U.S. Soccer issued a press release stating defenders Meghan Klingenberg and Jaelene Hinkle were unavailable for the upcoming USWNT November friendlies against Romania in California. Klingenberg, out with a back injury, helped her club, the Portland Thorns, reach the semifinal round of the NWSL season where they fell 4-3 to the Western New York Flash. Coming off a championship run with the Flash, Hinkle has been ruled out due to an ankle injury.
Two more brand new faces
To fill their spots, coach Jill Ellis has called in Emily Menges from the Thorns and Jessica McDonald from the Flash. At 24 years old, Menges was an integral part of the Thorns’ defense after Kat Williamson suffered an injury. In her third year with Portland, the Georgetown alum started and played in all 20 games, being one of five players to log 1,800 minutes this season. This is her first national team call-up after getting a look from the U-23s in 2013.
McDonald is coming off an excellent championship season with NWSL champions Western New York Flash. She started 19 games and scored 10 goals right behind teammate, Golden Boot winner, and recent call-up Lynn Williams. Having the most shots (61) and shots on goal (34), McDonald is a threat to any defense. She was also second in assists with seven behind Portland midfielder Tobin Heath with 10; her last assist helping Williams get the equalizer against the Washington Spirit in the final moments of extra time in the NWSL Championship. McDonald was also the leading goal scorer (7) for the Houston Dash in 2015. Although 28 years old, this is her first senior team call-up, however she has played with the U-17, U-20, and U-23 youth national teams.
The USWNT will play Romania on November 10 in San Jose, California (ESPN2, 10pm ET) and on November 13 in Carson, California (FS1, 9:30pm ET).