USWNT roster named for 2022 Concacaf W Championship

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The USWNT roster for July’s 2022 Concacaf W Championship — plus two June friendlies vs. Colombia — was announced on Monday. U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski named 23 players to the Concacaf W Championship roster, plus an addition three players who will be eligible to take part in the friendlies.

The squad is headlined by the return of veteran players Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, and Megan Rapinoe. Sauerbrunn returns after missing USWNT camps in January and April, while Morgan and Rapinoe haven’t played for the USWNT since October 2021.

Andonovski has long emphasized the importance of in-market performance, which makes Rapinoe’s inclusion surprising. Rapinoe, a two-time World Cup champion who plays for the OL Reign, hasn’t started a single NWSL game this season and has touched the field in just four of eight games. Still, Rapinoe leads this USWNT squad in qualifying event appearances, having played in 23 World Cup or Olympic qualifying games.

In a call with reporters on Monday, Andonovski said he and Rapinoe had a conversation in the fall, in which he told her that he would be calling up young players and giving them minutes this spring, but that if she was healthy and able to get minutes, she would be included on this roster.

“We know what Megan is capable of doing,” Andonovski said, also pointing to the leadership experience she will bring to the younger and less experienced players. “I think she’s going to be instrumental to help them go through these games, go through these qualifiers.”

Said newcomers include eight players have fewer than 10 international caps: Alana Cook (9), Ashley Hatch (8), Ashley Sanchez (7), Casey Murphy (4), Trinity Rodman (3), Naomi Girma (1), Aubrey Kingsbury (1) and Taylor Kornieck (0).

Andonovski on Monday had especially high praise for forwards Sophia Smith and Mallory Pugh, calling them “the two most exciting players to watch right now in the league” and noting that it will be hard for anyone (including Rapinoe) to “come in and steal their starting spots right now.”

In recent months, multiple USWNT stalwarts have gone down with serious injury, including Abby Dahlkemper, Tierna Davidson, Tobin Heath, Catarina Macario, Sam Mewis, Lynn Williams. Three other players (Crystal Dunn, Julie Ertz, Casey Krueger) are on maternity leave. All nine played at last summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

Christen Press also suffered a knee injury in NWSL play on Saturday, but Andonovski confirmed on a call with reporters on Monday that she wasn’t slated to be on the team prior to that injury.

“For Christen to be back on field, it’s not just to do well in her club environment, it’s also to outperform the players she’s competing against,” Andonovski said. “It’s not easy to be a forward in the United States right now. Obviously it’s great, but it’s not easy because the competition just got bigger and bigger.”

The 2022 Concacaf W Championship, which will be held in Mexico from July 4-18, serves as a qualifier for both the 2023 Women’s World Cup and the 2024 Paris Olympics. (The top two teams in each group will qualify for the World Cup, while the winner of the tournament will also qualify for the Olympics.)

USWNT Roster for 2022 Concacaf W Championship (Club; Caps/Goals)

Goalkeepers:

  • Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit; 1)

  • Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 4)

  • Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 80)

Defenders: 

  • Alana Cook (OL Reign; 9/0)

  • Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC; 13/0)

  • Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC; 1/0)

  • Sofia Huerta (OL Reign; 12/0)

  • Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit; 152/2)

  • Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 202/0)

  • Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 65/0)

Midfielders: 

  • Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 109/25)

  • Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave FC; 0/0)

  • Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 71/20)

  • Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 38/5)

  • Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit; 7/2)

  • Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 27/3)

Forwards: 

  • Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 8/4)

  • Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC; 190/115)

  • Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars; 72/23)

  • Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 14/3)

  • Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 187/62)

  • Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit; 3/1)

  • Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 15/4)

Additional players for friendlies vs. Colombia: Carson Pickett (North Carolina Courage; 0/0), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), Jaelin Howell (Racing Louisville: 5/1)

Upcoming USWNT Schedule

Friendlies vs. Colombia:

  • June 25: USWNT vs. Colombia at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado (7:30 p.m. ET on FS1 and ViX)

  • June 28: USWNT vs. Colombia at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah (10 p.m. ET on ESPN and ViX).

Concacaf W Championship – USWNT Group Play Schedule:

  • July 4: USWNT vs. Haiti at Estadio Universitario de Nuevo León in San Nicolás de los Garza, Mexico (7pm ET on CBS Sports Network, Paramount+, ViX)

  • July 7: USWNT vs. Jamaica at Estadio BBVA in Guadalupe, Mexico (7pm ET on Paramount+ and ViX)

  • July 11: USWNT vs. Mexico at Estadio Universitario de Nuevo León in San Nicolás de los Garza, Mexico (10pm ET on Paramount+ and ViX)

This story will continue to be updated. 

Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC

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USWNT roster named for 2022 Concacaf W Championship originally appeared on NBCSports.com