The National Women’s Soccer League season has come to an end for the year, but the USWNT is hard at work with two friendlies for this month. After facing off against New Zealand twice last month, the USWNT is set to face the Korea Republic this week in the first of two friendlies against the opponent.
Looking back at USWNT and Korea
The last time these two teams met was just before the last Women’s World Cup, in May of 2015. It was a scoreless draw in New Jersey. The most recent USWNT win over Korea was in 2013 when they provided a 5-0 result at the very same stadium in New Jersey. The USWNT’s last win over Korea was a historic night; Abby Wambach broke the record for most goals scored, scoring four goals in the match. Her third goal of the night marked goal number 159, surpassing USWNT great Mia Hamm.
Ten players on head coach Jill Ellis’ current roster were part of the USWNT roster that faced the Korea Republic in 2015 - which was also was the Women’s World Cup roster that went on to win the title in 2015. Of the 10 players on the 2015 roster, Julia Ertz, Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelley O’Hara, Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd, and Christen Press actually played against the Korea Republic. Alex Morgan, Ashlyn Harris, Alyssa Naeher, and Megan Rapinoe were part of the roster as well, but they didn’t play.
Deeper look at the roster
The original roster released by Ellis consisted of 22 players, but two players are no longer joining the USWNT for this training camp. Midfielder Tobin Heath and defender Taylor Smith were injured during the NWSL Championship and will not be replace on the roster, cutting numbers down to 20. Two players on the roster have played every minute so far in midfielder Sam Mewis and defender Becky Sauerbrunn. Sauerbrunn leads the team with 1,035 minutes on the year so far and Mewis is right behind her with 980 minutes.
Returning to the roster after almost a year is Stanford midfielder Andi Sullivan. In 2016, Sullivan received her first senior call up for two friendlies in October, and then returned to the roster again in November for two more friendlies before an ACL injury in the NCAA Tournament. She no only played in all four matches she was called up for, but she started all of them and played the full 90 in two of them. The midfielder is currently completing her senior season at Stanford, and she is ready to make an impact once again for the USWNT.
The USWNT hosts the Korea Republic on Thursday, October 19 in New Orleans, Lousiana at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. The match is set to start at 7 pm Central Time and will be aired on Fox Sports 1.