After three months of bold predictions, shifting power rankings and in-depth sleuthing on who could possibly make the final 18-player USWNT Olympic roster, it’s safe to say that was all a waste of time.
“It’s been a long process to get to this point, longer than anyone thought it would be, but we collected a lot of information on the players over the past year and a half in trainings, in their club matches and in international games and we’re confident that we’ve selected the team with the best chance for success in Japan,” U.S. manager Vlatko Andonovski said.
Seventeen of the players were members of the squad that lifted the 2019 World Cup, with the only exception being Sam Mewis’ sister, Kristie. The wealth of experience here is staggering. The squad averages 111 international caps per player, including nine individuals that’ve broken the century mark (and then you have Carli Lloyd with 304).
The average age of the team is 30.8 years old, which makes it the oldest squad in recent history. The 2019 World Cup team was at 28, the 2016 Olympic roster was 27.8 and the 2015 World Cup was also 28.
You’re going to hear a lot about this as we build toward the opening of group play on July 21 against Sweden and for good reason. To begin with, it’s a grueling test of attrition to win gold in Tokyo: six games in 17 days in the heat and humidity of late July and early August.
Players like Tobin Heath and Julie Ertz are still recovering from injury, while Rose Lavelle has dealt with hamstring, ankle and knee issues over the past couple years. However, it’s worth remembering that teams can make roster changes at any time before and during the tournament because of injury.
Perhaps more importantly is that the USWNT wants us to talk about this. Becky Sauerbrunn, Megan Rapinoe and Lloyd thrive in adverse conditions, and with the team currently riding a 42-game unbeaten streak that renders criticism absurd, bulletin board material needs to come from somewhere.
“Believe me. I read; I see everything.”
.@CarliLloyd keeps all the receipts. pic.twitter.com/Q6QQerQidJ— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) June 17, 2021
Full USWNT Olympic Roster For Tokyo 2020
GOALKEEPERS (2): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (6): Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage)
FORWARDS (5): Tobin Heath (Unattached), Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Unattached), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign)
WAKE UP! USWNT Olympic Schedule
Wednesday, July 21: USWNT vs. Sweden | 4:30 a.m. ET
Saturday, July 24: USWNT vs. New Zealand | 7:30 a.m. ET
Tuesday, July 27: USWNT vs. Australia | 4 a.m. ET
Friday, July 30: USWNT vs. TBD | Quarterfinals