U.S. women’s coach Jill Ellis turns attention toward 2017

The U.S. women concluded 2016 with a 5-0 victory over Romania Sunday night at StubHub Center.

After a break for the holidays, Ellis expects to reconvene with a January camp. With some ussoccerlogoveterans on the way out, the two-game series against Romania afforded Ellis with a chance to see some familiar, younger faces in bigger roles.

“At this point, we have a camp in January scheduled,” Ellis said. “I think this is what’s been great about having a lot of different players in (camp). Now, it is about trying to pick a group for that.

“The other plan is there will be an under-23 camp that will happen prior to our camp and not just looking at under-23 players, but pulling potentially a couple of our best under-17, our best under-20s, our best college players … I want to see as many players as I can and having a camp prior to ours, if somebody does well, then they can stick around for a few days and train with us. That’s kind of how its done and that’s how we piggyback those two teams.

“Beyond that, the She Believes tournament is very important, big tournament and where we get to test ourselves.”

Ellis said the January camps would possibly be in Carson at StubHub Center, “unless the MLS teams are here hogging it.”

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U.S. women national team concludes year against Romania

It is a time of transition for the U.S. women’s national soccer team, with several new faces vying for permanent spots alongside some familiar ones.ussoccerlogo

The U.S. will face Romania tonght at StubHub Center (6:30 p.m.; Fox Sports 1) in the final game of 2016.

One of the positions under the spotlight is at goalkeeper. The U.S. is without longtime start Hope Solo. Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride) and Alyssa Naehere (Chicago Red Stars) were all called into this camp.

Harris earned the start in Thursday’s 8-1 victory over Romania at Avaya Stadium in San Jose. It was her third appearance of the year.

“Everything for the keepers is about game experience and decision-making,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said following Thursday’s victory. “I don’t know how many caps between them Ash (Ashylyn Harris) and Alyssa (Naehere) have but it’s not very many. So the more you put them in these situations, this is what it comes down to.

“They can be brilliant in training and now it’s can they make good decisions in a game. That’s for every player. So everything is a takeaway at this point.”

Ellis initially called in just five players from the 2015 World Cup and Olympic Team (defenders Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg, Ali Krieger, midfielder Megan Rapinoe and forward Alex Morgan).

Klingenberg and newcomer Jaelene Hinkle were both replaced during camp due to injuries. Forward Jessica McDonald and Emily Menges were the replacements. This is their first call-up to the senior national team.

One of the young “veterans” in camp for this series is Christen Press. Press scored a hat trick in Thursday’s game and is the fourth player to score double digits goals this year.

“It is an interesting time for our team,” Press said Thursday. “We’re kind of ending a cycle and being reborn at the same time. It is great for us to go out there and get results but also work on our soccer.

“We’re playing a new formation, we have a lot of new players out there, so we’re trying to push and break the threshold. Even though we’re about to go into a period of break, we’re just trying to get the maximum out of ourselves.”

Alex Morgan scored a pair of goals in Thursday’s game, giving her 17 for the year and 73 in her career.

“This is an early process for us,” midfielder Tobin Heath said. “We’re going through a transition. Kind of getting up to speed and continuing this journey and path the way we want to play, incorporate the new players and continue to grow.”

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U.S. Women’s National Team to play last game of year Nov. 13 in Carson at StubHub Center

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The U.S. Women’s National Team will play its first game in Southern California in four years Nov. 13 when it plays against Romania (6:30 p.m. Fox Sports 1) in what will be its final contest of the year.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday.

From the U.S. Soccer press release:

The U.S. Women have played 20 matches in Southern California, 10 of them at the StubHub Center, where the team has gone 10-0-0, scoring 37 goals and allowing just three. The most recent match was a 2-1 win vs. Australia on Sept. 16, 2012.

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USWNT closes out group play in Rio 2016 Olympics today at 3 p.m. on NBCSN

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This new TV ad from UltraViolet, a national women’s advocacy organization, will air today on NBC stations in Seattle and Baltimore calling for the U.S. Women’s National Team players to receive equal pay for equal play.

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Olympics Preview: USWNT-New Zealand at 3 p.m. on NBCSN

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U.S. Women Olympic soccer team announced

U.S. Women's Olympic team

The U.S. Women Olympic soccer team was announced Tuesday.

The roster includes seven players from the 2012 team that won gold at the 2012 Olympics and 14 players from the last year’s World Cup championship team.

Here is the roster, by position:

GOALKEEPERS: Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)

DEFENDERS: Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)

MIDFIELDERS: Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)

FORWARDS: Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)

“We’ve got a great blend of players with experience at the Olympic Games and in major events along with the youthful energy of some players who did not play in the Women’s World Cup last summer,” Ellis said. “As a coach in the Olympic Games, you want to put together a group capable of reaching the top of the podium while also being mindful of getting players prepared for the next World Cup, and I think we’ve done that.”

The U.S. will face Costa Rica, July 22 in Kansas for a final Olympic send-off match.

The team opens Olympic play Aug. 3 against New Zealand.

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100 Percent Soccer Column: Ready for a packed summer of soccer?

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So I suppose it’s tempting fate to write a column about the busy summer of soccer that lies ahead and then elevate the wrong team to the final four of the UEFA CL (not that the two alert Barcelona fans who noticed really minded).

Anyway, the corrected column is here, so mark your calendars or stick it on your fridge or whatever to ensure you don’t miss a game.

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Copa America Trophy visits four Los Angeles-area locations this weekend including Sunday’s LA Galaxy game in Carson

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Before the actual Copa America tournament this summer comes the trophy tour:

  • 11 a.m. to noon Saturday at Intaktics, 1214 254th Street for the LAFC futsal tournament.
  • 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday at The Greyhound, 5570 N. Figueroa St., for the LA Spurs  Tottenham-Manchester United watch party.
  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at 1739 Public House, 1739 N. Vermont Ave., for the American Outlaws USWNT-Colombia watch party.
  • 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Stubhub Center for the Galaxy-Portland Timbers game
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