Orlando soccer fans are no strangers to national team duty, so another chance to bust out our For Club and Country scarves is upon us as Orlando Pride's Alex Morgan and Ashlyn Harris have been called up for December's camp.
The 2015 Women's World Cup Champions have been traveling on a victory tour since mid-August, competing in friendlies against Costa Rica, Haiti, and, most recently, Brazil, where they played to a 3-1 win at the Citrus Bowl on October 25. This final lap will see the women take on Trinidad & Tobago in San Antonio on Dec. 6, in Honolulu Dec. 10, and then the United States will face China in Glendale (Phoenix) on Dec. 13 and in New Orleans Dec. 16.
Apart from the excitement of seeing the Pride's very own take the field for the first time since the initial signings were announced back in October and November, these will also be the final opportunities to see Abby Wambach play professionally. Wambach announced her retirement back in late October. "It has been a fantastic and thrilling year and we are looking forward to ending it on a high note, and especially honoring Abby and her legendary career in New Orleans," said U.S. Head Coach Jill Ellis in a press release.
Today's tour announcement comes on the heels of yesterday's drawing for group stage play in the 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship. The draw placed the U.S. in Group A, joined by Costa Rica, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Canada, Guatemala, T&T and Guyana make up Group B.
"T&T and China are very competitive teams and once again we’ll look to these games to continue the process of preparing for Olympic Qualifying, especially now that we know our path during the qualifying tournament in February," said Ellis in the release.
Interestingly, in competition against Trinidad & Tobago in Hawaii and Texas, two national team players, Morgan Brian and Carli Lloyd, will face their Houston Dash club coach, Randy Waldrup, who is also head coach for the T&T Soca Warriors.
Stay tuned to The Mane Land for match previews and analysis leading up to and during this exciting chance to see more soccer in December.
Here is the full USWNT roster for the final Victory Tour matches:
Goalkeepers (3): Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
Defenders (10): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Jaelene Hinkle (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Emily Sonnett (Univ. of Virginia)
Midfielders (8): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (Wisconsin), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (Western NY Flash), Heather O'Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
Forwards (7): Lindsey Horan (PSG), Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash), Stephanie McCaffrey (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (unattached)
Dec. 6 vs. Trinidad & Tobago in Honolulu - 8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1/FOX Sports GO
Dec. 10 vs. Trinidad & Tobago in San Antonio - 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2/WatchESPN
Dec. 13 vs. China in Glendale, AZ - 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2/WatchESPN
Dec. 16 vs. China in New Orleans - 8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1/FOX Sports GO