The Washington Spirit on Wednesday placed five players on the U.S. women’s national soccer team, which will gather next week in Orlando ahead of the third annual SheBelieves Cup featuring four of the top programs in the world.
The quintet includes just one player from last year’s Spirit roster: attacker Mallory Pugh. The others all joined the club this winter: defender Taylor Smith, midfielders Andi Sullivan and Rose Lavelle, and forward Ashley Hatch. The average age of the five is 21.8.
Smith and Hatch arrived in a trade with North Carolina for Crystal Dunn’s rights, Sullivan was the first overall pick in the NWSL college draft and Lavelle was claimed in the dispersal draft after Boston folded.
All, except Hatch, were widely expected to make this 26-player roster. Hatch, the 2017 NWSL rookie of the year, has not played for the national team since making her debut in October 2016.
U.S. Coach Jill Ellis will trim the squad to 23 players before the tournament, which, in addition to the top-ranked Americans, includes No. 2 Germany, No. 3 England and No. 6 France. Doubleheaders are scheduled for March 1 in Columbus, Ohio; March 4 in Harrison, N.J.; and March 7 in Orlando. The U.S. team will appear on ESPN2 (first two matches) and ESPNews (last game), plus the network’s digital streaming outlets.
Goalkeepers: Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars).
Defenders: Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), Tierna Davidson (Stanford University), Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars), Hailie Mace (UCLA), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Taylor Smith (Washington Spirit), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns).
Midfielders: Morgan Brian (Olympique Lyonnais), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue), Allie Long (Seattle Reign), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit).
Forwards: Crystal Dunn (Chelsea/N.C. Courage), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Houston Dash), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign), Lynn Williams (N.C. Courage).
Of note: Morgan Brian and Crystal Dunn will remain with their European clubs during U.S. camp and, if selected to the final roster, join the squad in Columbus. … Carli Lloyd is the most capped player on the roster with 247 games played and is two goals from becoming the sixth player in U.S. history to score 100 in international competition. … Defender Becky Sauerbrunn (foot), midfielder Samantha Mewis (knee) and forward Tobin Heath (ankle) are unavailable.
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