Injury has forced two changes for the USWNT’s November camp and friendlies against Romania.
Jaelene Hinkle was ruled out due to an ankle injury, and Meghan Klingenberg was ruled out due to a back injury, per a team press release.
They were replaced by forward Jess McDonald of the Western New York Flash and defender Emily Menges of the Portland Thorns. This is the first senior WNT call up for both players.
The updated 24-player roster is below:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (Western New York Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Emily Menges (Portland Thorns FC), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Kristen Edmonds (Orlando Pride), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign), Andi Sullivan (Stanford)
FORWARDS (6): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Jessica McDonald (Western New York Flash), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Lynn Williams (Western New York Flash)
McDonald had a great season with the Flash and helped them and her strike partner Lynn Williams power their way to the 2016 championship. She had 10 goals and seven assists in 19 games, and was tied with Williams for leading the team in SOG.
Menges was a big defensive piece for Portland and played every minute of every game for them, helping to create one of the stingiest defenses in the league.
Pulling two defenders and adding a forward may change up how Jill Ellis deploys her players against Romania; we’ll see if this affects her decision to use the 3-5-2 and instead has her shift to something like a 4-3-3. It would be interesting to see a front three with McDonald, Williams, and possibly Ohai at the top. Alternately, Ellis may not play Williams at all, or may attempt to shift positions around, just as she did pushing Long into the three-back. Jess McDonald, wingback?
Leave your best theories in the comments.