U.S. women's national team head coach Jill Ellis
named 20 players for the 2014 Concacaf Women's Championship
that begins Oct. 15 and will be played in four U.S. cities. The squad includes 19 NWSL pros, plus University of Virginia senior Morgan Brian
"I've said on numerous
occasions, I feel this is one of the most competitive rosters to make in our recent history," said Ellis. "The way the players performed during our most recent camp and two games against Mexico
certainly made it difficult on the coaching staff. In the end, we feel we came to the best decisions possible and we have depth and versatility at every position. This is a highly motivated group and
we're ready for the qualifying tournament."
The USA is a prohibitive favorite to win the Concacaf Women's Championship title and claim one of the three automatic berths up for grabs in
the Concacaf tournament for next year's Women's World Cup. (The fourth-place team will face Ecuador in a playoff.)
The U.S. Women's National Team opens Group A play at Sporting Park in
Kansas City, Kansas, against Trinidad & Tobago on Oct. 15, at 8:30 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 2) before facing Guatemala on Oct. 17 at 9 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1) at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois, and
Haiti on Oct. 20, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., at 7:30 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1).
The squad is led by forward Abby Wambach
and midfielder Heather O'Reilly
, both of whom played in the qualifying tournaments for the last three Women's World Cup tournaments. Thirteen of the 18 players return from the last
competitive tournament in which the USA has played, the 2012 Olympics it won in London. U.S. Women's Roster: GOALKEEPERS (2):
Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC) DEFENDERS (7):
Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney
Engen (Houston Dash), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City) MIDFIELDERS (6):
Morgan Brian (Univ. of Virginia), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Heather O'Reilly
(Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC) FORWARDS (5):
Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press
(Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash).