US Soccer released USWNT head coach Jill Ellis' roster for the International Tournament of Brasilia, and the Reign continue to populate the senior squad in familiar roles.
Hope Solo, Sydney Leroux and Megan Rapinoe are on board to take on China, Brazil and Argentina in mid-December in round-robin games followed by a championship and third/fourth place match. Their inclusion is no surprise, but it is another positive sign that the players are holding on to their prominent senior squad positions as Ellis has settled into the head coach position.
The WNT has not played on Brazilian soil since 1997, and haven't faced Argentina since 1998, but their return promises to be a memorable experience -- the tournament will be played in the National Stadium Mane Garrincha, recently in use for the World Cup and the second-most expensive stadium in the world after Wembley.
"It’s a chance to travel to a new environment and play international matches in unfamiliar territory, which is always valuable when getting ready for a World Cup," Ellis told US Soccer.
Matches begin on Dec. 10, and the championship game will be played Dec. 21. Holding the No. 1 world ranking and traveling with first-choice players, the team will go with an expectation of victory.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (WNY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), 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 (7): Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), 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)