games in the 2004 Olympics, scoring the opening goal of the tournament and delivering the game-winning assist against Japan in the quarterfinal.Now, at 22, she is the youngest member of the 2015 WNT World Cup roster. She has said that her shyness was a major problem for her until she became more engrossed with the WNT and found her voice and leadership ability.She’s now an assistant coach for the women’s soccer team at Washington University in St.Louis, where she says she still has to get “pumped up to coach” and has shed her shyness to teach the game she knows so well. Experience: Engen is known for her commanding presence in the middle of the field and as a fine aerial threat for headers on set pieces. She’s been quoted as saying that her first love was gymnastics but as a 5-foot-7 third grader, she was too big — she currently is 5-8.She’s logged a lot of minutes playing internationally for the WNT’s youth programs. Harris was the youngest player on the 2002 U-19 World Cup squad. She won three national championships with the University of North Carolina Tar heels, playing alongside fellow WNT teammates Tobin Heath, Meghan Klingenberg and Whitney Engen, and was the first member of her family to graduate from college. The 2015 World Cup will be her second with the WNT senior squad. games in the 2012 Olympics, starting in four and collecting three assists.
She will be an asset for the WNT in what will be her first World Cup at the senior level. Despite her size, she said she struggled with soccer early on, even with a solid work ethic, and was always on the bench.She said it wasn’t until she switched teams — to one that her fellow WNT teammate Christen Press happened to play on — and started getting more playing time that something clicked, and her career took off. Experience: This will be the first World Cup at the senior level for Harris as she will be sitting behind Hope Solo. Experience: Known for her dribbling ability and ball control, Heath is one of the most talented midfielders on the WNT roster.When she was playing soccer at the University of North Carolina, the team dorm was right next to the soccer field, so she and her teammates would always go out and play, disregarding the “closed” signs all over the gates. Experience: Holiday is a key player for the WNT’s offensive attack. She played in the final three games of the 2008 Olympics after being named to the roster following an injury to Abby Wambach. She had open heart surgery when she was 3 years old and, her energetic personality as a kid worried doctors after the operation because everyone had trouble keeping her calm and keeping her heart rate down. In her senior year playing soccer at Penn State, she broke her leg but continued to travel with the team on flights during the College Cup.She’s a strong, versatile player with tremendous field vision and instincts who has shown her ability to both pass and score. Formerly Lauren Cheney, she is married to New Orleans Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday, with whom she had an intense pickup game of basketball after their weekend wedding dress rehearsal. Experience: She is a talented defender who made a name for herself in the WNT’s youth programs. So far in 2015, she’s shown her ability as an attacking defender; she’s played in all 10 games, starting nine and netting one goal. Known as “Kling” by teammates and close family members and friends, she said her father signed her up for taekwondo when she was a kid to try to make her less shy, and now she is a third-degree black belt. Experience: She is one of the best attacking defenders on the WNT and is a hard-nosed, aggressive player. In her first World Cup in 2011, she started all six U. games and was one of four Americans to play every minute of the tournament —she netted the fifth and final penalty kick in the shootout win over Brazil in the quarterfinals. But the flights led to blood clots in her leg, which led to a pulmonary embolism and a series of mini-heart attacks that she has said made her fear for her life.
women’s national team senior-level squad in 2003, she has developed into one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. She started 14 out of 16 matches in the last three Women’s World Cups, scoring three goals. WOMEN'S WORLD CUP: CONTENDERS, PRETENDERS AND WHO TO WATCH Hometown: St. Experience: Before being named to her first World Cup with the WNT senior-level team this year, Brian played in a World Cup with both the U-17 and U-20 youth squads. games in the 2012 U-20 World Cup, playing all but 18 minutes. Brian, who stands 5-foot-7, was one of the skinniest and smallest players among all her soccer peers when she was a kid. matches in the 2008 Olympics and assisted on the game-winning goal in the quarterfinal against Canada. In the 2012 Olympics, Boxx went down with an injury in the opening match and didn’t return until the championship game, in which she helped the WNT capture its third straight Olympic gold medal. She is the only player in USWNT history to be named to the senior-level squad for a FIFA Women’s World Cup without ever previously earning a cap playing in an international match.