Another set of U.S. women's national team matches on the horizon, another glaring omission on Tom Sermanni's roster.
U.S. women's star forward Alex Morgan, out since October with a left ankle injury, will sit out the upcoming friendlies against China on April 6 and 10 after being "not sufficiently recovered" from her injury, according to a U.S. Soccer press release. Without Morgan, the U.S. women were on a roll through a slate of friendlies until running into unusual trouble at the Algarve Cup in Portgual, where they finished in seventh place and suffered consecutive losses to Sweden and Denmark.
After defeating North Korea in their placement match, Sermanni's charges will look to keep building momentum against China at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., and San Diego.
Of the 24 players Sermanni has called up, 22 were with the team at the Algarve Cup -- only veteran Lauren Holiday and newcomer and U-20 and U-23 star Katie Stengel weren't in Portugal -- and 18 will be in uniform for each of the two matches against China. The games are the last U.S. friendlies before the start of the second NWSL season, which kicks off April 12. It remains to be seen whether Morgan will be ready to go in time for the Portland Thorns' opener against the expansion Houston Dash.
The U.S. women will then reconvene for a highly anticipated friendly against 2015 Women's World Cup host Canada in Winnipeg on May 8.
Here is the U.S. roster in full:
GOALKEEPERS: Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS: Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Whitney Engen (Tyresö), Meghan Klingenberg (Tyresö), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS: Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Pairs Saint-Germain), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O'Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS: Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Katie Stengel (LA Blues), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)