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Here’s a look at who Jill Ellis has to call on.
Hope Solo is the USA’s No. 1 and has been for the better part of a decade. She dealt with a tumultuous year, first being put through a highly publicized trial for alleged domestic violence and then being suspended from the team for the entire month of February after her husband, Jerramy Stevens, was arrested for drunk driving during training camp in a U.S. Soccer team vehicle with Solo in the passenger’s seat. Solo has moved on, however, stating that she is in a better place mentally than ever before after seeing a therapist. She is still arguably the best goalkeeper in the world and she will once again be called upon to be exactly that if the United States is to win this World Cup.
Ashlyln Harris emerged as the United States’ No. 2 over the past year, a lengthy process of perseverance for the goalkeeper. Harris starred for the U.S. at the youth level, helping the Americans win the U-19 World Championship (now the U-20 World Cup) in the inaugural 2002 edition. But injuries and depth charts kept her from making her senior team debut until age 27. She looked plenty capable of stepping in if need be in recent starts against England and France, during Solo’s suspension.
Alyssa Naeher is one of the seemingly rare league success stories on a team whose core has largely remained in tact. Naeher won 2014 National Women’s Soccer League Goalkeeper of the Year honors, giving up a slew of goals behind a bad Boston Breakers defense but still making spectacular saves in performing damage control. Like Harris, she is a champion on the youth level, winning the 2008 U-20 World Cup. She earned her only cap in December 2014.