Lauren Holiday (formerly Cheney) of the U.S. women's national team in action against Mexico at the 2012 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying tournament in Vancouver, Canada (Photo: Mexsport)
CHICAGO – United States women’s national team head coach Tom Sermanni on Thursday named an 18-player roster to face Mexico in a friendly on September 3 in Washington, D.C., at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium.
It will be the first meeting between the CONCACAF rivals time since they met on January, 24, 2012, a 4-0 U.S. victory during group play at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament in Vancouver, Canada.
“We have several key players out with injuries, but I’m pleased we were able to call in a few new players to give them a brief look at this event,” said Sermanni. “Looking forward, all the players need and deserve a break (the U.S. domestic season is nearing its conclusion), so after this match we’ll give them the rest of September off and get ready for our activity in mid-October.”
The inclusion of Abby Wambach highlights the selection. The Western New York Flash forward leads the U.S. in scoring this year following her four-goal performance against Korea Republic on June 20, which gave her eight for the year and moved her past Mia Hamm as the world’s all-time leader in international goals with 160.
Due to the limited training time, Sermanni chose not to call up any European-based players with the exception of Yael Averbuch.
The roster features 15 players from the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL); two college players in Crystal Dunn from North Carolina (six caps) and Morgan Brian from Virginia (one cap); and Averbuch, who plays for Göteborg FC in Sweden.
Sermanni gave first call-ups to FC Kansas City defender Leigh Ann Robinson and midfielder Erika Tymrak, who won the 2013 NWSL Rookie of the Year Award after an excellent season in which she scored six goals with four assists while appearing in 21 of her club’s 22 matches.
Also in the squad is Lauren Holiday (formerly Lauren Cheney), who won the Golden Boot as the top scorer in the NWSL with 12 goals.
Alex Morgan, who was injured on August 7, was named for the match, but her status will be determined later.
“We will evaluate Alex’s recovery from her injury when she comes into camp,” noted Sermanni. “At this point, the most important thing is that she is completely fit and healthy. If our medical staff says she’s ready to play, then she’ll play.”
The U.S. leads the all-time series against Mexico, holding a 26-1-1 record. The lone loss, 2-1, came on November 5, 2010, during 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying in Cancun, Mexico. That setback forced the Americans into the third-place match of that tournament (which it won) and into a two-game playoff against Italy that the Americans took 2-0 on aggregate.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster
(September 3, 2013 – home v Mexico at Washington, D.C.)
GOALKEEPERS: Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS: Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns FC), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina), Kristie Mewis (FC Kansas City), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Leigh Ann Robinson (FC Kansas City), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS: Yael Averbuch (Göteborg/Sweden), Morgan Brian (Virginia), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Western New York Flash), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC), Erika Tymrak (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS: Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Abby Wambach (Western New York Flash)