Final USWNT Tournament Roster Before World Cup Revealed, Looking A Bit Light In Some Areas

Jill Ellis announced her SheBelieves Cup roster to face Japan, England and Brazil.

Coach Jill Ellis announced the USWNT SheBelieves Cup roster on Tuesday. It’s looking a bit light in some areas, despite this being the final tournament roster before this summer’s World Cup.

The U.S. women’s national team will bring 23 players to the SheBelieves Cup, a four-team, round-robin competition that runs from Feb. 27-March 5. The U.S will play Japan, England and Brazil as it looks to win the tournament for the third time in its fourth edition. 

The roster includes three goalkeepers, seven defenders, six midfielders and seven forwards.

The USWNT SheBelieves Cup roster is the final selection of players for meaningful competition before the 2019 World Cup in France this summer, though the team will have five friendlies in April and May to prepare for the World Cup. 

This is the first new roster since the USWNT’s 28-match unbeaten streak was snapped by France in January, and Jill Ellis has had to leave out one major contributor in the middle. 

Typically, 23-man rosters have more midfielders than forwards, but not so with this group. The most notable absence is from 2018 NWSL MVP Lindsey Horan, who will not be taking part, ruled out with a quadriceps injury. This has left the midfield looking a little light, especially with Morgan Brian also not in the squad. Allie Long was picked to the team, but only as a pre-tournament training camp member; she will not play at the SheBelieves Cup barring injury to another player. 

The defenders also look a bit light, particularly with questions at fullback, but this is nothing new for the team. That Crystal Dunn, a forward, is by far the USWNT’s best fullback is a bit worrying, even if she is versatile enough to play the position. 

At goalkeeper, Portland Thorns fans are probably wondering when Adrianna Franch will finally get her shot with the national team, but she may be third in line behind Alyssa Naeher and Ashlyn Harris. The goalkeepers are all solid, but you still feel there isn’t a star between the pipes like the U.S. has had at previous World Cups with the likes of Hope Solo and Brianna Scurry. 

Fortunately, the forward position is, as always, loaded. 

Ellis has a full stock of talented attackers at her disposal, including Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath and Carli Lloyd. Even likely reserves Lloyd, Mallory Pugh, Christen Press and Jessica McDonald would probably start for just about any other national team in the world. 

The forwards will be tested more at the SheBelieves Cup than the World Cup group stage, with England (No. 4), Japan (8) and Brazil (10) all ranked in the top 10 in the world. In comparison, Group F at the World Cup includes the U.S. (No. 1), Sweden (9), Thailand (29) and Chile (38).

The SheBelieves Cup will be played in Philadelphia, Nashville, Tennessee, and Tampa, Florida. 

2019 USWNT SheBelieves Cup Roster (Caps/Goals)

Goalkeepers

Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0)
Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 19/0)
Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 40/0)

Defenders

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

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

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)

Pre-Tournament Training Camp Selections

GK Jane Campbell, D Merritt Mathias, D Emily Fox, M Allie Long

2019 SheBelieves Cup Schedule

(All times ET)

Feb. 27, Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, Pennsylvania
England vs. Brazil, 4 p.m.
United States vs. Japan, 7 p.m.

March 2, Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
Brazil vs. Japan, 2 p.m.
United States vs. England, 4:30 p.m.

March 5, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
Japan vs. England, 5:15 p.m.
United States vs. Brazil, 8 p.m.

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