US women's national team coach Jill Ellis revealed her 23-player roster for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada on Tuesday, highlighted by a number of familiar faces, including all-time international goalscoring leader Abby Wambach, veteran captain Christie Rampone, and the promising attacking duo of Syndey Leroux and Alex Morgan (above).
The USWNT, who lost a penalty shootout to Japan in the 2011 final, will be looking to win a record third title and their first since 1999 when they travel north as part of the 24-team field for the tournament, which takes place across Canada from June 6 to July 5.
Rampone has been named to her fifth World Cup roster, tying Kristine Lilly for most by an American player, male or female.
Both midfielder Shannon Boxx and Wambach will be playing in their fourth World Cups, while Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo and Heather O’Reilly were named to their third roster.
“The players selected have the confidence, experience and desire to help us win a world championship,” Ellis said in a statement. “We had an excellent group to pick from and at the end of the last camp, I complemented all the players on how much they pushed each other and competed to make this selection challenging."
Leroux, 24, has 33 international goals since 2012 and recently married Sporting Kansas City striker Dom Dwyer. She'll appear in her first World Cup, highlighting a list of eight debutants. Leroux is joined by the 25-year-old Alex Morgan, who has 51 international goals to her name since debuting in 2010, including a pair of goals in the 2011 tournament.
The US were handed a tough draw in Group D, where they will face Australia, Sweden and Nigeria. The No. 2-ranked Stars and Stripes will open on June 8 against Australia, ranked No. 10 in the world by FIFA and quarterfinalists in each of the last two tournaments, in Winnipeg. The USWNT will stay in the city to face Sweden (ranked No. 5), its defeated opponents in the 2011 semifinals, on June 12, before wrapping up the group stage in Vancouver on June 16 against one of Africa's best teams in Nigeria, currently ranked 33rd in the world.
USWNT roster for 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign)
DEFENDERS (8): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign)
FORWARDS (5): Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (unattached)