U.S. women back in action -- on turf -- in San Antonio

Four days after their match in Honolulu was canceled, setting off a flurry of accusations and even one lawsuit, the USA and Trinidad & Tobago will meet Thursday in San Antonio's Alamodome (TV: ESPN2, 9 p.m. ET).

Like Honolulu's Aloha Stadium, the Alamodome has artificial surface. The irony: A grass surface was covered over the turf when the USA and Mexico met in a men's friendly in April, but El Tri floated the idea of refusing to play because of its poor quality.

Alamodome marketing director Andrea DeLaune told the San Antonio Express-News on Tuesday that U.S. Soccer officials did not appear concerned with the Alamodome surface after inspecting it. The U.S. women, who conducted an open training session on Wednesday at the Alamodome, played on the turf two years ago when they beat Australia, 4-0, in front of 19,109 fans.

Three games remain on the Victory Tour, the last three before Abby Wambach retires. Three other members of the U.S. Women's World Cup championship team have already retired: Lauren Holiday, Shannon Boxx and Lori Chalupny.

The USA will also be without Megan Rapinoe, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee during training on a (grass) practice field in Honolulu on Friday, a day before the women refused to play the first match against T&T after seeing the condition of the Aloha Stadium surface.

Christie Rampone, 40, will not be available for Thursday's match because of a bone bruise in her left knee.

For part of the T&T squad, the stops to Honolulu and San Antonio are only the first legs on a journey that will take them to Brazil. The Women's Soca Warriors are also playing in a tournament in Natal.

While head coach Randy Waldrum is with the team in San Antonio, assistant Anthony Creece took a team of young players to Brazil, where they lost to the hosts, 11-0. Marta scored five goals for Brazil. Half of Waldrum's group will join the team currently in Brazil after the San Antonio match for the two remaining matches of the tournament.

U.S. Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), 21-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), 1-Hope Solo (Seattle Reign).
DEFENDERS (9): 25-Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), 6-Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), 26-Jaelene Hinkle (Western NY Flash), 19-Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), 22-Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), 11-Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), 5- Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), 4- Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), 27- Emily Sonnett (Univ. of Virginia)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 14-Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), 32-Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars), 17-Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), 30-Rose Lavelle (Univ. of Wisconsin), 10-Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), 29-Samantha Mewis (Western NY Flash), 9- Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (7): 31-Lindsey Horan (Paris Saint-Germain), 2-Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash), 28-Stephanie McCaffrey (Boston Breakers), 13-Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), 23-Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), 8-Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), 20- Abby Wambach (unattached)
5 comments about "U.S. women back in action -- on turf -- in San Antonio".
  1. Richard T. Lynch, December 10, 2015 at 7:24 a.m.

    Before I bought tickets to this (or any other game for that matter), I would want some assurances from the players that they were actually going to play. Aren't they the final deciders? This is what they have created. I don't live near any of the common USWNT venues but I have followed the team for 30 years and have flown and traveled large distances numerous times to watch games. Not so likely to do that now.

  2. Brian Bouhl replied, December 10, 2015 at 7:51 a.m.

    Well Richard, I don't think any of them will be missing your presence.

    If you had the slightest ounce of a clue, you'd realize the Hawaii thing was a severely isolated incident.

  3. beautiful game, December 10, 2015 at 9:42 a.m.

    Very few friendlies are worth the price of admission; this one especially.

  4. Wooden Ships, December 10, 2015 at 10 a.m.

    Richard I definitely applaud your loyalty to to the women's team and your expense in supporting them. People like you have truly helped the sport grow here in the States. Please continue. Both the women and the men appreciate more than you might realize your support, for without it we wouldn't have the growth we've experienced each passing decade. The victory tour is okay with me as it allows fans to see their team, say farewell to retiring players and provide additional money to the players. Some of the competition could be better, but some if these countries value playing against a vastly superior team.
    The USSF seems to be slipping on its responsibilities. Hawaii, hopefully was an isolated incident but the fields are really important. Just stop playing on turf or grass over turf. As a former player and now a former college coach, aside from traveling safely, there was no greater responsibility to me than the playing condition of the pitch. Period. Daily attention was given to any problem areas and addressed instantly. Sometimes the only way to get results is by the players themselves, when those charged with managing fail to do so.

  5. John M Cote, December 10, 2015 at 10:41 a.m.

    I completely agree with Wooden. I'm quite active in local soccer and pitch conditions have always been a key safety consideration.

    By all accounts, the pitch in Hawaii was in dreadful shape. I just don't understand how that wasn't caught early on in the process.

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