Sky Blue FC defender Kelley O’Hara will get an opportunity to play agaisnt the Korea Republic. (Jeffrey Auger Photo)
CHICAGO – Several familiar names to area soccer fans were named by head coach Jill Ellis to the U.S. national team that will take on the Korea Republic in two matches this month.
Sky Blue FC defender Kelley O’Hara, Portland Timbers midfielder Allie Long (Northport, N.Y) and Chelsea forward Crystal Dunn (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) were among 22 players selected to participate in matches taking place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans Oct. 19 (8 p.m. ET on FS1) and at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. Oct 22 (2 p.m. ET on ESPN).
Ellis will name 18 players to suit up for each of the two matches.
“South Korea is a team that is well positioned to qualify for the upcoming World Cup in France, a former world champion at the Under-17 level and a team that gave us a battle when we played them before the last World Cup,” Ellis said. “They fit perfectly into the mold of the kind of team we wanted to play this year and will be an excellent opponent for our group coming out of the NWSL season.”
The USA most recently played Korea Republic on May 30, 2015, drawing 0-0 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., in the last match before the historic run to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup title.
Of the 22 players Ellis named, 20 were with the U.S. team for the two wins against New Zealand in September. Ellis added co-captain Carli Lloyd, who is still working her way back from an ankle injury that kept her out of the September matches against New Zealand and the last five matches of the National Women’s Soccer League season.
Lloyd, the reigning two-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year who is up for the award again this fall, is the most capped player on the roster with 242 games played and highest scorer with 97 career goals.
Midfielder Andi Sullivan, 22, a senior at Stanford, received her first call-up sincelast fall, when she earned her first four caps before tearing her ACL in a college playoff match.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 1/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 13/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 20/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 9/0), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 53/11), Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars; 1/0), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC; 101/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City; 131/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 15/0), Taylor Smith (NC Courage; 5/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 132/18), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 39/4), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash; 242/97), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC; 31/5), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 30/5), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 125/33), Andi Sullivan (Stanford; 4/0)
FORWARDS (5): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC; 55/22), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 130/77), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars; 92/43), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 28/6), Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 11/3)