April 14, 2015 / 9:59 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. announce experienced squad for Women's World Cup

(Reuters) - The United States head coach Jill Ellis announced her 23-woman squad for the Women’s World Cup featuring 14 members of the 2012 Olympic gold medal winning team.

Apr 4, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; United States celebrate a goal during the second half against New Zealand at Busch Stadium. United States defeated New Zealand 4-0. Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The U.S open their campaign in Winnipeg against Australia on June 8 and official final squad lists do not have to be provided to FIFA until May 25 but Ellis chose to make her selection public before a series of warm-up games.

“It has been a thorough process of evaluation and we had a lot of good opportunities to see players in highly competitive situations,” said Ellis. “I feel this group of players can accomplish our goals.

“We have positional depth, versatility and players that will give us balance on every line,” she added.

The squad is packed with experience , averaging 101 caps per player and a combined 122 Women’s World Cup matches under their belt.

Defender Christie Rampone, who will turn 40 during the tournament, will feature in her fifth World Cup having been part of the last U.S. squad to win the World Cup back in 1999.

The Americans finished runners-up in Germany in 2011 after they were surprisingly beaten by Japan in the final.

“I think the pure talent on this team, we are very talented, very technical team with great athleticism,” said Ellis.

“Certainly there is a tremendous amount of desire in this group. I feel very confident and excited about the group we have.”

After the Group D opener against Australia, the Americans take on Sweden on June 12 in Winnipeg and Nigeria on June 16 at BC Place in Vancouver.

United States Women’s World Cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)

Defenders: Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Whitney Engen (Western NY 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: Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC).

Forwards: Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (no club)

Editing by Steve Keating.

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