Jill Ellis has released the 23-player roster she will bring to SheBelieves 2019.
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 32/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 14/1), Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 77/24), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 112/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 151/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 28/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars; 2/0), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 74/18), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 21/6), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 43/8), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit 11/0), McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 8/0)
FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 143/25), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 266/105), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 5/1), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 155/98), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 108/47), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 45/13), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC; 146/41)
Lindsey Horan is out with a quadriceps injury, which will make for an interesting decision come gametime given how much Ellis has come to rely on Horan in her current formation. Looking at the midfielders still in play, there’s not an obvious successor to Horan in terms of her attacking/ballwinning function. Rose Lavelle would certainly be someone the team could funnel their passes through, but she’s less of a defensive player than Horan. That could mean asking for more from Sam Mewis or Julie Ertz, or perhaps even Dani Colaprico. Ellis might also consider dropping Rapinoe deeper, although anything that moves her farther from goal is not ideal.
Also missing is Morgan Brian. Brian started for the US against France but got rotated out of the lineup for their next game against Spain. Brian won’t be in the 27-player camp preceding the tournament either. The four players joining the team in Tampa for training will be Jane Campbell, Merritt Mathias, Emily Fox, and Allie Long. Perhaps this precautionary; Brian has been physically touch-and-go the past couple of years and if they want her for the World Cup, why not rest her now. But Ellis could also be losing faith that Brian’s 2015 peak form will return.
We’ll also see if O’Hara gets minutes. She wasn’t dressed for either game against France or Spain after the WNT staff evaluated her during January training camp as a precautionary measure. With a few more weeks of rest and rehab under her belt, we may get to see her work that back line, once again providing the wide overlapping option that Ellis likes.
USA vs Japan
Wednesday, February 27
7 PM ET
USA vs England
Saturday, March 2
4:30 PM ET
USA vs Brazil
Tuesday, March 5
8 PM ET