Megan Rapinoe, the U.S. soccer star who stirred controversy last summer by kneeling during the national anthem while with her professional team, was left off the national team roster for a tournament next month featuring four of the top-five ranked women’s teams in the world.
Rapinoe, 31, has had a hard time regaining her world-class form since tearing an ACL in December 2015. She was invited to an expanded training camp in Los Angeles last month but apparently did not perform well enough to earn a callback from Coach Jill Ellis for the 25-member squad.
Ellis will cut two players before the SheBelieves Cup, which features the top-ranked Americans against No. 2 Germany on March 1 at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa.; fifth-ranked England on March 4 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.; and No. 3 France on March 7 at Washington’s RFK Stadium. Each matchday is a doubleheader.
U.S. workouts will begin Feb. 20 in Orlando.
Rapinoe, a starting wing on the 2011 and ’15 World Cup teams, appeared in four international matches last year, making one start. She was in the spotlight with the NWSL’s Seattle Reign last summer for following NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s lead in protesting “The Star-Spangled Banner” to raise awareness of social and racial injustice.
In announcing the roster, the U.S. Soccer Federation cited “depth and pace” on the flanks with Tobin Heath, Crystal Dunn, Mallory Pugh, Kelley O’Hara, Meghan Klingenberg and newcomers Rose Lavelle and Casey Short.
“January gave us a chance to see some new faces in with the veterans, and get some quality time on the training field,” Ellis said. “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.”
The USSF is also planning one or two friendlies in early April before the National Women’s Soccer League season begins. Possible opponents and venues have not been disclosed.
Goalkeepers: Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars).
Defenders: Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns).
Midfielders: Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns), Sarah Killion (Sky Blue FC), Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage), Brianna Pinto (Durham, N.C., 16 years old).
Forwards: Crystal Dunn (Chelsea), Alex Morgan (Olympique Lyonnais), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (UCLA), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage).