The United States has a pair of friendlies against Mexico coming up and Jill Ellis has named 28 women to a roster for a training camp ahead of the matches. The Americans and Mexicans will first play on September 13 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT, and then five days later at Sahlen Stadium in Rochester, NY.
The roster includes all of the team's stars, like Abby Wambach, Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Hope Solo and Lauren Holiday. Younger, up-and-coming players like Crystal Dunn, Julie Johnston and Morgan Brian are also part of the squad.
Ellis has chosen to call in a big roster for the training camp because after the matches against Mexico, she will have to submit a 20-player roster afterward for October's CONCACAF Championship, which serves as qualifying for the 2015 Women's World Cup. This will be Ellis' last chance to prep the team before qualifying, and the last chance she will get to evaluate the players she wants to take to qualifying.
Exactly how Ellis plans to approach the friendlies is still unclear. She will only name 18 players to the matchday squads so 10 will not suit up. Ellis may cut the roster before the first friendly and send players home or she could rotate players between the two and give everyone at least one crack at the team. It's possible she takes both friendlies very seriously, seeing them as the team's final tune-ups, or they could really be evaluation matches where she tinkers and plays with things.
Goalkeepers: Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
Defenders: Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Houston Dash), 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), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
Midfielders: Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Heather O'Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
Forwards: Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)