Saturday January 9th, 2016

Women's World Cup hero Carli Lloyd and defender Becky Sauerbrunn have been named the new captains of the U.S. women's national soccer team, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced on Saturday. 

The duo take over captaincy duties from the now-retired striker Abby Wambach and defender Christie Rampone, who will turn 41 in June and is currently out 4-6 weeks after undergoing knee surgery. When the two are on the field at the same time, Lloyd will be the one to wear the captain's armband, U.S. Soccer said. 

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“Christie and Abby have been phenomenal leaders for this team for a long time, and we are forever grateful for their far-reaching contributions,” head coach Jill Ellis said in a statement.

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Lloyd, 33, whose hat trick in the 2015 Women's World Cup final secured the trophy for the United States, earned her first cap with the team in 2005. She has since made 211 appearances, scoring 79 goals. Lloyd also won the Golden Ball at the 2015 World Cup and is a finalist for the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award, to be presented at the Ballon d'Or gala on Monday.

Sauerbrunn, 30, started every game at central defense for the United States at the 2015 World Cup. The team conceeded just three goals over that seven-game championship run. Since first appearing for the U.S. national team in 2008, she has earned 96 caps. 

- Alexander Abnos

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