USWNT World Cup roster, Olympic qualifiers released

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US women’s soccer coach Vlatko Andonovsky has used the past six months to test young players and gain a better understanding of his pool of talent ahead of this summer’s World Cup and Olympics qualifiers.

Although some veterans were left out of the process, Andonovsky swore they were still in the mix. On Monday, he called up two of them, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, who will head the 23-man squad for the CONCACAF W Championship from July 4-18 in Monterrey, Mexico.

The eight-team tournament will select four automatic berths for the 2023 World Cup and one for the 2024 Olympics. (Another Olympic berth will be settled next year).

First, though, the Americans will play friendlies against Columbia on June 25 in suburban Denver and June 28 in greater Salt Lake City.

Rapinoe and Morgan haven’t joined the top-ranked US team since October. While Morgan was an obvious choice – she She leads the Women’s National Football League with nine goals Rapinoe has yet to start an NWSL game this season.

Andonovsky cited Rapinoe’s experience, leadership and ability to influence the game even as she prepares to turn 37 next month.

“We know what Megan can do,” he said. “We even saw in a few minutes in regards to the last match how dangerous she could be. But also the thing with Meghan is that she is very important to this group. This is a young group … so her experience in the face of adversity, her winning mentality, knowledge and understanding is very valuable. for the group.”

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Andonovsky also noted that Mallory Pugh, who stars with the Chicago Red Stars, is ahead of Rapinoe in the depth chart.

“I can’t see now someone getting that starting point from Mallory,” he said. “It’s incredible.”

Andonovsky added, “What makes Meghan special is that she understands [the situation] And you will do anything possible to pay the money to be better.”

Morgan striker with 115 goals in 190 US gamesShe scored in five of her past eight games with the San Diego Wave and had a four-goal game against Gotham FC.

Defender Becky Sauerbrunn, 37, is also back after recovering from a knee injury. Also selected were World Cup veterans Alyssa Naher, Kelly O’Hara, Emily Sonnett, Rose Lavelle and Lindsey Horan.

“They’re not on the team because they’re only experienced; they’re on the team, first and foremost, because they can perform,” Andonovsky said.

O’Hara and Sonnett were among seven Washington Spirit players selected to the team. The others are goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury, midfielders Andy Sullivan and Ashley Sanchez and forwards Trinity Rodman and Ashley Hatch. No other team in the NWSL has more than four.

Many of the regulars were not available due to injury (Catarina Macario, Sam Mewes, Lynne Williams, Terna Davidson and Abby Dalkemper) or maternity leave (Crystal Dunn, Julie Ertes and Casey Krueger).

Tobin Heath and Kristen Press, strikers with tremendous experience, were not selected. Injuries have limited Heath to 17 league games in the past two years. Andonovsky said the press sustained a knee injury on Saturday, but even if she was healthy, she would not be included in the team.

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“She is doing well,” said Andonovsky, “but it is not just her now at this point. She is competing with the players in front of her. … It is not easy because the competition is getting bigger and bigger.”

Thirteen players selected have never competed in the playoffs. The biggest surprise was wave midfielder Taylor Kornick, a third-year professional who was invited to her first camp. Another seven have appeared in fewer than 10 international matches.

goalkeepers: Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naher (Chicago Red Stars).

Defenders: Alana Cook (OL Reign), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Kelley O’Hara (Washington), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns), Emily Sonnett (Washington).

Midfielders: Lindsey Horan (Olympic Lyonnais), Taylor Cornick (San Diego), Rose Laville (OL Reign), Christy Moyes (Gotham FC), Ashley Sanchez (Washington), Andy Sullivan (Washington).

Attackers: Ashley Hatch (Washington), Alex Morgan (San Diego), Midge Pierce (Gotham FC), Mallory Pugh (Chicago), Megan Rapinoe (Ol Reign), Trinity Rodman (Washington), Sophia Smith (Portland).

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