Jill Ellis names 24-player U.S. WNT roster ahead of April friendlies
CHICAGO (Via U.S. Soccer) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 24-player training camp roster for the USA’s two April friendlies, against Australia on April 4 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. (7 p.m. MT on FS1) and against Belgium on April 7 at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles (6 p.m. PT on ESPN2). Following these two matches, the USA will have only its three-game “Send-Off Series” in May remaining before departing for France.
U.S. WNT Roster – Australia & Belgium Friendlies (Club; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3):Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 1/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 20/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 41/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 35/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 17/1), Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 80/24), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 98/1), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 153/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 30/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 77/18), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 64/7), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 23/6), Allie Long (Reign FC; 40/6), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 45/8), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 11/0), McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 8/0)
FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 146/27), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 269/105), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 6/1), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 158/99), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 111/47), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 48/13), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC; 149/43)
- The two games bring several U.S. players back to the areas where they grew up. Forward Mallory Pugh (Highlands Ranch) and Lindsey Horan (Golden) are both Colorado natives, while forwards Alex Morgan (Diamond Bar) and Christen Press (Palos Verdes Estates), and midfielder McCall Zerboni (San Clemente) grew up in Southern California.
- Defender Abby Dalhkemper and midfielders Samantha Mewis and Zerboni played collegiately at UCLA.
- Defender Ali Krieger, a member of the USA’s 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship squad, returns to the roster for the first time since the 2017 Tournament of Nations. She last played for the USA against Russia in April of 2017.
- Veteran defender Kelley O’Hara was not available for selection for this roster due to an ankle issue.
- The USA has played five previous matches at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, winning four and drawing one. In that draw, against Japan in the summer of 2016, Horan scored a late goal to delight her hometown crowd, putting the USA up 3-2, but Japan equalized in stoppage time.
- The match at Banc of California Stadium, which opened in April of 2018, will be the first for the U.S. WNT at the home of Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club, but it will be the USA’s 32nd game in Southern California.
- Horan returns to the roster after missing the 2019 SheBelieves Cup due to a quadriceps injury, but she started the first two matches of the year in Europe against France and Spain.
- Forward Alex Morgan comes into the match with 99 career goals, just one shy from becoming the seventh player in U.S. history to score 100 or more.
- Megan Rapinoe’s next cap will be her 150th, making her the 21st American female player to hit that mark.
- All 24 players on the U.S. roster play in the NWSL, including defender Tierna Davidson, who was the first pick in the 2019 NWSL Draft by the Chicago Red Stars.
- After the USA went unbeaten in its first 26 matches against Australia, the last three games between the teams have produced a 3-1 win for the USA in the opening game of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a 1-0 loss at the 2017 Tournament of Nations and a 1-1 draw on a late goal by Lindsey Horan at the 2018 Tournament of Nations.
- Australia qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup by defeating Thailand in penalty kicks in the semifinal of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, before falling to Japan, 1-0, in the championship game.
- Australia could field a starting lineup of NWSL players with 13 of its players currently on NWSL rosters.
- The meeting with Belgium, another fast-improving European nation, will be the first between the teams and will mark the 54th opponent for the USA in its history. Belgium finished second in UEFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying Group 6, two points behind Italy, and earned a playoff berth but fell to Switzerland in the two-leg semifinal playoff. The series was tied 3-3 on aggregate, but Switzerland went through on away goals.
- Australia is ranked sixth in the world. Belgium is ranked 21st.
- Australia was drawn into Group C in France and will face Italy, Brazil and Jamaica, in that order, at the World Cup.
- The U.S. will conduct a six-day training camp in Santa Barbara, Calif., prior to traveling to Denver to face Australia. It will be the first training camp for the U.S. Women in Santa Barbara since 1991, when the team trained there several weeks before departing for the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China.