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Four Houston Dash players called up for national team duty

Houston Dash defenders Whitney Engen and Meghan Klingenberg have been called up by the United States women’s national team while defender Lauren Sesselmann and goalkeeper Erin McLeod will join the Canada women’s national team for international tournaments, it was announced today.

The United States will take part in the Algarve Cup for the 19th time from March 5-12, seeking their 10th championship and second consecutive after defeating Germany 2-0 last year in the championship game. The U.S. squad will face Japan, Sweden and Denmark during the group stage of the tournament, which takes place across multiple venues in the Algarve region of Portugal.

Canada will compete in the Cyprus Cup, which takes place from March 3-13. The Canadians begin group play on March 5 against Finland, and will also face Italy and England as part of the 12-team tournament. Canada has won the tournament on three occasions, most recently in 2011.

Engen, 26, has earned 12 caps for the U.S. women’s national team and has scored one goal. The central defender was with the national team for recent friendlies against Canada and Russia, and received her first cap at the 2012 Algarve Cup. Engen currently plays for Swedish side Tyresö FF in Damallsvenskan but is allocated to the Dash for the 2014 NWSL season.

Engen’s current teammate at Tyresö, Meghan Klingenberg, is receiving her first call-up to the national team in 2014. The 25-year-old defender has made six international appearances thus far, and was most recently with the United States for their December training camp in 2013.

McLeod, 30, has made 93 appearances in goal for Canada, compiling a 45-18-29 record. The St. Albert, Alberta, native was acquired by the Dash via a trade with the Chicago Red Stars. McLeod started 16 games for the Red Stars in the 2013 NWSL season, going 5-6-5 with four shutouts.

Lauren Sesselmann was taken by the Dash in the 2014 NWSL Expansion Draft from FC Kansas City. The 30-year-old has earned 39 caps for the Canadian national team and tallied four assists in those games. The Marshfield, Wis., native started 19 games for FCKC in 2013 and was named to the NWSL Second XI.

Full and partial season tickets are now on sale for the Dash’s inaugural season, which begins April 12 at BBVA Compass Stadium against reigning NWSL champions Portland Thorns FC. To purchase a package or for more information on 2014 season tickets, fans can visit http://www.HoustonDashSoccer.com/tickets or call 713-276-GOAL.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Whitney Engen (Tyresö), Meghan Klingenberg (Tyresö), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Paris Saint-Germain), Sarah Killion (UCLA), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): Sarah Hagen (Bayern Munich), Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)

Canada Women’s National Team Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Stephanie Labbé (KIF Örebro DFF), Karina LeBlanc (Chicago Red Stars, Erin McLeod (Houston Dash)
DEFENDERS (8): Robyn Gayle (Washington Spirit), Kadeisha Buchanan (West Virginia University), Carmelina Moscato (Seattle Reign FC), Marie-Eve Nault (KIF Örebro DFF), Lauren Sesselmann (Houston Dash), Rhian Wilkinson (Unattached), Emily Zurrer (Jitex BK), Rachel Quon (Chicago Red Stars)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Kaylyn Kyle (Boston Breakers), Diana Matheson (Washington Spirit), Sophie Schmidt (Sky Blue FC), Desiree Scott (Notts County Ladies), Brittany Baxter (Unattached)
FORWARDS (5): Adriana Leon (Chicago Red Stars), Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns FC), Josée Belanger (Unattached), Nkem Ezurike (Boston Breakers), Jonelle Filigno (Sky Blue FC)