The United States will kick off their Victory Tour with exclusively their World Cup roster, according to Steven Goff. Jill Ellis will call in all 23 players who helped the team capture the World Cup for the two August friendlies against Costa Rica and no more, with the injured Sydney Leroux and Alex Morgan the only players likely to miss out.
After the two August matches, the Americans' Victory Tour will continue with eight more matches through the rest of the year. For those contests, Jill Ellis will begin to transition the team away from the World Cup and towards next summer's Olympics. The World Cup players will not all necessarily be called in and new players will join the team, turning away from celebration.
There were some questions about how Ellis would handle the Victory Tour, and what her mandate was. After all, the tour is capitalizing on the popularity of the team in the wake of the World Cup and some people will undoubtedly show up wanting to see all the players they fell in love with in Canada. But U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said last week that Ellis was free to pick her team as she saw fit and Ellis said that the team would have to start looking towards change and growth at some point this year. Apparently that point will be in September, on the third match of the Victory Tour.
The U.S. will have some major changes to make over the next year and beyond. They were the oldest team at the World Cup and whether players like Abby Wambach, Christie Rampone or Shannon Boxx decide to retire or not, there's no guarantee that they will even be good enough to make the team. That's especially true at the Olympics, where rosters are limited to 18 players, five fewer than the World Cup. Meanwhile, Lauren Holiday has already announcer her retirement and there are some talented young players who have been pushing to get an extended look with the national team.