Interim coach Ellis names USWNT roster for Canada friendly; Alex Morgan remains out
Alex Morgan will sit out yet another U.S. women's national team match with an ankle injury, the next one being the most high-profile match she will miss yet.
U.S. women's interim coach Jill Ellis named her roster that will go up against regional foe Canada in Winnipeg at Investor's Group Field, one of the 2015 Women's World Cup artificial turf venues, on May 8, and Morgan and fellow injured regular starters Megan Rapinoe and Rachel Van Hollebecke are not on it.
Morgan has been out ever since she suffered an ankle injury back in October, missing a series of friendlies -- including a 1-0 win over Canada in Texas in January -- and the Algarve Cup. Morgan has missed the Portland Thorns' first three matches of the NWSL season as well, and figures to sit out the club's next game: against Abby Wambach's Western New York Flash in a rematch of last season's final.
The match vs. Canada figures to be Ellis' last match in charge as Tom Sermanni's interim replacement, unless she is given the job permanently. U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati told NBC Sports Network a couple of weeks ago that he would look to make a hiring in the middle of May, and Ellis could very well be on his shortlist. She coached the U.S. to a 5-0-2 record will replacing Pia Sundhage in the interim prior to Sermanni's hiring, and she guided the Americans to a 3-0 win over China on April 10.
She will have Wambach at her disposal, in addition to fellow star forward Sydney Leroux. Goalkeeper Hope Solo can make history in the match if the U.S. is to record a shutout, as she is one behind Briana Scurry for the most shutouts in program history (70). Of the 22 players Ellis called in, only 18 will dress for the match.
"With World Cup qualifying in less than six months, each game against a quality opponent is significant for this group, but no question playing Canada in Canada stirs the emotions and gives it greater meaning," Ellis said in a U.S. Soccer release. "We have been scouting the NWSL games, and we have some injuries, so I think the roster is indicative of some of the top performers playing in the league at the moment. I am looking forward to getting the group to Winnipeg and having a few days of prep before the match."
Here is the U.S. women's roster in full:
GOALKEEPERS: Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS: Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Tyresö), Meghan Klingenberg (Tyresö), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Nikki Marshall (Portland Thorns FC), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS: Morgan Brian (Virginia), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Heather O'Reilly (Boston Breakers)
FORWARDS: Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)