CHICAGO (March 21, 2013) - Coming off a championship at the 2013 Algarve Cup in Portugal, U.S. Women's National Team head coach Tom Sermanni has named a 23-player roster that will travel to Germany and the Netherlands for friendly matches against two teams preparing for this summer's European Women's Championship. Seven Tar Heels are on the current USWNT roster.
Six of those Tar Heel players competed in the Algarve Cup – junior defender Crystal Dunn and alumnae Heather O'Reilly, Tobin Heath, Yael Averbuch, Ashlyn Harris and Whitney Engen. Meghan Klingenberg has returned to the National Team from injury and will travel overseas with the team.
The Algarve Cup was a memorable one for UNC players as Dunn earned her first career start, Engen scored her first career goal and Haris notched her first career cap. Harris became the 52nd UNC player to earn a cap with the National Team during that competition in Portugal.
After facing Germany in the Algarve Cup Final on March 13, the U.S. Women will be meeting Germany for the second time in 23 days when the top two teams in the current FIFA Women's World Rankings play on Friday, April 5, at Sparda Bank Hessen Stadium in Offenbach, home of Kickers Offenbach in the German Third Division. Kickoff is set for 6:15 p.m. local time (12:15 p.m. ET).
The USA will then travel to the Netherlands to face the Dutch in The Hague at Kyocera Stadium, home of ADO Den Haag of the Dutch Eredivisie, on Tuesday, April 9.
Offenbach is located just outside of Frankfurt, where the USA played the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Final. The Hague is located on the west coast of the Netherlands, about 35 miles southwest of Amsterdam. April 9 will be the USA's first meeting with the Dutch since 2006 and will kick off at 7 p.m. local time (1 p.m. ET). Fans can follow both matches live online via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.
Twenty of the 23 players named to the roster were in Portugal for the USA's Algarve Cup title run. As goalkeepers Hope Solo and Jill Loyden are both rehabilitating from wrist and hand surgeries, respectively, Sermanni named uncapped Western New York Flash goalkeeper Adrianna Franch to the roster. In addition, defender Julie Johnston, the captain of the USA's 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup championship team, returns to the roster after earning her first career cap against Scotland on Feb. 9 in Jacksonville, Fla.
Defender Meghan Klingenberg, one of the USA's four alternates on the 2012 Olympic Team who is currently playing with Tyresö in Sweden, has sufficiently recovered from shoulder surgery and gets her first call-up of the year. Klingenberg has two career caps.
"We got the chance to play everyone on the roster at the Algarve Cup, and to see the young players step up and play well alongside the more experienced veterans was a positive step in the continued growth of the team," said Sermanni. "These matches present two more excellent opportunities to increase the competition on the squad and for players to show they can perform in difficult environments. Any time you can play two European teams in their own countries it makes for the best games for the coaching staff to assess and evaluate where we are as a team."
The USA's quartet of forwards - Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach, Christen Press and Sydney Leroux - has scored 11 of the USA's 18 goals so far in 2013. Morgan scored the USA's final three goals of the Algarve Cup in a 1-1 tie with Sweden and a 2-0 victory against Germany in the championship game. Wambach heads to Europe with 154 career goals, just four short of tying Mia Hamm on the world's all-time scoring list. Press leads the USA in goals this year with four, and Leroux's two scores have upped her career total to 16 in just 33 matches.
U.S. Women's National Team Roster by Position - Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Adrianna Franch (Western New York Flash), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit)
DEFENDERS (9): Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns FC), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina), Whitney Engen (Liverpool, England), Julie Johnston (Santa Clara), Meghan Klingenberg (Tyresö, Sweden), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Yael Averbuch (Göteborg, Sweden), Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Lauren Cheney (FC Kansas City), Tobin Heath (PSG, France), Kristie Mewis (FC Kansas City), Heather O'Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Lyon, France)
FORWARDS (4): Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Tyresö, Sweden), Abby Wambach (Western New York Flash)
• Four players who have earned their first caps this year made this roster: defender Crystal Dunn, a member of the USA's 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup championship team; Kristie Mewis, the third overall pick in the NWSL College Draft by FC Kansas City; Christen Press, who was the second leading scorer in the Swedish league last season; and Ashlyn Harris, who earned her first career cap against Sweden in the Algarve Cup.
• Dunn, the 2012 MAC Hermann Trophy winner for the University of North Carolina, earned her first senior team cap against Scotland on Feb. 13 and Mewis, the 2008 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year, earned her first cap against the Scots on Feb. 9.
•Fifteen of the players on the roster will be playing in the NWSL for the start of the season, six are playing in Europe and two (Dunn and Julie Johnston) have a year of college eligibility remaining.