We now know the final roster for the U.S. Women's National Team that will take the field in the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The roster was announced earlier this morning.
Manager Vlatko Andonovski has elected to take a balanced roster of six defenders, five midfielders, and five forwards. Just one member of the roster (Kristie Mewis) was not on the 2019 World Cup-winning team, highlighting the importance Andonovski has placed on veteran leadership and experience. Below is the roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (6): Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City/ENG), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage)
FORWARDS (5): Tobin Heath (Unattached), Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Unattached), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign)
The alternates rounding out the team are goalkeeper Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), defender Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars), midfielder Catarina Macario (Lyon), and forward Lynn Williams (NC Courage).
Four Red Stars In the Side
Casey Krueger gets the call-up as an alternate as she will suit up in case of emergency. Julie Ertz has obviously been deemed fit enough to play in late July by the U.S. team's medical staff as she gets the call up to the national team. Tierna Davidson gets a spot on a USWNT roster for the second-straight major tournament (2019 World Cup) while Alyssa Naeher gets the No. 1 keeper spot.
Naeher will obviously start but the rest of the Red Stars contingent may not. Who knows how healthy Ertz is at the moment? She may not have been added to the roster if the Olympics were any earlier. It's also important to note that, unlike in the World Cup, the Olympic roster is flexible due to injury, which may have played a part in selecting Ertz.
While Andonovski certainly would not have selected her if not given the go-ahead by the medical team, Ertz's role may be more of a locker-room presence than of a star midfielder.
Krueger is an alternate and most likely won't play at all, while Tierna Davidson may not start for the USWNT but will certainly get some playing time off the bench.
Rounding Out the Squad & Next Steps
“It’s been a long process to get to this point, longer than anyone thought it would be, but we collected a lot of information on the players over the past year and half in trainings, in their club matches and in international games and we’re confident that we’ve selected the team with the best chance for success in Japan,” said Andonovski.
USWNT will be in action in Connecticut at the end of the month to play its WNT Send-Off Series, taking on Mexico on July 1 (7 PM ET) and July 5 (5 PM ET)
Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath will be making their fourth Olympic Team, tying Christie Pearce Rampone for the most in USWNT history. Lloyd, who will turn 39 on July 16 just before the Olympics begin, is the oldest-ever U.S. Women’s Soccer Olympian, nearly two years older than Rampone when she played in the 2012 Olympics.
The U.S. will be looking to do what no side has done before: win the Olympics and the World Cup back-to-back.