Head coach Jill Ellis has revealed the 22-player roster for the She Believes tournament, which runs March 3 - March 9.
U.S. Women's National Team SheBelieves Cup Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Lauren Barnes (Seattle Reign FC), Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Jaelene Hinkle (Western New York Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Heather O'Reilly (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)
The United States will play England, France, and Germany in the span of a week, testing not just Ellis' preferred starting XI but the depth of her roster. No CONCACAF minnows these, but all teams who could legitimately win against the US.
Though the US still has at least two more friendlies after She Believes, this tournament is likely Ellis' last proving ground before she settles on a final Olympic roster, or at least weeds out the fringe players. That makes these callups fairly critical. Stephanie McCaffrey, who seemed to be finding favor with Ellis through the end of the Victory Tour and early in Olympic qualifying, is out. Longtime midfield presence Heather O'Reilly is back in, and so is center back Whitney Engen.
The roster's only new callup is Lauren Barnes, who has done great work with the Seattle Reign and seems to be part of the continuing answer to the question of how much attention the WNT pays to NWSL performance.
As to why the US roster only has 22 players instead of 23 like the other countries is perhaps just another part of the mystery that is Jill Ellis. Ellis may not have felt there were 23 players actually worth evaluating this close to the Olympics and stuck with the players she thought were most viable - although Barnes' new presence would bring this theory into question.
The three United States games will be aired on FS1 and ESPN3; unfortunately, the other matchups won't be shown on American networks, which is a shame considering just how fun a contest between any of the other three could be. France vs. Germany usually promises to be very watchable, and England is usually good for at least one surprise in any given tournament. Local channels in France, England, and Germany will be picking up the other games, though, so now might be a good time to see if you can access BBC and the like. The full schedule is below.
Date Matches Stadium
Mar. 3 Germany vs. France Raymond James Stadium Tampa, Fla. 5 p.m. ET
Mar. 3 USA vs. England Raymond James Stadium Tampa, Fla. 7:30 p.m. ET FS1
Mar. 6 USA vs. France Nissan Stadium Nashville, Tenn. 2 p.m. CT ESPN3
Mar. 6 England vs. Germany Nissan Stadium Nashville, Tenn. 4:30 p.m. CT
Mar. 9 France vs. England FAU Stadium
Mar. 9 USA vs. Germany FAU Stadium Boca Raton, Fla. 7:30 p.m. ET ESPN3