The U.S. women's national team will be without a key midfield cog for the annual SheBelieves Cup tournament, as it builds toward this summer's Women's World Cup.
The U.S. women's national team will be without a key midfield cog for the annual SheBelieves Cup tournament, which kicks off later this month.
A quadriceps injury has kept starter Lindsey Horan from Jill Ellis's 23-player squad, with the manager also electing to omit veteran midfielder Morgan Brian from the side that will face Women's World Cup-bound sides Japan, England and Brazil. All three sides are in the top 10 of the most recent FIFA world ranking, providing three stern tests as the preparations for France 2019 continue.
“The SheBelieves Cup is a positive event in many ways, but it’s extremely valuable to get three challenging games against World Cup-bound teams in a short time span that can simulate navigating through group play,” Ellis said in a statement. “These are all teams that can go deep in the tournament this summer and provide the kind of tests we need as we continue to work to crystalize our lineup and our final roster for the World Cup.”
The midfield absences open opportunity for Danielle Colaprico, Andi Sullivan and McCall Zerboni to all make an impression as Ellis considers her World Cup options. Four other players who will take part in camp but won't be on the matchday rosters for the tournament are goalkeeper Jane Campbell; defenders Merritt Mathias and Emily Fox; and midfielder Allie Long.
The U.S., which is coming off a European trip in which it lost to France and edged Spain, will open the SheBelieves Cup against Japan on Feb. 27 before facing England on March 2 and Japan on March 5.
Here's the USWNT squad in full:
GOALKEEPERS: Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS: Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns)
MIDFIELDERS: Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit), McCall Zerboni (North Carolina Courage)
FORWARDS: Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue), Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Utah Royals), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign)