The U.S. national team will face its toughest test since the World Cup, and finalize its preparation for July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, with a squad absent some of the program’s most recognizable and productive players.
The team that coach Jurgen Klinsmann will take to face the Netherlands, the World Cup bronze medalist, on June 5 and then champion Germany on June 10 will be missing forwards Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore, midfielder Alejandro Bedoya and defenders Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler, among others. Eight of the 22 players named Sunday afternoon have 10 caps or fewer. There are no new names. The less experienced players called in are those in whom Klinsmann already has invested.
“Our time since the World Cup has been a transition period which now winds down before the Gold Cup,” Klinsmann said. “Playing against top teams like Germany and the Netherlands provides valuable experience, especially for the younger players here. More and more, they must understand we come to meet these opponents eye to eye. Obviously it’s a bit tricky when we are without some of our core players, but that creates a huge opportunity for the guys here to benchmark themselves against some of the best players in the world.”
The sixth-ranked Dutch and world champion Germans indeed are loaded with talent, but they haven’t spent much time together in 2015. While the U.S. is 2-2-1 this year, the Netherlands and Germany have played only two games each. They’re both using the U.S. to prepare for European Championship qualifiers against continental lightweights. The Dutch will play Latvia on June 12 and the Germans will visit Gibraltar the following day.
Likewise, Klinsmann is searching for chemistry. He’s shuffled and reshuffled his roster since the World Cup, starting in a 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1 or 3-5-2 while using 38 players in the five matches this year. Some of that is due to the “transition period” he referenced. But as Sunday’s announcement attests, it’s also out of necessity. Life, club coaches and injuries have intervened frequently, and Klinsmann hasn’t had much luck in accessing his entire player pool at once.
As a result, the U.S. will face two very stiff tests in Europe. Here’s a closer look at Klinsmann’s team.
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club León)
It appears Yarbrough, the 26-year-old Mexican-born son of American parents, has taken over the No. 3 spot from D.C. United’s Bill Hamid, the reigning MLS goalkeeper of the year. A two-time Liga MX champion with León, Yarbrough made his U.S. debut in the 1-1 draw with Switzerland two months ago and then came on in relief in April’s 2-0 defeat of Mexico. He’s yielded one goal. Hamid hasn’t played for the U.S. since November.
Guzan remains the No. 1 goalkeeper, but he’s coming off a rough end to the season with Aston Villa, where he lost his starting job last month. He was on the bench for Villa’s final five games, including Saturday’s 4-0 FA Cup final loss to Arsenal. He also missed the U.S. friendlies in March for the birth of his first child and hasn’t played for the national team in six months.
“He will be the starter in the Gold Cup,” Klinsmann said of Guzan. “Even if he had some tough weeks at Aston Villa where suddenly the coach for whatever reason decided to put him behind Shay Given. That surprised us big time, but he fights through that and he will be sharp and hungry for the long summer.”
Rimando, who will turn 36 in June, keeps chugging along. He’s started all five U.S. friendlies in 2015.
Defenders: Ventura Alvarado (Club América), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Brek Shea (Orlando City), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
One would think that Cameron, Gonzalez and Besler would be locks for a team preparing for the Gold Cup, but they’ve been omitted. The latter two are healthy. Cameron, who just signed a new deal at Stoke City, has played for the U.S. just once since the World Cup and according to reports has been dealing with a nagging injury. Gonzalez and Besler, meanwhile, have a combined three caps in 2015. They’ll remain with the LA Galaxy and Sporting Kansas City, respectively.
Klinsmann clearly is a fan of the imposing Brooks, who started the friendlies in Denmark and Switzerland, and the promise of Alvarado, who’s played in the past three U.S. games. Orozco started in Denmark and Switzerland but isn’t an obvious upgrade over Besler or Gonzalez.
Yedlin and Shea bring the speed, range and daring that Klinsmann likes to see from his outside backs. Shea is a regular in Orlando but Yedlin has seen only 11 first-team minutes at Tottenham since joining up in January. Chandler, who rarely seems to fit in with the national team, just keeps hanging around. Evans offers experience and versatility.
Other noteworthy omissions are Bolton Wanderers’ stalwart Tim Ream, who was called up in March, and Club Tijuana left back Greg Garza, who appeared to be one of Klinsmann’s top choices for the position several months ago. Garza missed Xolos’ May 9 finale with an injury.
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading)
Michael Bradley and Fabian Johnson are the class of the group and likely will be relied upon heavily in Amsterdam and Cologne. As usual, the intrigue will revolve around how Klinsmann uses Bradley and with whom the TFC star is paired.
Williams, who returned to the national team in March, and the veteran Beckerman provide quality defensive cover if Klinsmann pushes Bradley forward. Beckerman may be especially useful against two high-octane opponents, although Klinsmann continues to stress his preference for a proactive game. It’s also worth noting that Jones is listed in midfield on this roster and not on defense, where he’s played in his two U.S. appearances this year. The 33-year-old certainly is still capable of making an impression.
“He’s going to be back in midfield because of the fact that we have so many high-quality center backs,” Klinsmann said of Jones. “We also talked with his club coach and we are both on the same page there. He will be back in his No. 6 or No. 8 role, wherever he fits best.”
Jones exited Sunday evening's New England-LA game with a groin injury. [Editor's Note: Jones has since been ruled out of the two matches.]
Considering Bedoya’s absence (he’s nursing an injured knee) and where the strength in the U.S. midfield lies, it seems likely Bradley will be deployed a bit higher. Diskerud is capable of a spectacular play or two but typically lacks a 90-minute presence. He’s been inconsistent with expansion New York City FC. Ibarra remains a project. He has two goals and two assists in eight NASL games for Minnesota.
Johnson likely will play on the left flank, where he’s been starting for UEFA Champions League-bound Mönchengladbach. Klinsmann called him “one of their best players.” The U.S. right appears wide open. It could be Diskerud, Ibarra or Morales. Either Yedlin or Shea could push up or Gyasi Zardes, a forward, might come back. The options are plentiful and the tinkering will continue.
A notable omission, if only because of his current form, is Benny Feilhaber. The playmaker is performing at an MVP level and has four goals and seven assists this season for Kansas City, but he hasn’t been in Klinsmann’s plans since the start of 2014. New England’s Lee Nguyen, an MLS MVP finalist in 2014, appears to have slipped from the picture as well. World Cup starter Graham Zusi also was omitted.
Forwards: Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Aron Jóhannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
Dempsey and Altidore are big losses, especially against opponents like these.
Dempsey, who entered Sunday’s game against the New York Red Bulls with seven goals and five assists for the Western Conference-leading Seattle Sounders, will remain home in anticipation of the birth of his fourth child. Altidore had six goals in nine appearances for Toronto FC before hurting his hamstring on May 16. He’s expected be healthy in time for the Gold Cup.
Together, the two have scored a combined 67 international goals. Only one other active international player called up in the past 12 months has reached double digits (Bradley).
The upcoming friendlies present an outstanding opportunity for Jóhannsson to finally cement his place. Injuries have dogged the skillful striker, whose ability to create his own chances and beat defenders in tight spaces is something the U.S. needs more of. Jóhannsson’s only appearance since the World Cup opener was against Denmark in March, and he scored a goal on the back end of a fantastic play set up by Bradley and Altidore. Jóhannsson then missed the Switzerland game with an infection. But he finished his club campaign in good form, scoring four goals in his final three games at AZ to conclude the Eredivisie season with nine.
Agudelo has four goals for the New England Revolution and scored in the Americans’ 2-0 win over Mexico last month. It was his first goal in a U.S. jersey since 2011. The other scorer that evening, Stanford University junior Jordan Morris, is with the U.S. U-23 team in France.
Chris Wondolowski, who’s second in MLS with eight goals, was left behind. He’s played twice for Klinsmann this year.
“The topic of strikers for us is a huge one,” the coach said. “Obviously we have Jozy that we rely on, and Clint who has done this job for so many years, but we need the next generation of strikers to come in and score goals on a consistent basis. The key message to our young talented strikers is you have to score consistently. You can’t ever get satisfied. They need to have a ratio where they score at least a goal every third game. That’s what you expect from an international-caliber striker.”
GALLERY: U.S. Soccer in 2015
The Year in Photos: U.S. Soccer in 2015
U.S. U-20 vs. El Salvador, January 24
Paul Arriola (7) celebrates his goal in a World Cup qualifying playoff match vs. El Salvador. The U.S. U-20s cemented their place in the World Cup with a 2-0 win. They drew host New Zealand, Ukraine and Myanmar in their summer group.
USMNT vs. Chile, January 28
Bobby Wood flies high in the USA's 3-2 loss to Chile, which opened the calendar year for the national team. Brek Shea and Jozy Altidore scored in the loss.
USMNT vs. Panama, February 8
Gyasi Zardes and Clint Dempsey celebrate after combining for a goal against Panama at StubHub Center to cap off winter training camp with a 2-0 victory.
USWNT vs. France, February 8
Lori Chalupny (left) and the USWNT had a tough time keeping pace with Jessica Houara (center) and France in a 2-0 loss in a friendly in Lorient. The match was the first of two played without suspended goalkeeper Hope Solo.
USWNT vs. England, February 13
Alex Morgan celebrates scoring the lone goal in the USWNT's 1-0 win over England in a friendly at Stadium mk in Milton Keynes.
USWNT vs. Norway, March 4
The USWNT opens the Algarve Cup with a 2-1 win over Norway, marking Hope Solo's return from a 30-day suspension with a come-from-behind victory. Carli Lloyd scored both goals for the Americans.
USWNT vs. Switzerland, March 6
Alex Morgan celebrates her goal in the USWNT's 3-0 win over Switzerland in the Algarve Cup group stage.
USWNT vs. Iceland, March 9
Alex Morgan and the USWNT were frustrated by Iceland, held to a 0-0 draw to wrap up group play at the Algarve Cup. The result was still enough to put the Americans in the final against France.
USWNT vs. France, March 11
The U.S. women's national team celebrates winning the Algarve Cup after a 2-0 triumph over France. Julie Johnston and Christen Press scored, and Hope Solo saved a penalty kick.
U.S. U-17 vs. Jamaica, March 15
The U.S. U-17 national team celebrates qualifying for the FIFA U-17 World Cup after defeating Jamaica on penalty kicks following a 0-0 draw in a playoff match.
USMNT vs. Denmark, March 25
U.S. goalkeeper Nick Rimando expresses his frustration after one of Nicklas Bendtner's three goals in Denmark's 3-2 win over the Americans. Jozy Altidore and Aron Johannsson scored for the USA.
USMNT vs. Switzerland, March 31
Jozy Altidore watches as Brek Shea hits a perfect free kick to put the USA on the board against Switzerland. The Americans settled for a 1-1 draw.
USWNT vs. New Zealand, April 4
Lori Chalupny (16) celebrates her goal vs. New Zealand with Lauren Holiday at St. Louis's Busch Stadium. The goal opened the floodgates for a late outburst en route to a 4-0 U.S. victory in front of more than 35,000 fans.
USMNT vs. Mexico, April 15
Jordan Morris etched his name in U.S.-Mexico lore, as the Stanford University forward scored in his first senior national team start to break a scoreless draw against El Tri at the Alamodome.
USMNT vs. Mexico, April 15
Juan Agudelo collapses to the ground in celebration after his goal at the Alamodome gave the USA a familiar lead over Mexico: Dos-a-Cero.
U.S. U-23 vs. Mexico, April 22
Real Salt Lake's Luis Gil captains the USA to a 3-0 win over Mexico at StubHub Center in Olympic qualifying preparation for both CONCACAF favorites.
USWNT vs. Ireland, May 10
Abby Wambach celebrates one of her two goals vs. Ireland as the USWNT took a 3-0 win on Mother's Day at Avaya Stadium.
USWNT vs. Mexico, May 17
Sydney Leroux is congratulated by her teammates after one of her two goals in a 5-1 pre-World Cup rout of Mexico at StubHub Center.
U.S. U-20 vs. Myanmar, May 30
Maki Tall celebrates his equalizer for the USA as part of a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Myanmar to open the U-20 World Cup group stage in New Zealand.
USWNT vs. South Korea, May 30
Carli Lloyd gets off a shot through traffic in the USA's final World Cup send-off friendly, a 0-0 draw against South Korea at Red Bull Arena.
U.S. U-23 in Toulon Tournament, May-June
Alonso Hernandez, left, takes on Qatar, while Julian Green, right, vies for the ball against France in the Toulon Tournament as part of Olympic qualifying preparations.
U.S. U-20 vs. New Zealand, June 2
Gedion Zelalem controls the ball against New Zealand in the USA's 4-0 win that cemented a place in the U-20 World Cup knockout stage.
U.S. U-20 vs. Ukraine, June 5
From left, Joel Soñora, Gedion Zelalem and Rubio Rubin show frustration during a 3-0 loss to Ukraine that wrapped up group play in the U-20 World Cup.
USMNT vs. Netherlands, June 5
DeAndre Yedlin and Danny Williams salute each other after the latter's goal–his first international strike–brought the U.S. level with the Netherlands at 3-3 in the 89th minute.
USMNT vs. Netherlands, June 5
Bobby Wood puts the finishing touch on an epic comeback, with his 90th-minute strike capping a wild 4-3 win for the USA over the Netherlands. The USA trailed 3-1 in the 71st minute.
U.S. U-23 vs. England, June 7
USA defender Boyd Okwuonu makes a tackle on England's Duncan Watmore in the Toulon Tournament third-place game. The U.S. U-23s won 2-1, sealing their best finish in the tournament.
USWNT vs. Australia, June 8, WWC
Megan Rapinoe lets out a yell after her second goal, which sealed the USA's 3-1 win over Australia to open Group D play in the Women's World Cup.
U.S. U-20 vs. Colombia, June 10
Rubio Rubin celebrates the goal that gives the USA a 1-0 win over Colombia in the FIFA U-20 World Cup round of 16. Zack Steffen's late penalty save preserved the win, as the Americans reached the quarterfinals for the first time since 2007.
USMNT vs. Germany, June 10
Michael Bradley was everywhere against World Cup champion Germany, assisting on Mix Diskerud's equalizer and commanding the midfield in a 2-1 win in Cologne.
USMNT vs. Germany, June 10
For the second straight game, Bobby Wood came off the bench and scored a stunning winner. He watches his long-range blast beat Ron-Robert Zieler in a 2-1 win over world No. 1 Germany.
USWNT vs. Sweden, June 12
Julie Johnston wins the header in a dominant showing on the U.S. back line, helping the Americans preserve a 0-0 draw against Sweden in the second game of the Women's World Cup group stage.
U.S. U-20 vs. Serbia, June 13
U.S. players' emotions say it all after a gut-wrenching loss to Serbia in penalty kicks at the U-20 World Cup. After a 0-0 draw, the Americans fell 6-5 in PKs, despite Zack Steffen's two saves in sudden death.
USWNT vs. Nigeria, June 16
Abby Wambach leaps for joy after scoring in the 45th minute off Megan Rapinoe's corner kick, which delivered a 1-0 win to the USA and first place in Group D of the Women's World Cup.
USWNT vs. Colombia, June 22
Alex Morgan's goal broke a 0-0 draw, provided relief after Abby Wambach's PK miss and helped the U.S. women to the World Cup quarterfinals after a 2-0 win over Colombia in the round of 16.
USWNT vs. China, June 26
While Carli Lloyd (10) celebrates her goal in the distance, stalwart center backs Julie Johnston and Becky Sauerbrunn rejoice in the goal that put the USA into the semifinals of the Women's World Cup.
USWNT vs. Germany, June 30
Carli Lloyd yells in celebration after scoring the penalty that put the USA up over Germany en route to a 2-0 victory in the Women's World Cup semifinals.
USMNT vs. Guatemala, July 3
DeAndre Yedlin and Jozy Altidore, wearing special jerseys with stars-and-stripes numbers for July 4, celebrate after a Guatemala own goal gifts the USA a 1-0 lead during a 4-0 win in Nashville, Tennessee, prior to the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
USWNT vs. Japan, July 5
Carli Lloyd sets the tone with a third-minute goal in the Women's World Cup final against Japan, the first of her three strikes within 16 minutes that lifted the USA to a 5-2 win and its first title in 16 years.
USWNT vs. Japan, July 5
U.S. players rush the field after the final whistle, which sealed their 5-2 triumph over Japan and a record third World Cup title.
USWNT vs. Japan, July 5
USWNT vs. Japan, July 5
Victorious, the U.S. women's national team raises the World Cup trophy for the third time, but the first in 16 years, after completing a 5-2 win over Japan in the final at Vancouver's BC Place.
USMNT vs. Honduras, July 7
Clint Dempsey leaps in celebration of his second goal in the USA's Gold Cup opener against Honduras. The Americans won 2-1, fending off a late Honduras surge to collect all three points in the start of their title defense.
USA vs. Haiti, July 10
Clint Dempsey (8) is congratulated by his teammates after a 47th-minute goal gave the USA a 1-0 win over Haiti in the Gold Cup. Gyasi Zardes, second from left, came on at halftime and assisted, and the win clinched first place in Group A.
USMNT vs Panama, July 13
Clint Dempsey, left, and Michael Bradley, right, celebrate after the latter's goal in the USA's 1-1 draw vs. Panama, which wrapped up group play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
USMNT vs. Cuba, July 18
The U.S. men put on a clinic against an overmatched Cuba in the Gold Cup quarterfinals, with Clint Dempsey's hat trick leading the way in a 6-0 rout. Gyasi Zardes, Aron Johannsson and Omar Gonzalez also scored.
USMNT vs. Jamaica, July 22
A downtrodden Clint Dempsey and Jurgen Klinsmann walk off the field as Jamaica celebrates a stunning 2-1 win over the USA in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals.
USMNT vs. Panama, July 25
Michael Bradley walks away in dismay after having a penalty saved in a PK shootout in the USA's loss to Panama in the Gold Cup third-place game. After a 1-1 draw, Panama prevailed 3-2 in PKs, the USA's first shootout in 10 years.
USWNT vs. Costa Rica, August 16
Meghan Klingenberg waves a Terrible Towel in her hometown of Pittsburgh after scoring one of the USA's many goals in an 8-0 rout of Costa Rica in its first game since winning the 2015 Women's World Cup.
USWNT vs. Costa Rica, August 19
Alex Morgan and Kelley O'Hara celebrate during a second rout of Costa Rica in three days, this one a 7-2 win in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
USA U-23 vs. England U-21, Sept. 3
U.S. U-23 goalkeeper Zack Steffen looks on in disappointment as England U-21 forward James Wilson celebrates with Duncan Watmore after scoring the lone goal in a 1-0 friendly win in England.
USMNT vs. Peru, Sept. 4
Jozy Altidore, right, is congratulated after one of his two goals that sparked the USA's come-from-behind win over Peru at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
USA U-23 vs. Qatar, Sept. 8
Gedion Zelalem made his U-23 debut off the bench in the USA's 2-0 win over Qatar in England in the final tune-up before Olympic qualifying
USMNT vs. Brazil, Sept. 8
Neymar and Marcelo celebrate while DeAndre Yedlin and Ventura Alvarado look away in disgust during Brazil's 4-1 rout of the USA at Gillette Stadium.
USWNT vs. Haiti, Sept. 17, 20
Carli Lloyd scored hat tricks in both games and NWSL Golden Boot winner Crystal Dunn scored her first international goals as the USWNT beat Haiti 5-0 and 8-0 in a pair of friendlies in Detroit and Birmingham, Alabama. Haiti replaced on-strike Australia as a last-minute opponent.
USA U-23 vs. Canada, October 1
Jerome Kiesewetter, left, and Emerson Hyndman, right, sandwich Jordan Morris after his first-minute goal in the USA's 3-1 win over Canada in their Olympic qualifying opener.
USA U-23 vs. Cuba, October 3
Cameron Carter-Vickers gets congratulated by Jerome Kiesewetter and Emerson Hyndman after opening the scoring in a 6-1 rout of Cuba in their Olympic qualifying match. The USA cemented its place in the semifinal round with the win.
USA U-23 vs. Panama, October 6
There was plenty of credit to go around, as the Americans finished off a perfect group run in Olympic qualifying with a 4-0 win over Panama. Jordan Morris and Jerome Kiesewetter came on at halftime and provided the spark needed to seize the three points.
USA U-23 vs. Honduras, October 10
Wil Trapp's reaction says it all, as the USA failed to secure an automatic berth to the 2016 Olympics after falling to Honduras 2-0 in the semifinals of CONCACAF's Olympic qualifying tournament at Real Salt Lake's Rio Tinto Stadium.
USMNT vs. Mexico, October 10
Captain Michael Bradley leads the USA out onto the field ahead of the Americans' CONCACAF Cup playoff vs. Mexico at the Rose Bowl.
USMNT vs. Mexico, October 10
Geoff Cameron beats Rafa Marquez to the spot and heads home a 15th-minute equalizer off a free kick from Michael Bradley, negating a Chicharito goal five minutes earlier in the CONCACAF Cup playoff between USA and Mexico.
USMNT vs. Mexico, October 10
U.S. forward Bobby Wood celebrates his 108th-minute goal vs. Mexico that brought the Americans level at 2-2 after Oribe Peralta had given El Tri the lead in extra time. That reprieve would only last for 10 minutes, though.
USMNT vs. Mexico, October 10
Jermaine Jones falls to his knees in disappointment as Mexico celebrates after Paul Aguilar's sensational volley in extra time captured the CONCACAF Cup for El Tri and sends the U.S. rival to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
USA U-23 vs. Canada, October 13
Marc Pelosi (15) celebrates after his goal breaks the deadlock and sends the U.S. U-23s on their way to a 2-0 win over Canada in CONCACAF's Olympic qualifying third-place game. The U.S. still has a chance to reach Rio, but it'll have to go through Colombia in a playoff.
USMNT vs. Costa Rica, October 13
Tim Howard can't watch as Costa Rica players celebrate Joel Campbell's goal in a 1-0 friendly win at Red Bull Arena. The match marked Howard's return to the U.S. goal for the first time since the 2014 World Cup round of 16.
USA U-17 vs. Nigeria, October 17
Victor Osimhen scores for Nigeria in a 2-0 win over the USA in the teams' FIFA Under-17 World Cup opener in Chile.
USA U-17 vs. Croatia, October 20
USA U-17 midfielder Christian Pulisic watches his opening goal find the back of the net in the Americans' 2-2 draw with Croatia at the World Cup. The U.S. led 2-0 on Pulisic's goal and assist to Brandon Vazquez, but the European side mounted a furious rally to salvage a point.
USWNT vs. Brazil, October 21
Shannon Boxx, right, passes off the captain's armband to Carli Lloyd in her final act as a player, riding into retirement in the first half of a 1-1 draw against Brazil in Seattle.
USA U-17 vs. Chile, October 23
USA U-17 captain Hugo Arellano sits dejected after a 4-1 loss to host Chile eliminated the Americans from the World Cup in the group stage.
USWNT vs. Brazil, October 25
The USA said goodbye to two more veterans, with Lauren Holiday, left, and Lori Chalupny ending their careers during a 2-1 win over Brazil in Orlando. The team improved to 5-0-1 on its World Cup victory tour with the win.
USWNT at the White House, October 27
President Barack Obama welcomes the World Cup-champion USWNT to the White House, honoring their triumph in Canada.
USMNT vs. St. Vincent and the Grenadines, November 13
Jozy Altidore watches one of his shots head toward goal in the USA's 6-1 win over St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the opening of 2018 World Cup qualifying. Altidore scored twice, as the USA overcame a shocking early deficit and won at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
USMNT vs. Trinidad and Tobago, November 17
Gyasi Zardes and the U.S. men were held to a 0-0 draw by Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain, closing the year with a World Cup qualifying and sitting atop Group C in the semifinal round via goal differential tiebreaker.
USWNT vs. Trinidad & Tobago, December 10
Christen Press triumphantly raises her hand after a goal during her hat trick in a 6-0 rout of Trinidad & Tobago at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
USWNT vs. China, December 13
Crystal Dunn leaves her feet to settle a pass in the USA's 2-0 win over China at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Dunn and Christen Press scored the goals.
USWNT vs. China, December 16
Abby Wambach is introduced in the U.S. lineup for the last time at the Superdome in New Orleans, playing in her final match before retiring. She ends her U.S. career with 255 appearances and an international-record 184 goals.