The Return of Christen Press: USWNT Releases Roster for China Friendlies

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Christen Press
SAN JOSE, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Christen Press #23 of the USA plays in an international friendly match against Canada on November 12, 2017 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California. (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (May 29, 2018) — Christen Press is back in the United States.

After undergoing contract disputes and trade disputes with the Houston Dash, Press has returned Stateside. However, she is not in the country for club football — yet.

Instead, Press is back in Jill Ellis’ mix for the United States Women’s National Team.

Christen Press Among Call-Ups for USWNT Ahead of China Friendlies

Press was left off the last roster, when the United States hosted Mexico in April. However, since then, Press has been on fire for Göteborg FC in Sweden.

In six appearances, Press has scored four goals.

Press is one of seven forwards on the roster. She is joined by Crystal Dunn, Alex Morgan, Amy Rodriguez, Tobin Heath, Savannah McCaskill and Megan Rapinoe.

Another eye-catching call-up is that of goalkeeper Casey Murphy.

The 22-year-old goalkeeper has been called up by the senior national team before but has never made an official appearance. However, she has made appearances for the United States U-20 and U-23 teams.

Standings tall at 6’1″, Murphy elected to feature overseas for Montpellier HSC in France. She was just recently named to the D1 Feminine Best XI and was named the No. 1 goalkeeper in the entire league.

Should Murphy return to the NWSL, her rights are retained by Sky Blue FC. Murphy was selected by Sky Blue with the 13th overall pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft.

During her collegiate career, Murphy made 67 appearances for Rutgers University from 2014-17.

Her last national team call-up was January 2017.

McCall Zerboni and Amy Rodriguez Are Back

Amy Rodriguez has had quite the journey with the U.S. Women’s National Team.

Rodriguez has featured 130 times for the national team since 2005. She was called up back in January 2017 but did not feature in the SheBelieves Cup.

Her last goal with the national team was against Haiti on Sept. 17, 2017. She missed time in the NWSL and with the national team due to pregnancy in 2016 and an ACL injury in 2017.

Now, Rodriguez is back with Ellis and company once again.

Also making her national team return is McCall Zerboni. One of the most consistent players for the North Carolina Courage, Zerboni has scored three goals in 10 appearances. She has started all 10 matches she has featured in this season.

Zerboni’s first national team call-up was in familiar territory.

Ellis elected to call in Zerboni in October 2017 for friendlies against South Korea. In Cary, North Carolina, where the Courage feature at WakeMed Soccer Park, Zerboni made her debut on Oct. 22, 2017.

Margaret Purce Earns Senior Team Call-Up

Margaret “Midge” Purce is looking for her first appearance for the senior national team.

The Portland Thorns FC midfielder was called up for the second time to the national team. However, she is listed as a defender, making her one of six defensive selections.

She joins Sofia Huerta as a midfielder for club, but defender for country. Other defenders on the roster include Becky Sauerbrunn, Abby Dahlkemper, Merritt Mathias, and Tierna Davidson, a college standout at Stanford.

Purce, a former Boston Breakers midfielder, was called up for the 2017 Tournament of Nations, but did not see any action on the pitch. That could change against China in Utah or Cleveland.

Mathias has also not made her debut for the senior national team. Instead, the North Carolina Courage defender was called up back in October 2016 for the Switzerland friendlies.

When It Will All Go Down

The U.S. Women’s National Team will first face China on June 7 in Sandy, Utah, at the Rio Tinto Stadium.

The match will air on Fox Sports 1. Kick off is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET.

Rio Tinto Stadium is home to the Utah Royals FC, where Abby Smith and Sauerbrunn feature for in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Then, on June 12, the team will head to First Energy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. The match will air on ESPN 2 and is slated for a 7 p.m. ET kick off.

Head Coach Jill Ellis said that the United States and China have “great history” and that she “always enjoy[s] the matches against China.”

“They bring a level of technical skill and tactical savvy that challenges us, which is what we need as we continue to prepare for World Cup qualifying in the fall,” Ellis said to U.S. Soccer’s official website.

The Full Roster

Goalkeepers: Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Casey Murphy (Montpellier HSC, France), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) and Abby Smith (Utah Royals FC)

Defenders: Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson (Stanford), Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars), Merritt Mathias (NC Courage), Margaret Purce (Portland Thorns FC) and Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC)

Midfielders: Morgan Brian (Olympique Lyon, France), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), Allie Long (Seattle Reign FC) and McCall Zerboni (NC Courage)

Forwards: Crystal Dunn (NC Courage), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue FC), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC, Sweden), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC) and Amy Rodriguez (Utah Royals FC)

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