Ellis Names Team For Switzerland Friendlies - 11 New Call Ups
The youth movement continues at USSoccer as Jill Ellis has named 11 new faces to the USWNT camp heading into their two scheduled friendlies with Switzerland. Ellis has maintained that the US coaches were monitoring play in the NWSL throughout the season but it appears as if Ellis and company are also monitoring the college game as she brought up three players from the NCAA. Much will be made about Megan Rapinoe not getting the call for this round, less so about Alex Morgan, Mallory Pugh, Ali Krieger, Julie Johnston, and Meghan Klingenberg, though Rapinoe has a higher profile than those others, save Morgan, is still recovering from a devastating injury less than a year ago, and has caused some recent headaches for the federation through her National Anthem protests.
The USA roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Stanford), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
Notes: Jane Campbell’s recent Red Card will cost her a game at Stanford but obviously didn’t hurt her in the eyes of USSoccer. She’d be an interesting start, although Harris and Naeher both need some reps after spending their careers behind Solo.
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (Western New York Flash), Arin Gilliland (Chicago Red Stars), Merritt Mathias (Seattle Reign), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
Notes: Sauerbrunn is still the rock of this team, for now, and Emily Sonnett figures to start at least 1 game next to her. Sonnett looks firmly entrenched as the team’s third center back and will likely be expected to push Sauerbrunn, and Johnson, in the next year or two. It’s interesting that Merritt Mathias is listed as a defender having played forward so well with her club team.
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Andi Sullivan (Stanford)
Notes: Colaprico could be the defensive midfielder that Ellis has been desperately seeking to partner with Morgan Brian, although Sam Mewis also looks like a good fit there.
FORWARDS (6): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Shea Groom (FC Kansas City), Ashley Hatch (BYU), Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Lynn Williams (Western New York Flash)
Notes: Considering Alex Morgan, Mallory Pugh, Sydney LeRoux, and Amy Rodriguez aren’t even listed here, this is a murderer’s row of talent. Ohai and Williams, especially, deserve an opportunity to compete with this team.
And Another Thing
202+231+40 = the number of caps the USWNT has lost since the Olympics due to suspension (Hope Solo), retirement (Heather O’Reilly), and relegation (Whitney Engen) respectively. When factoring in other recent retirements this team needs to start getting a lot of caps for a lot of players if they are to be ready for 2019.
This current team has only 3 players with 100 career caps, Lloyd, Heath, and Sauerbrunn. Three more are in the pool in Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Amy Rodriguez.