Jill Ellis has named her squad for the upcoming SheBelieves Cup. The United States Women's National Team open their cup campaign against Olympic champions Germany on 1 March at the Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Good mixture of youth and experience
Ellis has called 25 players into a training camp ahead of next month's round robin tournament and many selections were based on the player's performances during the USWNT's January camp. The roster will be cropped by two players ahead of their defence of the SheBelieves Cup.
With a few changes from previous squads, Ellis believes the January camp gave the coaching staff the chance to see new players and veterans alike.
"A player’s performance in that camp and positional depth guided our selection for this pre-camp, and from here we will select our SheBelieves Cup roster," said Ellis.
The camp will provide the opportunity for players to gain valuable playing time "in as many 11v11 situations" as possible leading up to the tournament. This is a vital component for players who are currently in the National Women's Soccer League off-season and training in their "independent enviroments" due to the fact that they are yet to return to their club teams.
Changes to note
The camp will include top NWSL draft pick Rose Lavelle. The 21-year-old, who was drafted as the number one pick by Boston Breakers, is yet to receive her first USWNT cap after being named to a number of previous training camps with the senior squad.
Alongside Lavelle, Houston Dash's number 15 draft pick Jane Campbell, Sky Blue's Sarah Killion and youth international Brianna Pinto will also be hoping to make their senior debuts. Pinto, one of the youngest players to make a US squad in recent times at 16-years-old, was a main stay at central midfield in the US team at the U-17 Womens World Cup in Jordan last year and following the U-23 January training camp - the North Carolina native was invited to train with the senior squad.
We also see the return of defender Meghan Klingenberg and forward Mallory Pugh, who have both missed previous training camps due to injuries. Pugh hasn't featured for the senior squad since becoming the second youngest ever American player to travel to an Olympics, however, the UCLA player did captain the USA at the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
A major absence is Seattle Reign midfielder Megan Rapinoe. The 31-year-old just made the cut for the 2016 Rio Olympics, much to the surprise of many, as the USWNT veteran tore her ACL during a training camp in Hawaii in December and since her recovery she has been on the cuff of Ellis' new-look US team.
Amy Rodriguez has also been called into the squad - the striker did not play for the duration of last year due to maternity leave. The 129-cap veteran joined back up with the team for the January camp after the birth of her second child.
Goalkeepers: Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
Defenders: Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
Midfielders: Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Sarah Killion (Sky Blue FC), Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), Brianna Pinto (CASL)
Forwards: Crystal Dunn (Chelsea Ladies FC, ENG), Alex Morgan (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars); Mallory Pugh (UCLA), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Lynn Williams (NC Courage)