CHICAGO (Nov. 17, 2020) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski has named 23 players for a training camp prior to the USA’s final game of 2020 and first in 261 days when the Americans take on the Netherlands on Nov. 27 at Rat Verlegh Stadium in Breda, Netherlands (12:30 ET / 6:30 local on ESPN2 & TUDN).
The roster includes 15 players currently playing in the National Women’s Soccer League, including Abby Dahlkemper and Lynn Williams of the NC Courage. Fifteen of the players named to the roster attended the USA’s most recent training camp held in late October in Commerce City, Colorado. Andonovski will name 18 players to suit up for the match.
“I love the challenge of bringing this group together, getting about a week of training and then playing the European champions on their home ground,” said Andonovski. “We have a lot of experience on this roster, but also a few players who have never been through a match like this before, so the best thing is that we will learn. We’ll learn about individuals and about the team. Consistent high performance is the most important factor in making rosters and starting lineups, and this trip will give our players the chance to show themselves in high level training and match environments.”
As they did during the training camp in Colorado, the U.S. players and staff will operate inside a highly controlled environment at the team hotel. The staging of the camp and the match will fall under the comprehensive U.S. Soccer Return to Play Protocols and Guidelines and in accordance with the UEFA Return to Play Protocols, with stringent collaboration by The Royal Netherlands Football Association. The U.S. delegation has received an exemption from quarantine provided to professional sports organizations. Everyone entering the environment will be tested for COVID-19 before traveling, upon arrival and every two days thereafter. The USA will not begin full team training until the results of all arrival tests are confirmed.
USWNT – Netherlands Training Camp Roster (Club; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Aubrey Bledsoe (Washington Spirit; 0), Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 3), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 63)
DEFENDERS (8): Alana Cook (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA; 1/0), Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 61/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 26/1), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 104/24), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 131/2), Margaret Purce (Sky Blue FC; 1/0), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 177/0), Emily Sonnett (Orlando Pride; 45/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 102/20), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 86/19), Rose Lavelle (Manchester City, ENG; 45/12), Catarina Macario (Stanford; 0/0), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 15/1), Samantha Mewis (Manchester City, ENG; 67/18)
FORWARDS (6): Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 2/0), Tobin Heath (Manchester United, ENG; 168/33), Alex Morgan (Tottenham Hotspur, ENG; 169/107), Christen Press (Manchester United, ENG; 138/58), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 28/9)
Two-time MAC Hermann Trophy winner Catarina Macario out of Stanford University is the lone non-professional on the roster. As the process allowing Macario to be eligible to represent the USA in a full international match has not yet been completed, she will not be on the game day roster, meaning Andonovski will pick his 18 from the other 22 players in training camp.
Of the eight players on the roster who did not participate in the USA’s October training camp in Colorado, seven were a part of the 2019 Women’s World Cup champions. That group includes 2019 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year Julie Ertz and a trio of England-based forwards in Tobin Heath (Manchester United), Alex Morgan (Tottenham Hotspur) and Christen Press (Manchester United) who have accounted for a combined 198 international goals.
Midfielders Rose Lavelle and Samantha Mewis return to the roster after helping Manchester City win the Women’s FA Cup on Nov. 1 and Orlando Pride defender Emily Sonnett returns after ending her loan spell in Sweden by helping Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC win the Damallsvenskan title.
“We have a few players who will be in the mix in 2021 who are not coming with us on this trip, but that helps us increase the depth and competition for spots in our player pool,” said Andonovski. “The environment in which we are preparing for this Olympic Games has been and will continue to be unlike anything this team has ever experienced, so to expand the number of players who can contribute in world championship tournament becomes even more important.”
The USA and Netherlands will be forever linked in women’s soccer history after meeting in the historic 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final in Lyon, France on July 7 of last year. The USA won 2-0 to lift its fourth World Cup trophy on goals from forward Megan Rapinoe, via a penalty kick, and a brilliant individual run and strike from midfielder Rose Lavelle.
Defender Becky Sauerbrunn is the most experienced player on the training camp roster with 177 caps. The other players on the roster with over 100 caps are forwards Alex Morgan (169), Tobin Heath (168) and Christen Press (138), midfielder Julie Ertz (102) and defenders Kelley O’Hara (131) and Crystal Dunn (104).
Morgan, who is working her way back to fitness after the birth of her daughter on May 7, 2020, has not played in a match for the USA since the 2019 Women’s World Cup Final. She made her debut with Tottenham Hotspur on Nov. 8, coming on at the end of the match to play the final 20 minutes.
Morgan is by far the most decorated goal scorer on the roster with 107 international scores, putting her tied for fifth in USWNT history. One more goal would move her past Michelle Akers in fourth all-time.
The roster features 14 players from the 2019 World Cup champions and eight players who have Olympic Games experience.
The roster includes 13 players who saw action at the 2020 SheBelieves Cup last spring and 13 who saw action during Olympic qualifying in January.
Midfielder Lindsey Horan is the USA’s leading scorer so far this year with seven goals and three assists. Press has seven goals and two assists. Press won the Golden Ball as the top player at January’s 2020 Concacaf Olympic Women’s Qualifying Championship.
Forward Lynn Williams is tied for the team lead in assists in 2020 (with Megan Rapinoe) with five.
Two players will come into training camp looking for their first senior team caps in 20-year-old forward Sophia Smith and goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe, who turns 29 on Nov. 20. Smith, who is age-eligible for the next FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, has scored 23 goals in 30 games so far for the Under-20 USWNT.
If Smith plays against the Netherlands, she will become the first player to appear for the USA who was born after the historic 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the first-ever player born in the aughts to earn a senior team cap.
This is the second call-up for former Stanford star Alana Cook who is playing in France with Paris Saint-Germain. Cook has one cap, earned last year vs. Costa Rica in Vlatko Andonovski’s second match. PSG currently sits second in the Division 1 Féminine standings behind Lyon.
With both Kristie (29-years-old) and Samantha Mewis (28) named to the roster, this is the first time sisters have been on a USWNT roster since the 2014 Algarve Cup, which also featured both Mewis sisters.
Kristie has 15 career caps and one goal but has not played for the USWNT since March of 2014 at that Algarve Cup. The Mewis sisters are just the second pair of sisters to play for the U.S. Women’s National Team following twins Lorrie and Ronnie Fair who were on the team together in the late 1990s.
Of the 17 players from the October training camp who were not on the 2019 World Cup Team, seven made this training camp roster: Goalkeepers Jane Campbell and Aubrey Bledsoe, defender Margaret Purce, midfielders Kristie Mewis and Catarina Macario and forwards Williams, Smith, Ashley Hatch.