With Olympic qualifying set to begin at the end of January, U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski has set his 20-player roster that includes a host of familiar faces.
The upcoming Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament, which will kick off January 28, is the first major competition for Andonovski since taking the head coaching reins from Jill Ellis.
Coming off the team’s second consecutive World Cup title and fourth overall, the roster is comprised of many familiar faces. Among them are Rockville Centre’s Crystal Dunn and Sky Blue FC’s Carli Lloyd.
But there are some notable absences with local connections.
Northport’s Allie Long and Sky Blue’s Mallory Pugh, both members of the 2019 world championship team, are not included on the roster.
In an ESPNFC report, Andonovski said Pugh performed well in the team’s January camp, but admitted that there were other players that performed better.
“I want to be clear that (Pugh) is a very good, very talented player,” he said. She has a big future in front of her. I’m pretty sure that if she keeps on developing going forward, she will be on this roster.”
Long may have been a casualty of the smaller roster size for Olympic qualifying. World Cup rosters are set at 23 players while those for the Olympic qualifying are set at 20.
Overall, Andonovski seemed pleased with the outcome of the January camp.
“Full credit to the players for competing hard during our January camp and for making our final roster decisions difficult,” he said. “We have a balanced roster with versatile players and of course they have a lot of experience in important games.”
The U.S. opens the tournament, which will send its top two finishers to Japan, on Tuesday, Jan. 28, against Haiti. Game two will pit the U.S. against Panama on Friday, Jan. 31, also in Houston. They close out play in Group A play against Costa Rica on Monday, Feb. 3.
All group play games will take place at BBVA Stadium in Houston with a start time of 7:30 p.m. central.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster (Club, Gaps/Goals)
DEFENDERS (6): Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage; 53/0), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage; 96/24), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 104/1), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 125/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 171/0), Emily Sonnett (Orlando Pride; 40/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 95/19), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 78/12), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 38/10), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage; 60/14), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 15/0)
FORWARDS (6): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 162/32), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 288/121), Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage; 14/2), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 130/51), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC; 160/50), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 21/6)