Hope Solo, Ali Krieger, Carli Lloyd, and Abby Wambach headline a strong roster that will head to Winnipeg to face the Canadian women's team for an international friendly.
John D. Halloran
LAST WEEK UNITED STATES
May 04, 2014
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women’s national team interim coach Jill Ellis named a 22-player roster for the team’s upcoming friendly against Canada. The game will be played on May 8 in Winnipeg at 8 p.m. ET.
After the firing last month of former head coach Tom Sermanni, this is the first roster chosen by Ellis in her tenure as interim coach. Here’s the full squad.
: Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
: Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Tyresö), Meghan Klingenberg (Tyresö), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Nikki Marshall (Portland Thorns FC), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
: Morgan Brian (Virginia), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers)
: Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)
...and here's a quick look at the roster's ins and outs of this team.
As one would fully expect, goalkeeper Hope Solo was named to the team, as well as defenders Crystal Dunn (returning from injury), Whitney Engen, Ali Krieger, Kelley O’Hara, Christine Rampone, and Becky Sauerbrunn.
Midfielder regulars Morgan Brian, Carli Lloyd, Lauren Holiday, and Heather O’Reilly also join the team, along with forwards Sydney Leroux, Christen Press, and Abby Wambach.
Press, along with Engen and Meghan Klingenberg, are returning from Sweden only days after their club, Tyreso, qualified for the Champions League final with a 3-0 win over Birmingham City in the semifinals.
On the Trainer’s Table
Several players are unavailable for the game due to injury, including Alex Morgan (stress reaction), Kristie Mewis (ankle), Megan Rapinoe (foot), and Rachel Van Hollebeke (ankle).
The Fringe Players
Among the players called in who are likely still in a battle for a spot on the U.S.’s World Cup qualifying roster this fall are: goalkeepers Ashlyn Harris and Jill Loyden; defenders Stephanie Cox and Meghan Klingenberg; midfielder Julie Johnston; and forward Amy Rodriguez.
Harris and Loyden will likely be in a battle with several other keepers for the two backup spots behind Solo while Cox and Klingenberg are expected to be in a battle with each other, as well as Mewis, for the last spot at outside back.
Johnston was the U.S.’s U-20 captain at the 2012 World Cup (the U.S. won that tournament) and has gotten off to a solid start in the NWSL with the Chicago Red Stars, but is still considered to be a long shot to make the final World Cup qualifying roster. Rodriguez has also gotten off to a hot start in NWSL, but will still likely fall to fifth on the forward depth chart once Morgan returns from injury.
Where are they?
There were five notable absences from the roster, including Tobin Heath, Erika Tymrak, Amber Brooks, Yael Averbuch, and Nicole Barnhart.
Brooks, Averbuch and Tymrak were all seemingly falling out of favor during the end of Sermanni’s reign, a trend that seems like it will continue with Ellis now in charge. Barnhart’s exclusion is a bit of a surprise as she’s been Solo’s usual backup, but she was also left out of the U.S.’s last camp. Heath is still at Paris Saint-Germain until the end of their season.
The two newbies named by Ellis are Portland Thorns midfielder Allie Long and, also from the Thorns, defender Nikki Marshall. Both Long and Marshall have represented the U.S. at the U-20 and U-23 level and Long was once called up under former coach Pia Sundhage, but not capped.
One interesting item of note from the roster is the inclusion of only six midfielders. This may be an indication that Ellis plans on continuing to play the 4-3-3 that the team recently introduced in its friendlies against China in April.
John D. Halloran is an American Soccer Now columnist. Follow him on Twitter.