Tom Sermanni, the new U.S. Women's National Team head coach named 29 players Tuesday for a training camp in preparation for their first two matches of 2013. The U.S. faces Scotland, Sermanni’s native country in both matches, Feb. 9 in Jacksonville, Fla., and Feb. 13 in Nashville.
Sermanni, who was appointed the new head coach of the USA at the end of October, will be making his coaching debut with the U.S. team. He named 17 of the 18 players who helped the USA to the Olympic gold medal in London last summer, as well as numerous players with previous National Team experience and a handful of young talented players.
"I'm excited to get out on the field and work with the team for the first time," said Sermanni via press release. "For this particular part of the cycle, it's important to look at the established players in the squad but also the up-and-coming players and the ones who we think have the potential to really fight for positions on the team. For me, this period is really about observation and evaluation of some players who I know very well, some I've seen play only a bit and some who I will be seeing in a competitive environment for the first time."
Forwards Abby Wambach, the 2012 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, and Alex Morgan, the 2012 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year, are coming off a stellar year in which they combined for 55 goals, tying a 21-year-old U.S. record for most goals by two players in a calendar year.
FC Kansas City has four players called up
Goalkeepr Nicole Barnhart, defender Becky Sauerbrunn and midfielders Lauren Cheney and Kristie Mewis will represent FC Kansas City in camp, the most from of any team.
Barnhart, Sauerbrunn and Cheney all came to the “Blues” through the NWSL U.S. National Team allocation process and Mewis was taken with the third pick in the first round of the college draft. From FC Kansas City’s point of view, drafting Mewis in the first round was almost like getting another allocated national team player.
“I hate to say it because I don’t want people to look at Kansas City, the only team with four National Team players but obviously that is a fact,” FC Kansas City head coach Vlatko Andonovski explained. “Having Kristie Mewis as a first round pick is just unbelievable.”
“We had her on our list as number one all along but we didn’t think we were going to be able to draft her. When she fell to the third pick we didn’t hesitate a lot,” Andonovski laughed. “Her name was on the list before our turn was even announced.”
Mewis has been called into camp previously and has trained quite a bit with the National Team but she has yet to earn a cap. She is one of the young players that is expected to start breaking into the team soon and may play a key role by the time the 2015 World Cup comes around.
U.S. Women's National Team Training Camp Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (5): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Jane Campbell (Concorde Fire South), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns FC), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina), Whitney Engen (Liverpool FC), Julie Johnston (Santa Clara), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Heather Mitts (Boston Breakers), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Yael Averbuch (Göteborg FC), Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Lauren Cheney (FC Kansas City), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lori Lindsey (Washington Spirit), Carli Lloyd (Western NY Flash), Kristie Mewis (FC Kansas City), Heather O'Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC), Keelin Winters (Chicago Red Stars)
FORWARDS (5): Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Tyresö FF), Amy Rodriguez (Seattle Reign FC), Abby Wambach (Western NY Flash)