Lloyd, Sauerbrunn become US women's team captains

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CHICAGO (AP) — Midfielder Carli Lloyd and defender Becky Sauerbrunn have been chosen captains of the U.S. Women's National Team.

The duo was selected Saturday by U.S. coach Jill Ellis.

They take over from Christie Rampone, who is sidelined for four to six weeks after undergoing minor knee surgery before Christmas, and Abby Wambach, who has retired.

"Christie and Abby have been phenomenal leaders for this team for a long time, and we are forever grateful for their far-reaching contributions," Ellis said. "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."

Lloyd, 33, was the Golden Ball winner as the top player at the 2015 Women's World Cup and the Silver Boot winner as second-leading scorer in the tournament the Americans won. She also became the first female player to score a hat trick in a World Cup title game, getting all three goals in a 16-minute span.

Lloyd has 211 caps, eighth most in U.S. history.

"I never thought I would be captaining the national team, but I'm humbled and it's an amazing honor," said Lloyd. "At this stage in my career, I'm ready to take on this type of leadership role, but I also know that this team features a lot of great leaders, and we all lead in our own way. We have high goals and standards and it's the job of the veterans to make sure everyone is meeting those standards, which on this team of highly motivated women is an exciting prospect."

Sauerbrunn, 30, has 96 caps.

"It's a true honor to be named a captain of this team," said Sauerbrunn. "I look at this group and what it's accomplished and the hunger we still have for the things not yet accomplished and I'm constantly amazed. It's a privilege to help keep that motivation strong and moving in the direction we want it to go."

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