Crystal Dunn will see her first competitive action since finishing the English season with Chelsea in the spring. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
CHICAGO – Three women with area ties were among 23 players called into the U.S. national team for the 2017 Tournament of Nations later this month.
Those players included Sky Blue FC defender Kelley O’Hara, Portland Thorns midfielder Allie Long of Northport, N.Y. and Chelsea forward Crystal Dunn of Rockville Centre, N.Y.
The tournament will feature the U.S., Japan, Australia and Brazil playing in three doubleheader events at three venues over eight days.
For the second time this year, after the staging of the SheBelieves Cup in March, U.S. Soccer will host four of the best women’s soccer teams. The USA is ranked first in the world by FIFA. Japan is sixth, Australia seventh and Brazil eighth. All six tournament matches will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks.
Coached by Jill Ellis, the U.S. team will come together in Seattle July 23 for three days of training before opening the tournament against Australia at CenturyLink Field July 27 (10 p.m. ET, ESPN) in the first meeting between the two sides since the opening match of the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Brazil and Japan will play the first game of the doubleheader at 7:15 p.m. ET (ESPN3).
All the teams will travel to down to San Diego, where Japan will face Australia on Sunday, July 30 (5:15 p.m. ET, ESPN3) followed by the USA facing Brazil (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2) at Qualcomm Stadium. The tournament will finish at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Thursday, Aug. 3, as Australia takes on Brazil (7:15 p.m. ET, ESPN3) and the USA meets Japan (10 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
The winner of the tournament will be based on total points (three for a win, one for a tie), with the first tie-breaker being overall goal difference, followed by most total tournament goals scored, then head-to-head result and FIFA ranking, if necessary.
Chicago Red Stars forward Sofia Huerta will train with the U.S. team during the tournament.
Huerta, who played for Mexico at the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup and has five caps for the senior team, is not eligible to play for the United States. But U.S. Soccer is pursuing a change of association with FIFA on her behalf which, if approved, would make her eligible to play for the USA in the future. Huerta was born in Boise, grew up in Idaho, and attended Santa Clara University with U.S. defender Julie Ertz.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Abby Smith (Boston Breakers)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Taylor Smith (NC Courage)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), Margaret Purce (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (7): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Sydney Leroux (FC Kansas City), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Lynn Williams (NC Courage)