Julie Johnston: Can USWNT follow World Cup victory with Olympic gold?
1:04 | Planet Futbol
Julie Johnston: Can USWNT follow World Cup victory with Olympic gold?
SI Staff
Thursday June 23rd, 2016

Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe will return from injury to join the U.S. women's national ahead of its penultimate Olympic send-off match next month, against South Africa at Chicago's Soldier Field on July 9.

Both are coming back from knee injuries, with Rapinoe tearing her ACL in December and Lloyd suffering her injury in April while playing for NWSL's Houston Dash. Lloyd "should be available for selection," according to U.S. Soccer, while Rapinoe is only in camp for evaluation and will not play. The 24-player squad is headlined by the core cast of stars, including Alex Morgan, Hope Solo and Becky Sauerbrunn. Should Solo keep a clean sheet, it would mark her 100th with the U.S.

After facing South Africa, the U.S. will play Costa Rica July 22 at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas, in the final send-off game.

"We're looking forward to finalizing our Olympic roster," U.S. manager Jill Ellis said in a statement. "We have been evaluating players since our Victory Tour last year, so we are anticipating a great camp and finishing that process. It's exciting to play a new opponent and South Africa instantly has our respect for earning an Olympic berth from Africa."

Only 18 players will be selected for the Olympic squad–16 field players, two goalkeepers–which will be aiming to capture a fifth gold medal and fourth in a row.

Here is the U.S. roster in full.

GOALKEEPERS: Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)

DEFENDERS: Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Jaelene Hinkle (Western New York Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Gina Lewandowski (FC Bayern Munich), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)

MIDFIELDERS: Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Heather O'Reilly (FC Kansas City)

FORWARDS: Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)

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