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USWNT represented by familiar faces at WWC 2015

FIFA Women's World Cup 2015: USWNT fixtures schedule, location, squad

May 28, 2015 By Michelle Bonsu
Four years after disappointment in the 2011 World Cup final, the USWNT are ready to take on the world's best in Canada as they seek their third World Cup title.

Four years ago, the USWNT were in the finals of the Women's World Cup - a position that, given their tournament favourite status was to be expected. However, the Stars and Stripes would be dealt a shock - just as Sweden and hosts Germany had received earlier on - by dark horses Japan, who managed to defeat the two-time winners in a tense penalty-shoot out and lift the title, seemingly against all odds.

This time around, team USA, who will be making their seventh appearance in Canada have been placed in the tournament's toughest group. With Australia, Sweden, and Nigeria, Group D has been already described as the "Group of Death" and Jill Ellis's ladies could face a tough task to navigate through to the knock-out stages.

The USWNT bounced back after the 2011 World Cup with a win at the 2012 Olympic Games. However, they faced another setback with a bad performance at the 2014 Algarve Cup that saw Tom Sermanni sacked in favour of Ellis. Under their new coach, they blazed through last year's CONCACAF Women’s Championship by winning all five games, scoring 21 and conceding zero to secure their spot as they seek redemption following disappointment in Germany.

According to reports, the Stars and Stripes will not have a base camp, but will rather travel to their game destinations. They will be first based in Winnipeg as they play their first two games at the Winnipeg Stadium and then conclude their group stage clashes on June 16th at BC Place in Vancouver.

Without further ado, here are some of the ladies Jill Ellis will be counting on this summer:

Goalkeeper: Hope Solo

Solo, who made the news for some personal issues, is well back on track and, given her undisputable skills between the sticks, her reinstatement within the fold for the USWNT has come at the perfect time for her and her teammates. During the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship she was a wall in her goal, recording several more shut-outs and solidifying her position as the keeper with the most clean sheets in United States women's football history.

Defender: Christie Rampone

The 39-year-old will be making her fifth appearance at a Women's World Cup and will celebrate her 40th birthday whilst on duty with the national squad. Having being a part of the team that won the title in 1999, two third-placed finishes in 2003 and 2007, and finished second in 2011, Rampone has made over 300 appearances for the Stars and Stripes and despite her advancing years, shows no sign of slowing down. Her coach Ellis will be counting on her tactical nous in the heart of defense as they battle it out to secure qualification from their tough quartet.

Striker: Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach, who was the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year, is a familiar face to USWNT fans. The tall, powerful attacker is currently the country's all-time top scorer with 182 goals - a figure that also ranks her above the men and will surely rise during her team's sojourn this summer in Canada. Despite winning three Olympic gold medals and enjoying success at the CONCACAF championships, Wambach has never won a World Cup and will be aware that, at 34, time is running out for her to lift world football's most prestigious trophy.

Striker: Alex Morgan

As Wambach approaches the latter stages of her glittering career, Alex Morgan is coming into the prime of hers. In 2012, she netted 28, whilst Wambach scored 27 times. Their 55 goal total tied a 21 year record that had been set by Carin Jennings (16) and Michelle Akers (39) for the most prolific duo in women's football history. With 51 goals so far for the Stars and Stripes, she will be making her second appearance at a World Cup. Having scored the first goal during the final against Japan, Morgan will be keen on making it to another final - but this time to be standing on the winner's podium.

Here is the full squad that will be representing the United States this summer:

Goalkeepers: Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)

Defenders: 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: Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)

Forwards: Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (unattached)

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