Becky Sauerbrunn and Heather O’Reilly from FC Kansas City get the call for the United States Women’s National Team.
Ahead of its two friendlies against longtime rival, Japan, the USWNT will meet in Denver, Colorado to train. This means that all USWNT NWSL players will leave their club teams and miss games during Memorial Day Weekend. Jill Ellis, USWNT Head Coach, called up 25 players for the camp and matches, including FCKC’s Becky Sauerbrunn and Heather O’Reilly. The full call up list is:
GOALKEEPERS: Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS: Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Jaelene Hinkle (Western New York Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Gina Lewandowski (FC Bayern Munich), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS: Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (Wisconsin), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS: Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)
Becky Sauerbrunn is a fixture in the USWNT backline after playing every minute in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and being named co-captains of the USWNT with Carli Lloyd this year. Sauerbrunn is also one of five players to come forward and file a wage discrimination lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation. She will play a key role in the USWNT road to gold in Rio, both as a leader and a player.
Heather O’Reilly has played for the USWNT since she was 17-years-old, and if she makes the roster, she will be another veteran leader for the team. O’Reilly currently has 229 caps for the USWNT, falling just behind Christie Rampone for the most caps of active players. Both Sauerbrunn and O’Reilly played in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, the 2012 London Olympics, and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. O’Reilly also played in the 2004 Athens Olympics, 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China, and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Due to the camp, FCKC will take on the Orlando Pride on May 28 without their two USWNT stars. FCKC is still fighting for their first win of the season, after losing to the Boston Breakers last weekend. FCKC is currently at the bottom of the NWSL standings after winning the league championship in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Orlando will also be missing their stars, striker, Alex Morgan, and goalie, Ashlyn Harris. Hopefully veterans such as, Nicole Barnhart and Yael Averbuch, will lead the Blues to victory this weekend.
Be sure to cheer on the Blues at Swope Soccer Village or watch on YouTube on Saturday, May 28 at 7:30 p.m. Also, support the USWNT by watching their June 2 match on FS1 at 8 p.m. CST and on June 5 at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN2.
UPDATE: Christie Rampone has been ruled out of the upcoming USWNT training camp and games.