Jill Ellis names 22-player roster for USWNT April friendlies

Jill Ellis has named a 22-player roster in advance of the US Women’s National Team’s upcoming friendlies against its rival to the south- Mexico. The teams will face off April 5 in Jacksonville and April 8 in Houston. The roster features most of the roster from the SheBelieves Cup with one return and a few omissions.

Two faces return

Co-Captain and Utah Royals FC defender Becky Sauerbrunn has returned to camp after missing the first four matches of the year to a stress reaction in her foot. Sauerbrunn started all 16 matches in 2017 and played the most minutes at 1,350.

2017 NWSL Rookie of the Year Ashley Hatch has also been named to the roster after being called in pre-SheBelieves Cup, but not being named for the tournament. Hatch has one cap coming in 2016 but earned another call-up after an outstanding rookie season with the North Carolina Courage where she scored seven goals in 24 appearances. She was traded to the Washington Spirit during the off-season.

Julie Ertz | Photo: Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire
Julie Ertz | Photo: Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire

Injury Omissions

There are still several prominent players that have not made it back to the roster. Midfielder’s Tobin Heath, Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis are all still dealing with lingering injuries. Lavelle injured her hamstring in June and briefly returned in September in her home city of Cincinnati but has not been back since. Heath dealt with a back injury that kept her sidelined for most of 2017 but returned briefly before injuring her ankle. Heath had minor surgery on the injury back in January. And Mewis, the only other player to start all 16 games in 2017, has missed all of 2018 due to injury.

The other omissions include Taylor Smith who started all three games in the SheBelieves Cup but exited the England game early. Julie Ertz, the reigning US Soccer Female Player of the Year, is also out due to injury. And Christen Press, who has not reported for preseason camp for her new team, the Houston Dash, also failed to make the roster. Ellis commented on the situation to US Soccer.

"At this point Christen is in the process of securing a club team. We've had several conversations and she understands our expectations are that a consistent training and match environment for a professional is an important factor for selection into Women's National Team rosters. Since the SheBelieves Cup, our professional players returned to pre-season training with their clubs and have had multiple scrimmages in preparation for the opening weekend. I am certain that once Christen transitions to a new team, she will embrace being back on the pitch and will help her team be successful."

The match on April 5 will be at 7:00 p.m. ET on FS1 while the match on the 8th will be at 12:00 p.m. CT on the main Fox channel. The entire roster is listed below.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position (Caps/Goals)

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 2/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 14/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0)

DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 17/0), Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 4/0), Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars; 4/0); Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 107/2), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 21/0), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC: 135/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 15/0)

MIDFIELDERS (5): Morgan Brian (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 72/6), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 47/4), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 250/98), Allie Long (Seattle Reign FC; 35/6), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 9/0)

FORWARDS (7): Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 60/23), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 1/0); Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue FC; 4/0), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 138/81), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 33/9), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 133/35), Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 19/4)