Jill Ellis called in a giant 35-player camp at the beginning of the year to train in Carson, California. Now, as the team begins to prepare for the SheBelieves tournament at the beginning of March, Ellis has pared down her initial pool to 25 players who will train in Orlando for a week beginning February 20 before heading to Philadelphia for their March 1 game against Germany.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (7): Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Sarah Killion (Sky Blue FC), Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), Brianna Pinto (CASL)
FORWARDS (6): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea Ladies FC), Alex Morgan (Olympique Lyonnais), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (UCLA), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Lynn Williams (NC Courage)
Players not returning from the January camp are, by position:
Goalkeepers: Adrianna Franch, Casey Murphy
Defenders: Mandy Freeman, Jaelene Hinkle
Midfielders: Tierna Davidson, Kristen Edmonds, Christina Gibbons, Megan Rapinoe, Taylor Smith
Forwards: Savannah McCaskill, Jess McDonald, Kealia Ohai
Joining the roster after being absent from January camp are Meghan Klingenberg and Mallory Pugh, who were both dealing with injuries. Brianna Pinto has been moved from the list of forwards to the midfielders.
Four players in the January camp are uncapped: Jane Campbell, Sarah Killion, Rose Lavelle, and Brianna Pinto. Assuming they make the SheBelieves roster, any or all of them could see time, especially Rose Lavelle, who just went #1 in the NWSL college draft. Mallory Pugh also won’t be the youngest player in camp this time, with 16-year-old Pinto making enough of an impression on Ellis after being held over in January from a U-23 camp.
It’s also notable that Megan Rapinoe won’t be in camp with the team. After a lengthy ACL recovery, diminishing playing time, and perhaps some bad blood after the fed and Sunil Gulati publicly disapproved of her kneeling protest during the anthem, it looks like Rapinoe’s NT career might be in its sunset phase. Perhaps Rapinoe is still physically shaky after she was barely able to hang in there for the Olympics. Either way, that points to her absence from the NT for a while.
The SheBelieves tournament kicks off on Wednesday, March 1 at Talen Energy Stadium. USA vs Germany will air live on FS1 at 7 PM ET.