USWNT roster: New-look USA squad on display for pair of friendlies in Australia

United States women’s national team will head to Australia in November. USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski has named the 22 player roster that will travel across the globe to face the Matildas in Sydney on Nov. 26 and in Newcastle on Nov. 30. 

“We still have a few players out with injuries, so this roster is a mixture of players with a lot of experience in World Cups and Olympics, some who have been a part of the program for a while but who are looking to make their mark in international soccer and a few who are getting a first chance with the National Team in an event like this,” Andonovski said.

“We’ve turned the page towards 2023 World Cup qualifying and rarely do we get the chance to test young players in environments filled with adversity, so we need to take advantage of what these two games will offer us. It’s exciting to get a chance to see all these players together in our environment and give them a chance to play against one of the best teams in the world.”

The roster is the latest example of the possible next era for the USWNT with 10 players from the 2020 Olympic Team and 12 members with 10 caps or less, including five uncapped players. Of the 22 rostered players, 21 represent NWSL clubs, with the one exception being Catarina Macario who plays in France with Olympique Lyonnais. Macario has scored eight goals in her last nine matches with the club.

The players will be competing for 18 match day spots in Australia. USWNT captain Becky Sauerbrunn is the oldest player at 36, followed by Kristie Mewis at 30. The average age of the remaining 20 players is 25.6, with and average age of 26.3 years for the complete roster.

Big names missing

Longtime USWNT players like Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan aren’t part of this roster as it is being utilized as a camp for younger, up-and-coming players ahead of January camps. Crystal Dunn opted out of October camps and is unavailable for this trip, and Christen Press has previously stated that she was stepping away from the international stage to focus on mental health. Veteran right back Kelley O’Hara has opted out of the Australia friendlies due to a family obligation.

Mallory Pugh is an additional missing player from the previous two national team camps who has opted out, and 2021 NWSL Rookie of the Year candidate Trinity Rodman also received an invitation into camp, but opted out.

Andonovski further went on to explain that despite there being player opt outs for this camp, the opportunity to join the upcoming camps in January is still there.

“The January window is open for all these players,” he said. “And like I said, you know, someone like Mal and Trinity, you know, super, super good young players, one of the most exciting players probably in the in the league this year. We’re excited to have them in the next camp.” 

Traveling to Australia

The trip to Australia for the USWNT was a process that involves strict COVID-19 protocols from the Australia government. The country requires vaccination for travel and the players participating in the upcoming friendlies are complying with the current protocols in place.

“It is true that Australia requires full vaccination for every member of the team. Whether it is a staff member, or a player, and we’re very well aware of it, and everybody that will travel to Australia will be fully vaccinated,” said Andonovski.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster

Goalkeepers: Bella Bixby (Portland Thorns FC; 0 caps), Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 7), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 0)

Defenders: Alana Cook (OL Reign; 2 caps/0 goals), Abby Dahlkemper (Houston Dash; 77/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 43/1), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC; 6/0), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign; 7/0), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 197/0), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 61/0)

Midfielders: Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 106/24), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 66/17), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 12/3), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 31/4), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit; 0/0), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 20/2)

Forwards: Bethany Balcer (OL Reign; 0/0), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 2/0), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 7/2), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 10/1), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 43/13), Morgan Weaver (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0)

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