With the World Cup looming, the USWNT January camp roster has finally dropped. These are the 24 players headed to New Zealand this month.
It’s that time of year, and the United States Women’s National Team has dropped their roster for their upcoming January camp this morning. It’s the first national team roster to drop during their World Cup year.
In years previous, the January camp has provided good insight into who might make the World Cup cut-off in July. This roster isn’t that surprising given what we’ve seen from head coach Vlatko Andonovski during his time with the team. Here are the 24 players headed to New Zealand this month.
Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Adrianna Franch (Kansas City Current)
Naeher is a staple on this team, and at this point so is Casey Murphy. The third goalkeeper spot has been in question lately, but it’s given deservingly to AD Franch for January camp.
Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville), Alana Cook (OL Reign), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave), Hailie Mace (Kansas City Current)
All of these defenders were called up for the last friendlies against Germany. The only addition is Emily Sonnett who makes her return after missing out due to injury. Kelley O’Hara is still missing due to an injury.
Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns), Ashely Sanchez (Washington Spirit)
Vlatko’s midfield has been locked down in terms of callups, and he’s not deviating from that here. While the midfield is full of talented players, it’s unclear how many of them will earn caps and minutes against New Zealand.
Maybe a central shakeup is just what the USWNT needs to get back in its groove. Kornieck, Coffey, and Sanchez have less than thirty caps between the three of them, and the guiding talent of the veterans could equate to success if their formations and substitutions are ironed out.
Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars), Lynn Williams (Kansas City Current)
The forward list is haunted by injuries, something the USWNT can’t manage to escape. They’re not the only ones, with significant injuries being tallied in women’s soccer this year. This time Megan Rapinoe and Sophia Smith are out due to injury.
Lynn Williams finally makes her return to the roster; we last saw her with the team in their She Believes final victory against Iceland back in February before she suffered an injury in March. She’s an exciting return to the team, and hopefully, she’ll be able to earn some in-game minutes. Midge Purce makes her return to the roster after not being called up for the last European friendlies. Mallory Swanson has updated her last name to reflect her recent marriage. While this news isn’t vital to the success of the team, it seems we will be leaving the Pugh-Pugh-Pugh jokes in the past.
While this is a strong roster, there are still several key pieces missing. Tobin Heath, Christen Press, Sam Mewis, Catarina Macario, Tierna Davidson, and Kelley O’Hara are all out on injuries, with uncertain return timelines. And now we add Sophia Smith and Megan Rapinoe to that list. Regardless, this roster will likely look similar to the one we see take on the World Cup this summer, and it will be interesting to see how they perform in the friendlies against New Zealand. Those games will be played on Jan. 17 and 20.