring mindset. Ellis also chose players skilled in multiple positions so she has the privilege to move them around as needed. Meghan Klingenberg, Kelley O’Hara and Lori Chalupny are all outside backs that have the ability to play on either flank. Midfielders Morgan Brian and Lauren Holiday are completely at home in both defensive and attacking roles. With this much depth and versatility, Jill Ellis will (fortunately) have her hands full when fielding a championship team.
To see the detailed roster visit US Soccer here.
Mark your calendars: The USWNT plays their first World Cup match on June 8th, 2015 against Australia. This roster will also be playing in the three "Send-Off Series" games in May.