Oct 6, 2014 1:07 PM

US announces roster for CONCACAF championship

The Associated Press

The U.S. women's national team continues to stand by Hope Solo, who faces domestic violence charges in Washington state. The goalkeeper is on the roster for the upcoming CONCACAF championship, which serves as qualifying for next year's World Cup.

The championships for soccer's North and Central American and Caribbean region will be played in four U.S. cities, opening Oct. 15 in Kansas City, Kansas. The championship will be played Oct. 26 in Chester, Pennsylvania, with the top three finishers earning a World Cup spot.

Solo was charged with two misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree domestic violence assault following a physical altercation with her sister and nephew during a June party in Kirkland, Washington. She has pleaded not guilty and her trial is set for Nov. 4.

Some have called for U.S. Soccer to suspend Solo until she goes to trial, but on Monday coach Jill Ellis reiterated the national team's decision to keep her in goal.

"I've had a lot of thought and discussion within U.S. Soccer and certainly we acknowledge these are very serious issues," Ellis said. "But after careful thought and consideration, we determined to stand by our decision to let the legal process play out and have Hope remain with the team."

Jillian Loyden, a backup goalkeeper to Solo on the national team until she announced her retirement from the team on Monday, wrote in an op-ed published in USA Today that she believes Solo should not play until the legal matter is decided.

"Hope Solo is my teammate and a personal mentor. But I cannot stand by as young fans receive the message that this behavior even if the allegations proved to be inaccurate can go unnoticed," Loyden wrote.

Loyden's 23-year-old sister, Britton, died in an alleged domestic assault by her boyfriend, who is awaiting trial.

Solo has been with the U.S. women since 2000 and recently surpassed the team's all-time record for shutouts.

Only one other goalkeeper is on the 20-player roster for the CONCACAF championships: Ashlyn Harris, who played last season for the NWSL's Washington Spirit. Alyssa Naeher, who plays for the Boston Breakers, will train with the team in preparation for the event but will not play.

Other players on the roster include veterans Abby Wambach and Christine Rampone, as well as forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Megan Rapinoe, and University of Virginia midfielder Morgan Brian.

It is the first international tournament for Ellis, who took over on an interim basis when Tom Sermanni was fired in April and then got the job in May. The U.S. women are 10-2-3 so far in 2014 and coming off of two straight exhibition wins against Mexico.

Fourteen of the players on the roster participated in the qualifying tournament for the 2012 Olympics, where the women claimed the gold medal. Eleven players have prior World Cup qualifying experience.

CONCACAF is expected to announce the rosters of the competing teams later on Monday.

The U.S. women landed in Group A with Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala and Haiti. Group B includes Costa Rica, Mexico, Jamaica, and Martinique.

The fourth-place finisher will face a South American team in a playoff later this year. As the host, Canada has already secured a World Cup spot.

The United States lost to Mexico in the semifinal during qualifying for the 2011 World Cup. It forced the U.S. team into the third-place match and then a two-game playoff against Italy for a spot in the premier tournament.

The U.S. team went on to advance to the final of the World Cup in Germany, but lost to Japan on penalty kicks. Ranked No. 1 in the world for the past five years, the Americans last won a World Cup in 1999.

The roster by position, including NWSL club team:

Goalkeepers: Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC).

Defenders: Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Houston Dash), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)

Midfielers: Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Heather O'Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)

Forwards: Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)


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