On Wednesday (12.16) evening, a different kind of football is coming to da Dome. The world champion US Women’s National Team will take the pitch against China for a friendly to culminate the “Victory Tour” following the team’s trump at the 2015 FIFA World Cup. In case the dismal seasons posted by both the Saints and LSU turned you off to all sports, NoDef has a fast primer about the big game.
The US versus China comes long with numerous notables. Below, you will find the key talking points so you can be fluent in footie at the water cooler (or bar).
- Forward Abby Wambach will be playing the final game of her storied 2555 game career. Wambach is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a World Cup champion, and the 2012 FIFA Player of the Year. Off the pitch, she is credited with changing the lives of millions by raising awareness of feminist and LGBT issues simply by living her life the way that she wishes. Fans who would like to express their support on the interwebs can use the hashtags #OnlyOneAbby and #ThanksAbby.
- Wednesday’s fixture is the final stop of a ten city tour. China will provide the opposition in a rematch of this summer’s FIFA World Cup quarter-finals.
- The USWNT is 20-1-4 in 2015 and 10-0-2 on home soil. (The only loss came against France last February).
- Fan favorite Megan Rapinoe will not be on the field tomorrow night. The midfielder tore a anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during a non-contact training accident on December 4th.
- U.S. captain Christie Rampone is sidelined due to a bone bruise in her left knee. However, Rampone made the trip to NOLA in order to be present for Wambach’s final game.
- Lauren Holiday, an attacking midfielder for the USWNT, is married to Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday. Holiday retired last week, but the team toured the Pels’ training facility today. The team tweeted out photos of players posing in front of a giant Jrue mural.
- The USWNT have only played in New Orleans once before. In 2003, they played in Tad Gormley Stadium (home of the Jesters).
- Fans looking forward will enjoy the new talent on display during the friendly. Coach Jill Ellis added eight players to the roster who were not on the USA’s 2015 Women’s World Cup Team. Insiders consider Lindsey Horan, Samantha Mewis, and Crystal Dunn three names to watch in the future.
Check out the roster below…
DEFENDERS (9): 25-Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), 6-Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), 26-Jaelene Hinkle (Western NY Flash), 19-Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), 22-Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), 11-Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), 3-Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), 27-Emily Sonnett (Univ. of Virginia)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 14-Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), 32-Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars), 17-Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), 30-Rose Lavelle (Univ. of Wisconsin), 10-Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), 29-Samantha Mewis (Western NY Flash), 9-Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (7): 31-Lindsey Horan (Paris Saint-Germain), 2-Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash), 28-Stephanie McCaffrey (Boston Breakers), 13-Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), 23-Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), 8-Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), 20-Abby Wambach (unattached)