[USA WOMEN]The USA moves into the homestretch of its 2013 season with three games over 10 games, beginning with a match against Australia Sunday at San Antonio's Alamodome (TV: NBC, 1:30 p.m. ET). The U.S. squad for the game against the Matildas includes Christen Press, Ali Krieger and Meghan Klingenberg, who have been released early by Tyreso following its elimination from the Swedish league title race.
Krieger, Press, Klingenberg and Whitney Engen, who recently returned to Tyreso after winning the English title, joined the USA directly from Paris after Tyreso held Tobin Heath's Paris St. Germain to a 0-0 tie to win its UEFA Women's Champions League series, 2-1, on aggregate.
The team for the three-game series includes 16 players who have on break since the end of the NWSL six weeks ago, seven European-based players and college stars Crystal DunnandMorgan Brian, who will miss the big ACC clash between No. 1 Virginia and defending champion North Carolina on Sunday for the Australia game.
Megan Rapinoeand Heath will arrive from France after Sunday's match and be available for the two New Zealand matches. U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni will name 18 players to suit up for each of the three games. Defenders Leigh Ann Robinson and Stephanie Cox will be released after the Australia game.
The USA, which is 10-0-2 for the season and unbeaten in its last 35 games, will close out the year with a game against Brazil Nov. 10 in Orlando.
AUSTRALIA.Australia’s roster features four NWSL players: Emily Van-Egmond (Seattle Reign), Lisa De Vanna (Sky Blue FC), Samantha Kerr(WNY Flash) and Kyah Simon (Boston Breakers). They have all returned home for the Westfield W-League that kicks off Nov. 9.
The trip will be the first since Sermanni left to Matildas to become U.S. coach. Australia is now coached by Hesterine de Reus.
“We will be using this U.S. tour," the Dutchwoman says, "to finalize the balance of our team as we head into a very important next 12 months of football, which includes the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in May."
TRIVIA.The USA has not lost at home since 2004 -- a span of 73 games. Its last home loss came on Nov. 6, 2004, a 3-1 setback to Denmark in Philadelphia.
GOALKEEPERS (4):Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Adrianna Franch (WNY Flash), Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (10):Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns FC), Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Crystal Dunn (Univ. of North Carolina), Whitney Engen (Tyresö), Meghan Klingenberg (Tyresö), Ali Krieger (Tyresö), 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 (Univ. of Virginia), Tobin Heath (Paris SG), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Heather O'Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Lyon)
FORWARDS (4): Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)
GOALKEEPERS (2):Brianna Davey (Melbourne Victory), Lydia Williams (Canberra United).
DEFENDERS (6):Teigen Allen (Western Sydney Wanderers), Laura Alleway (Brisbane Roar), Kim Carroll (Brisbane Roar), Stephanie Catley (Melbourne Victory), Alanna Kennedy (Western Sydney Wanderers), Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Tameka Butt (Brisbane Roar), Heather Garriock (Western Sydney Wanderers), Katrina Gorry (Brisbane Roar), Elise Kellond-Knight (Brisbane Roar), Teresa Polias (Sydney FC), Emily Van-Egmond (Western Sydney Wanderers).
FORWARDS (6):Lisa De Vanna (Melbourne Victory), Emily Gielnik (Brisbane Roar), Katie Gill (Perth Glory), Michelle Heyman (Canberra United), Samantha Kerr (Sydney FC), Kyah Simon Western Sydney Wanderers).