Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Becky Sauerbrunn lead the 23-man squad named by USA Women’s National Team boss Vlatko Andonovski who will compete in the 2022 CONCACAF W Championship next month.
Andonovski has also named three other players who will be available for two of the upcoming friendlies against Colombia. The first game will be played on June 25th at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, and the second game will be held on June 28th at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
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“Since we were last together in April, we’ve analyzed many games, hours of video and extensive discussions with the coaching staff to arrive at this line-up of 26 players for the Colombia games and the final 23 for qualifying. ‘ said Andonovsky.
“As usual, players don’t take these decisions lightly, but we believe this is a squad that can achieve all of our goals for hopefully seven successful games over the four weeks we’ll be together.”
Andonovski’s selection embeds a new generation of American players, with young Washington Spirit duo Trinity Rodman and Ashley Hatch joining the roster. Just 10 of the 23 players in the CONCACAF W Championship squad have World Cup and Olympic qualifying experience, a list that includes mainstays such as Lyon midfielder Lindsey Horan and OL Reign’s Rose Lavelle.
The list of notable absences is long. Sam Mewis continues to recover from a knee injury while Abby Dahlkemper (ribs), Tierna Davidson (knee) and Lynn Williams (hip) are also ruled out. Catarina Macario was recently sidelined after tearing her cruciate ligament, while Crystal Dunn is unavailable after giving birth to her son last month. Christen Press was also not named. She suffered a knee injury at Angel City last weekend and later confirmed she had torn her cruciate ligament, but Andonovski said she would not have been accepted even if she were healthy. Tobin Heath, without a club, was also absent.
OL Reign’s Rapinoe and San Diego Wave’s Morgan return to USWNT for the first time since October 2021. Portland Thorns’ Sauerbrunn and Washington Spirit’s Emily Sonnett also return after missing April’s friendlies. Sauerbrunn was out with a knee injury while Sonnett was out with a rib injury.
Rapinoe has only appeared in four regular-season games totaling 154 minutes, but Andonovski said he and the player agreed last year that Rapinoe would be there if she was fit and healthy. He added that Rapinoe has been looking good in recent U-boat appearances and that experience was key as well.
“Obviously this is a young group that we are bringing in. There are many young players. So their experience and going through adversity, going through difficult times to get to the top, their mentality, their winning mentality, their knowledge and understanding are very valuable to the group,” he said.
For North Carolina Courage defenseman Carson Pickett, Portland Thorns’ Sam Coffey and San Diego Wave midfielder Taylor Kornieck, these are the first national team nominations. Both Pickett and Coffey are on the list of three substitutes, as is Racing Louisville midfielder Jaelin Howell.
After the two games against Colombia, the US team travels straight to Mexico to prepare for the CONCACAF W Championship, to be played in Monterrey from July 4th to 18th.
USA have been drawn into Group A and face Haiti on Monday 4th July, followed by a game against Jamaica on 7th July. The group stage ends with a game against Mexico on July 11th. The semi-finals will be held on July 14. The third-place game and league game will take place four days later.
The top two finishers in each group after round-robin play advance to the semi-finals and earn spots at the World Championship. The third-place finisher in each group will receive a spot in the 10-team play-off tournament between the confederations, which will be held in February 2023 to determine the final three spots for the expanded 32-team field at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
The tournament winner will automatically receive a place at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, while the runners-up and third-place finishers will play for second and last place at the CONCACAF Olympic Games in September 2023. The tournament winner and Olympic qualifier via the playoff series also qualify directly for a new CONCACAF competition, the 2024 W Gold Cup.
Should there be any injuries that necessitate changes to the CWC roster, Andonovski can select any player from the USWNT’s 59-man provisional roster announced on June 8 by CONCACAF’s first games.
United States Squad:
Goalkeeper: Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
Defender: Alana Cook (OL Reign), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett ( Washington spirit)
Midfield player: Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon), Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)
Forward: Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland thorns)