Several pieces of USWNT roster news were leaked this week, including the knowledge that captain Becky Sauerbrunn will be missing out on her fourth World Cup.
Per The Athletic, it was reported that some knowledge of the USWNT World Cup roster had been leaked, and the biggest bombshell was that the captain of the US Women’s National Team, Becky Sauerbrunn, would be missing from this roster due to injury. The captain herself later confirmed the news, passing along this heartfelt message to fans and teammates.
This would’ve been Sauerbrunn’s fourth World Cup with the USWNT, which she has captained for many years as a veteran player. At 38 years old, Sauerbrunn is out of contention due to a foot injury that has kept her out of Portland Thorns games for most of the NWSL season.
It’s a massive blow to the team not only in talent on the field, but also in leadership off the field. Sauerbrunn has been widely regarded as one of the key players for morale on the team, with her teammates for both club and country speaking highly of her intelligence and mentorship.
Recently celebrating her 200 caps for the USWNT in her hometown of St. Louis, Sauerbrunn was expected to appear and captain the US squad for their upcoming World Cup journey this summer. With her absence, there will be another spot open on this tight roster, and only time will tell if Vlatko Andonovski will add another defender in Sauerbrunn’s place or add onto other positions instead.
This could open the door for a player like Tierna Davidson, a center back with World Cup experience who was on the cusp of a roster spot considering her club team’s struggling record. If Andonovski is looking for a like-for-like substitution, although there is no player like Sauerbrunn, Davidson would be the next likely choice.
As far as the captain position is concerned, Lindsey Horan, Alex Morgan, and Rose Lavelle have all worn the armband for the USWNT, and it’s likely one of them will take up the mantle in Sauerbrunn’s absence. There will also be plenty of other veteran players likely to make the roster who we might see with the armband including Megan Rapinoe, Julie Ertz, Alyssa Naeher, and Crystal Dunn.
Sauerbrunn was the only player confirmed to NOT be listed on the roster, the other information regarded players who are supposedly confirmed to appear ON the roster, including Aubrey Kingsbury, Kelley O’Hara, and Savannah DeMelo.
With questions lately about AD Franch appearing on the roster considering her limited minutes with the Kansas City Current this season, it’s not all that surprising that Aubrey Kingsbury will likely be appearing in the third keeper spot. Kelley O’Hara, who has appeared at three World Cups so far, was mostly in question due to lingering injuries, and with her experience, it’s not shocking that she’s likely headed to her fourth World Cup.
The most surprising piece of news in terms of additions is Savannah DeMelo. The Racing Louisville midfielder has been having an incredible NWSL season this year, scoring four goals so far and recording two assists. She’s certainly a quality player, no question about that. But she’ll likely be the only player on the World Cup roster who is still uncapped for the National team. DeMelo has been called into USWNT camp, back in September and October of 2022, but we haven’t seen her with the team since then. If she does make the final roster, it will be interesting to see if another midfielder is out when DeMelo is in, or if this is the result of Sauerbrunn’s absence.
The final World Cup roster is rumored to be dropping on Wednesday, June 21, and with these early bits of information, it’s safe to say that all previous predictions might be for naught.