- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Defender Christie Rampone is on the U.S. Women’s World Cup roster for the fifth time, joined by goalkeeper Hope Solo and newcomer Morgan Brian, as coach Jill Ellis announced her 23 picks for the June tournament in Canada on Tuesday.

Seeking their third title and first since 1999, the Americans open against Australia on June 8.

Rampone, who sat out a recent 4-0 exhibition victory over New Zealand, will turn 40 during the World Cup and is the oldest member of the team. Only four women have played in five World Cups: fellow American Kristine Lilly, Brazil’s Formiga, Germany’s Birgit Prinz and Japan’s Homare Sawa.

Solo was suspended for 30 days in January after her husband was arrested for driving under the influence while in a U.S. Soccer Federation van during a team training camp. Solo also was in the van.

During her suspension, Solo missed a 2-0 loss to France and a 1-0 win over England but she returned to the team and started in all four games for the U.S. team’s title run in the Algarve Cup last month.

Solo, considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world, has said she has been in therapy and has an improved frame of mind.

Brian, the youngest player on the roster at 22, played for Virginia in the women’s College Cup final in early December before accompanying the U.S. team to Brazil for a tournament.

She kicked off this year by winning her second consecutive Hermann Trophy as the top women’s college soccer player and was the first overall pick in the National Women’s Soccer League draft by the Houston Dash.

She joins seven other players making their World Cup roster debuts, including goalkeepers Ashlyn Harris and Alyssa Naeher; defenders Whitney Engen, Julie Johnston and Meghan Klingenberg; and forwards Sydney Leroux and Christen Press.

They’ll join forwards Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and Alex Rodriguez; midfielders Lauren Holiday, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Shannon Boxx, Tobin Heath and Heather O’Reilly; and defenders Lori Chalupny, Ali Krieger, Kelley O’Hara and Becky Sauerbrunn, also a Virginia graduate.

The roster must be submitted to FIFA by May 25.

Wambach, who will be playing in her fourth World Cup, has a record 178 international goals.

Featuring an expanded field of 24 teams, this year’s World Cup will be played in six Canadian cities from June 6 through July 5. The top two nations in each of six groups advance to the round of 16 along with the top four third-place teams.

The United States is part of challenging Group D that includes Australia, perennial African champion Nigeria, and Sweden, led by former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage. The Americans’ opener against Australia is set for June 8 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The U.S. women are making their seventh World Cup appearance. The team won the inaugural tournament in 1991 and added its second title in 1999 but has struggled since with a pair of third-place finishes and a loss to Japan on penalty kicks in the 2011 final.


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