USWNT coach Ellis names captain replacements for Wambach, Rampone

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With Christie Rampone and Abby Wambach retiring, the USWNT is in the midst of a transition period.

Head coach Jill Ellis was tasked with handing the captain’s armbands to new players, and she’s got her girls to lead the next iteration of World Cup title defenders.

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2015 World Cup hero Carli Lloyd, 33, will be joined by Becky Sauerbrunn, 30, in leading the team. In a lot of ways — firebrand attacker and stalwart role model defender — it’s a two-for-two change.


“Christie and Abby have been phenomenal leaders for this team for a long time, and we are forever grateful for their far-reaching contributions,” said Ellis. “As we move into the next phase of this program, I’ve selected two captains who I know will represent us extremely well on and off the field and will help facilitate the positive direction of this team. They are two extremely professional players in both game and training environments and they embody the DNA of this program.”

I really like the pick. Figure Lloyd puts in another World Cup cycle and then cedes way to a young star. The idea of alternating captain changes per WC cycle is quite enticing.