Twila Kilgore, the current interim manager of the US women’s national team, has decided not to include Alex Morgan, who won the World Cup, in her selection of 26 players for the upcoming friendly matches against China.
Morgan is one of many experienced players who have not been included in the team for the upcoming friendlies on December 2nd and 5th. The squad has been announced with eleven players who have 10 or fewer caps, marking a new era for the US team following a disappointing showing at the 2023 World Cup.
Six members of the World Cup team were not included in the final list.
Sofia Huerta, Alyssa Naeher, Ashley Sanchez, Becky Sauerbrunn, Crystal Dunn, Andi Sullivan and Morgan were all part of the team’s friendly matches last month. However, they have not been included in the current squad as US Soccer wants to assess a new group of players before the upcoming Olympics. Thirteen players in the squad announced on Monday did not participate in the World Cup.
The upcoming games in Ft Lauderdale, Florida and Frisco, Texas will be the first for Chelsea manager Emma Hayes since being announced as the new national team coach. However, Hayes will not officially take on the role until May, so the team selection was made by US Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker. Both Hayes and Kilgore were involved in the creation of the squad.
Kilgore stated that as we progress with the next phases, it is crucial to have additional chances to observe our pool of players in our distinct national team setting. This includes both training and games, allowing us to assess their potential role in the Olympics.
Rose Lavelle has returned to the USWNT after her absence since the World Cup. Veteran defenders Tierna Davidson and Abby Dahlkemper have also made their comeback.
The roster includes two players who have not yet played for a professional team: Korbin Albert, a midfielder from Paris Saint-Germain, and Jenna Nighswonger, a midfielder for NJ/NY Gotham. Nighswonger was recognized as the NWSL Rookie of the Year for her 20 appearances with the championship-winning team.
“We highly appreciate the contribution of players who have recently participated in camps or the World Cup, even if they were not selected for this roster. They are still considered important members of our team, and we recognize their impact both on and off the field,” Kilgore stated. “However, we must also continue to assess and develop players in a strategic manner to ensure the team’s success.”
The USWNT’s last games of 2023 will be the friendly matches against China. China is the second most frequent opponent in the history of the US, with 58 previous meetings between the two teams (after Canada).
The complete roster for the US Women’s National Team for the upcoming friendly matches against China.
The goalkeepers selected for the team are Jane Campbell from Houston Dash, Aubrey Kingsbury from Washington Spirit, and Casey Murphy from North Carolina Courage.
Defenders: Alana Cook, OL Reign; Abby Dahlkemper, San Diego Wave FC; Tierna Davidson, Chicago Red Stars; Emily Fox, North Carolina Courage; Naomi Girma, San Diego Wave FC; Casey Krueger, Chicago Red Stars; MA Vignola, Angel City FC
Midfielders: Korbin Albert, Paris Saint-Germain; Sam Coffey, Portland Thorns FC; Savannah DeMelo, Racing Louisville FC; Lindsey Horan, Lyon; Rose Lavelle, OL Reign; Olivia Moultrie, Portland Thorns FC; Jenna Nighswonger, NJ/NY Gotham FC; Emily Sonnett, OL Reign
Forwards: Mia Fishel, Chelsea; Ashley Hatch, Washington Spirit; Midge Purce, NJ/NY Gotham FC; Trinity Rodman, Washington Spirit; Jaedyn Shaw, San Diego Wave FC; Sophia Smith, Portland Thorns FC; Alyssa Thompson, Angel City FC; Lynn Williams, NJ/NY Gotham FC