Two FC Kansas City Players Head to Europe with US Women's National Team
CHICAGO (May 25, 2017) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 21 players to travel to Scandinavia for matches against Sweden on June 8 at Gamla Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg (12:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2 and UDN) and against Norway on June 11 at Komplett Arena in Sandefjord (12 p.m. CT on FOX), which is located on the southeast coast about 75 miles south of Oslo. Ellis will name 18 players to the game day roster for each of the matches.
The match against Sweden will mark the first meeting between the teams since the quarterfinal of the 2016 Olympics, which saw Sweden triumph in a penalty kick shootout after a 1-1 tie through regulation and overtime. Gamla Ullevi seats just over 18,000 fans and is known as the national stadium for the Sweden Women’s National Team.
The match against Norway will be the 50th meeting between the historic rivals who combined to win the first five FIFA world championships for women. Komplett Arena seats about 6,500 fans.
"I have enjoyed watching the league games, but it will be great to get the players back together," Ellis said. "This will be a quick trip against two very good teams in final preparations for the Euros, so I'm looking forward to seeing how we respond to these two quality opponents."
USA vs. SWEDEN
The USA has played Sweden 37 times dating back to 1987 and is 20-6-11 all-time against the Swedes. Only China PR (13 draws) has tied the USA as many times as Sweden. In the last 12 matches with Sweden dating back to 2010, the USA is 4-3-5, making for one of the most competitive rivalries among the top teams in recent years.
USA vs. NORWAY
The USA has played Norway 49 times – dating back to 1987 – which is the most games against any opponent besides Canada and China PR. The USA is 28-19-2 all-time against Norway. The 19 wins for Norway are the most for any country against the USA; however, the USA is riding a five-game winning streak against Norway. The most recent win for the Norwegians came in the opening match of the 2008 Olympics, a 2-0 win in Qinhuangdao, China.
These will be the first friendly matches in Europe for the USA since February of 2015 (the USA won the Algarve Cup in March of that year in Portugal) when it faced France in Lorient (a 2-0 loss) and England in Milton Keynes (a 1-0 win). Before that, the USA played friendlies in Europe against Germany (a 3-3 tie) and the Netherlands (a 3-1 win) in April of 2013. The U.S. Women went on a similar trip to this one in the summer of 2008 but played in Norway first, a 4-0 win in Fredrikstad, before heading to Skelleftea and earning a 1-0 victory against Sweden.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position – Scandinavia Tour 2017
GOALKEEPERS (2): Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Abby Smith (Boston Breakers)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Jaelene Hinkle (NC Courage), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash/Manchester City), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC), Sydney Leroux (FC Kansas City), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride/Olympique Lyonnais), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit)
- The games will mark the return of 2015 Women’s World Cup champion Sydney Leroux to the roster for the first time since October 2015. This will be her first National Team action since the birth of her son in early September 2016. Leroux, who has 35 goals in 75 caps, has started all six games for FC Kansas City this year after missing all last season due to her pregnancy.
- The players will play in their NWSL games on the weekend of June 3rd before traveling to Sweden for the start of camp.
- With such a short trip and only a few training sessions, Ellis will bring just two goalkeepers in Alyssa Naeher and Abby Smith of the Boston Breakers. Smith gets her first call-up to a roster for international matches. She participated in a few days of WNT training camp in December of 2014. She has recovered from a torn patellar tendon early in the 2016 NWSL season.
- Defender Julie Ertz returns to the roster after missing the Russia games in April due to her wedding and honeymoon, while North Carolina Courage defender Abby Dahlkemper returns for the first time since two games against Switzerland last October in which she earned her first two caps.
- North Carolina Courage defender Jaelene Hinkle, who has eight caps, gets her first call-up since last September.
- Midfielder Morgan Brian, a recent college graduate from UVA, and midfielder Lindsey Horan both return to the roster after missing the Russia matches due to injuries.
- Forward Christen Press was named NWSL Player of the Week this week after getting a goal and an assist in a 3-1 victory against league leaders North Carolina Courage. Press earned the penalty kick that she then converted for her score.
- Forward Mallory Pugh will be in line to play her first matches for the USA as a professional after signing with the NWSL’s Washington Spirit. She made her pro club debut on May 20.
- Carli Lloyd comes into the matches with 97 career goals and needs just three to become the sixth player in U.S. history to score 100 or more.
- Lloyd and Alex Morgan come into camp with some European hardware. Lloyd won the FA Cup with Manchester City and Morgan won the Ligue 1 and French Cup with Olympique Lyon. Although she did not play in the French Cup Final due to a hamstring injury, Morgan has made enough progress to be available for selection for the USA’s June matches.
- Morgan, who has 125 goals, needs two more to tie Cindy Parlow for seventh on the USA’s all-time scoring list.
- Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris (hip flexor) and midfielder Tobin Heath (back) were unavailable for selection due to injuries.
FC Kansas City single game tickets are available to purchase here.