The roster that U.S. Women's National Team head coach Tom Sermanni named to face Mexico on Sept. 3 will seem very familiar to Kansas City fans. Of the 18 players named, 6 play for FC Kansas City. The match will be the first for the U.S. following the inaugural NWSL season.
National team regulars Nicole Barnhart, Lauren Holiday, Kristie Mewis and Becky Sauerbrunn will be joined by Blues team mates Leigh Ann Robinson and Erika Tymrak. This is the first call up to the full national team for Robinson and Tymrak.
"I think it's great that Tom Sermanni is bringing in players that have shown well in this league," Becky Sauerbrunn stated by phone Thursday. "That is one of the objectives of this league to widen the national team pool. It's great that he is rewarding some players and inviting them to camp based on how well they did. Erika and Leigh Ann have had such great seasons and it's great to see them get rewarded for it."
Sermanni has had good reason to take notice of the women from Kansas City, all have shown growth this season and almost all have won awards: Barnhart (Goalkeeper of the Year), Sauerbrunn (Defender of the Year), Robinson (runner-up for Defender of the year), Tymrak (Rookie of the Year) and Holiday (Golden Boot).
"I've thoroughly enjoyed the NWSL matches this summer and I know all the players will be sharp for the game against Mexico," said Sermanni vie press release. "We have several key players out with injuries, but I'm pleased we were able to call in a few new players to give them a brief look at this event. Looking forward, all the players need and deserve a break, so after this match we'll give them the rest of September off and get ready for our activity in mid-October."
The U.S. women will have just one practice (an open training session) on Sept. 2 and all 18 players will suit up for the game. Due to the limited training time, Sermanni chose not to call up any of the USA's European-based players with the exception of Yael Averbuch, who will already be on the East Coast to attend a wedding.
Alex Morgan, who was injured on Aug. 7 and whose status for Portland Thorns FC's playoff run is still to be determined, was named for the match but will not play if she is not deemed healthy.
"We will evaluate Alex's recovery from her injury when she comes into camp," said Sermanni. "At this point, the most important thing is that she is completely fit and healthy. If our medical staff says she's ready to play, then she'll play."
The game will feature six of the nine top scorers during the NWSL regular season in Holiday (12 goals), Sydney Leroux (11), Abby Wambach (11), Carli Lloyd (8) and Morgan (8). In addition, Mexico will likely feature Sky Blue FC forward Monica Ocampo, who finished tied for fourth in regular season scoring with eight goals. Mexico has 12 players who competed in the NWSL this season.
Eleven of the players called up are on teams participating in the semifinals of the NWSL playoffs.
U.S. Women's National Team Roster - Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns FC), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina), Kristie Mewis (FC Kansas City), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Leigh Ann Robinson (FC Kansas City), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Yael Averbuch (Göteborg), Morgan Brian (Virginia), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Western New York Flash), Heather O'Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC), Erika Tymrak (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (3): Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Abby Wambach (Western New York Flash)