Jill Ellis has released the 23-player United States roster for the upcoming Tournament of Nations, when the USWNT will face Australia, Brazil, and Japan in a mini-tourney.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 15/0), Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 1/0), Abby Smith (Boston Breakers; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 4/0), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 49/8), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 98/1), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC; 96/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City; 126/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 10/0), Taylor Smith (NC Courage; 0/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash; 66/6), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash; 239/97), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC; 27/5), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 25/4), Margaret Purce (Boston Breakers; 0/0), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 121/31)
FORWARDS (7): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC; 52/22), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 35/3), Sydney Leroux (FC Kansas City; 75/35), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 125/73), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars; 87/42), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 23/4), Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 8/2)
Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars) will also train with the team during the tournament, but is not currently eligible to play. USSF is seeking to change her association with FIFA since Huerta has already represented Mexico at the youth level and in four caps for their senior WNT.
This is the first call up for Boston Breakers forward (listed here at midfielder) Margaret Purce. Purce is the first player from Harvard to get a call up to the full senior WNT. Abby Smith and Taylor Smith have both been in camp before, but are currently uncapped. Ali Krieger also returns to the roster after not being called in for the previous camp, when the USWNT traveled away to play Sweden and Norway. Out from that roster are Jaelene Hinkle and Meghan Klingenberg, as well as Rose Lavelle, who is still recovering from an injury she sustained in those friendlies.
There are some relatively young faces here between Campbell, the Smiths, Purce, and Pugh, which is a good thing for the team overall. Ellis might have started thinking about the roster she wants to shape for World Cup qualification next year, but we’re still in the period when getting new players used to a camp setting and the pace of a tournament schedule won’t interfere with larger development plans. Conversely, fans shouldn’t read too much into who did not get called up for this roster due to still being in that experimental period.
The Tournament of Nations will run from July 27 - August 3 with games in Seattle, San Diego, and Carson. NWSL will be breaking for the FIFA window and players should all be available for July 22 NWSL games. Unfortunately, with the last game taking place August 3, August 4 and 5 NWSL games may be missing some USWNT players, depending on who got what amount of playing time. But at least the league and US Soccer seem more in lockstep this season about keeping to FIFA windows in order to minimize disruption to NWSL, and in an off-year with no World Cup or Olympics, highlight events like the ToN are necessary in terms of not just revenue, but maintaining public interest in and awareness of the WNT.
USA vs Australia
July 27, 10 PM ET
USA vs Brazil
July 30, 8 PM ET
USA vs Japan
August 3, 10 PM ET