USWNT roster announced for September friendlies against Nigeria
CHICAGO – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski has named a 23-player roster for two September friendly matches against Nigeria.
Both games will be played in the USA, with the first on Sept. 3 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas (Kickoff at 12:30 p.m. CT / 1:30 p.m. ET with coverage beginning at Noon CT / 1 p.m. ET on FOX) and the second on Sept. 6 at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. (6 p.m. ET on ESPN2). All 23 players will suit up for both matches.
The 23 players were, at some point, all a part of the roster that helped the USA win the 2022 Concacaf W Championship in Mexico, including midfielder Sam Coffey, who replaced injured forward Ashley Hatch after the group stage. Hatch is now healthy and returns for these friendlies. Defender Crystal Dunn, who gave birth to her son Marcel on May 20, will join camp for training as she continues her return to fitness but will not feature in the matches.
“All the players on the roster performed well in Mexico at qualifying and have carried that form for their clubs, so we’ll continue the process of growing as a team with this group in what will be two challenging games against Nigeria,” said Andonovski. “Preparing for the World Cup is a long process, and I’ve been very happy with how our team understands that process, is willing to do the work and is making positive strides every camp to get us to where we want to be next summer.”
The U.S. qualified for its ninth consecutive World Cup on July 7 following its second group stage match at the Concacaf W Championship. The Americans went on to defeat Canada in the championship game to earn a berth to the 2024 Paris Olympics. These September friendlies will be the first domestic matches for the USWNT since qualifying for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will kick off in less than a year in Australia and New Zealand. Nigeria also qualified for a ninth consecutive Women’s World Cup, earning its berth earlier this summer at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Several players on the roster have ties to the September’s game venues. Defender Becky Sauerbrunn, who attended the University of Virginia, and midfielder Kristie Mewis played at FC Kansas City in the NWSL under Andonovski. Three players hail from the DMV (Washington D.C.-Maryland-Virginia) area in Emily Fox (Ashburn, Va.), Andi Sullivan (Lorton, Va.) and Midge Purce (Silver Spring, Md.), while six of the 23 players on this roster play in the NWSL for the Washington Spirit.
The match in Kansas City also brings the USWNT back to Andonovski’s home area for the second time since he became head coach at the end of 2019, having most recently faced Korea Republic at Children’s Mercy Park in October of 2021. Kansas City, Missouri was also recently named as one of 11 U.S. host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB) – SEPT. FRIENDLIES VS. NIGERIA:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (6): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0); Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)
FORWARDS (7): Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC)
- Twenty-two of the 23 players on the roster play in the NWSL and eight of the 12 NWSL clubs are represented on this roster, along with 2021-22 UEFA Women’s Champions League winners Olympique Lyon, which features 116-capped midfielder Lindsey Horan.
- All 23 players on this roster were in Monterrey, Mexico, for the USA’s victorious run at the 2022 Concacaf W Championship. The only player from that squad not on this roster is defender Emily Sonnett, who is working her way back from injury.
- Seven of the 23 players on this roster saw action in the USA’s most recent match against Nigeria, a 2-0 victory on June 16, 2021, to open Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas.
- Both matches against Nigeria will be played at home venues of National Women’s Soccer League teams in the Kansas City Current and reigning league champions Washington Spirit as well as Major League Soccer clubs Sporting Kansas City and D.C. United, respectively.
- The USA has played ten matches in our nation’s capital from 1995-2017, all at the venerable RFK Stadium, which closed in 2019 and will at some point be demolished. This will be the first-ever game for the U.S. Women at Washington D.C.’s long-desired soccer specific stadium, which D.C. United opened in the summer of 2018.
- Nigeria, which is led by an American, long-time college coach Randy Waldrum, earned its berth to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup by advancing to the semifinals of the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations that was held in Morocco. In the semifinal, Nigeria fell in penalty kicks to the hosts in front of 45,562 fans in Rabat after a 1-1 tie during regulation and overtime. Nigeria finished that game with nine players after receiving two red cards. The Super Falcons then fell in the Third-Place Match, 1-0, to Zambia to finish an uncharacteristic fourth in the WAFCON, but that is also indicative of the growth of the women’s game on the African continent.
- The Super Falcons are 11-time African champions and by far the most successful women’s soccer nation in Africa. Nigeria has participated in all eight FIFA Women’s World Cups that have been contested.