GREENSBORO, N.C. - Seven former Atlantic Coast Conference student-athletes have named to the 18-woman U.S. Women’s National Team roster for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as announced by head coach Jill Ellis.
North Carolina’s Whitney Engen, Tobin Heath, Meghan Klingenberg, Allie Long and Crystal Dunn are all headed to Rio, as well as Virginia’s Morgan Brian and Becky Sauerbrunn. Heath, a two-time Olympic Gold medalist (2008 and 2012), will be making her third Olympic Team appearance and Sauerbrunn her second (2012).
An additional three - Heather O'Reilly, who is a three-time Olypmic Gold medalist (2004, 2008, 2012) and Ashlyn Harris of North Carolina, and Virginia's Emily Sonnett - Were named as the team's alternate replacement players.
Engen, Heath, Klingenberg, O'Reilly, Harris, Brian and Sauerbrunn were also all members of last year's U.S. National Team squad that won the 2015 Women's World Cup.
There will also be a familiar face on the U.S. team's bench as Virginia head coach Steve Swanson will serve as an assistant coach. Swanson was a member of Ellis' staff during the United States’ epic run to the World Cup title. He also guided the U.S. Women's to the FIFA U-20 World Cup Championship in 2012.
The U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team has advanced to the gold medal game of every Olympic women’s soccer tournament that has been contested. The USA won the inaugural gold medal in 1996 in Athens, Ga., won silver in 2000 in Sydney, Australia, and will be going for its fourth straight gold medal after standing atop the podium in Athens, Greece in 2004, in Beijing in 2008 and in London in 2012.
In addition to those representing the U.S., three former ACC student-athletes were named to Olympic teams from other countries. Former Boston College student-athlete Laura Georges will be competing for France and Rebecca Quinn (Duke) and Melissa Tancredi (Notre Dame) will be representing Canada at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
The U.S. will open Group G play on Aug. 3 - two days before the Olympic Opening Ceremony - against New Zealand (7 p.m. local / 6 p.m. ET) at Mineirão Stadium in Belo Horizonte. The USA will stay in Belo Horizonte - which is 270 miles north of Rio de Janeiro - to face France at Mineirão Stadium on Aug. 6 (5 p.m. local / 4 p.m. ET) and finish group play against Colombia on Aug. 9 (6 p.m. local / 6 p.m. ET) at the Amazônia Stadium in Manaus, the same arena in which the U.S. Men’s National Team tied Portugal 2-2 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the furthest soccer venue from Rio (more than 1,700 miles).