The USWNT victory tour rolls on, with the United States now taking on #20 South Korea in two games.
It’s another holding pattern game - nothing major is going to happen tactically with Jill Ellis scheduled to leave at the end of October, and the players headed to NWSL playoffs are going to want to get in their minutes, stay healthy, and go home. What might change up the mix is the presence of Andi Sullivan, added due to “several injuries and the overall work load” according to the USSF press release.
Of note, the team will celebrate Ali Krieger’s 100th cap at this game, which she actually earned back in May of this year. Krieger didn’t want to overshadow the team’s preparations heading into the World Cup, so the celebration was put off until now, additionally complicated by the fact that her father was also in a serious car accident some time before September, requiring her to travel back home to be with family.
Now Krieger will get some well-deserved recognition - but she isn’t expected to see the field.
USA and Korea rosters
Kelley O’Hara, Lindsey Horan, Ali Krieger, Alex Morgan, and Sam Mewis are all unavailable for the game. Megan Rapinoe is probably back, though. She just went the full 90 for the Reign against Portland, so she should be just about back in fighting shape for the national team.
Another interesting question is, without Horan and Mewis, how the midfield will shape up. The obvious answers are Ertz and Brian, but Ellis has shown a slight preference for bringing in Allie Long, albeit in a sub role.
The group in camp is listed below:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 2/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 22/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 55/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 50/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 23/1); Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 94/24), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 104/1), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 125/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 167/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 37/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 85/7), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 91/19), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 77/12), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 34/10), Allie Long (Reign FC; 48/7), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 59/14), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 11/0)
FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 159/32); Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 284/117), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 11/2), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 168/107), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 126/49), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 58/17), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC; 158/50)
South Korea roster
The most important name to watch on this roster is probably striker Ji Soyun, who has toiled faithfully for Chelsea for several years and continues to fly just under the international radar despite her obvious skillset.
And as always, veteran leader Cho So Hyun is an important piece for Korea, working the defensive side of the midfield and helping them stay in possession.
Korea underperformed horribly during the World Cup, losing all three group games and scoring just one goal, although longtime observers of the team might have warned that this sort of result had been foreshadowed by their struggles at the 2018 Asian Cup.
Korea’s challenge will be to create scoring opportunities, any opportunities at all. Defensively, on a good organizational day they could probably stymie the United States at one or two goals, but putting Ji or young Kang Chaerim in position to score will probably count for more.
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-KANG Gaae (Gumi Sportstoto WFC), 18-KIM Minjung (Hyundai Steel Red Angels WFC), 21-MIN Yukyeong (Hwacheon KSPO WFC)
DEFENDERS (8): 2-HA Eunhye (Gumi Sportstoto WFC), 3-HONG Hyeji (Changnyeong WFC), 4-EO Hee Jin (Gumi Sportstoto WFC), 5-KIM Hyeyeong (Gyeongju KHNP WFC), 6-LIM Seonjoo (Hyundai Steel Red Angels WFC), 19-LEE Hyokyeong (Albirex Niigata Ladies, JPN), 20-KIM Hyeri (Hyundai Steel Red Angels WFC), 24-KIM Jinhui (Changnyeong WFC)
MIDFIELDERS (10): 7-LEE Youngju (Hyundai Steel Red Angels WFC), 8-CHO So Hyun (West Ham United WFC(ENG), 9-JANG Selgi (Hyundai Steel Red Angels WFC), 11-MOON Mira (Suwon UDC WFC), 12-KIM Soeun (Gumi Sportstoto WFC), 14-LEE Sodam (Hyundai Steel Red Angels WFC), 15-JANG Chang (Seoul City WFC), 16-PARK Yeeun (Gyeongju KHNP WFC), 17-LEE Seaeun (Hyundai Steel Red Angels WFC), 23-KANG Chaerim (Hyundai Steel Red Angels WFC)
FORWARDS (4): 10-JI Soyun (Chelsea FC, ENG), 22-SON Hwayeon (Changnyeong WFC)
Possible starting XI
Here’s what a starting XI could look like with so many injuries:
Time, TV, and streaming info
USA vs South Korea, Game 1
Thursday, October 3
8 PM ET / 5 PM PT
Get streaming with Fubo