U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 24 players to the training camp roster ahead of two matches against Switzerland, on Oct. 19 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah (8 p.m. CT on ESPN2) and Oct. 23 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (13:45 p.m. CT on FS1). Ellis will name 18 players to suit up for each match. Included in the roster is Shea Groom, who plays for FC Kansas City. She prepped at Liberty in Kansas City, winning a pair of State Cup titles with Kaysie Clark. The picture above by Danny Reise was taken in a rain storm at FCKC last season. Shea is joined by Captain Becky Sauerbrunn from FC Kansas City, and representing Missouri, on the roster.
The video below is of her last second goal in the second overtime of the 2011 State Final, breaking Ursuline’s hearts.
The matches against Switzerland will only be the third and fourth meetings between the two countries, with the USA winning both previous contents. The Americans triumphed 4-1 on Aug. 20, 2014 in Cary, N.C. and 3-0 on March 6, 2015 at the Algarve Cup in Portugal.
The roster for the USA’s September friendlies following the 2016 Olympics feature 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. All of them have previous U.S. Youth National Team experience at the Under-23 level or younger with eight coming 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,” said Ellis. “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. Our staff has been watching NWSL games this season and these are the ones that stood out. 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.”
These are the 11 players on the roster who have yet to earn a cap with the WNT:
Jane Campbell: A senior at Stanford, she started for the USA in the 2012 FIFA 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.
Danielle Colaprico: The Chicago Red Stars midfielder spent time in WNT camps at the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016.
Lynn Williams: The 2016 NWSL Golden Boot winner scored 11 times for the Western New York Flash and two more in her club’s playoff semifinal victory over the Portland Thorns.
Kealia Ohai: The Houston Dash forward 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.
Shea Groom: The FC Kansas City midfielder, a first-time call up, was far and away her club’s leading scorer this year with eight goals
Andi Sullivan: A Stanford junior, she is 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.
Ashley Hatch: The BYU striker currently leads the nation in goals with 15.
Casey Short and Arin Gilliland: The Chicago Red Stars defenders both helped their club limit opponents to 20 goals this year, tied for second fewest in the league behind the Portland Thorns (19).
Merritt Mathias: The first player from Alabama to be called in since World Cup and Olympic veteran Cat Whitehill retired. Mathias played in 19 of the 20 games for the Seattle Reign this year, starting 17.
Abby Dahlkemper: The former U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team captain played every minute of every game this season at center back for the Western New York Flash. This is her first senior team call-up.