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Morgan, Wambach, Solo headline USWNT’s experienced World Cup roster

USWNT lineup vs. New Zealand

photo by Jeff Curry/USA Today Sports


The U.S. Women’s National Team will look to hoist its third World Cup trophy this summer, and head coach Jill Ellis is counting on an experienced group to help make that happen.

The 23-player U.S. roster for this summer’s Women’s World Cup in Canada was officially unveiled on Tuesday afternoon, and veterans Alex Morgan, Hope Solo and Abby Wambach headline the squad that will attempt to win the tournament for the first time since 1999.

Other notable players who made the cut were regulars Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Sydney Leroux and Christie Rampone. Ellis’ one real surprise was including veteran midfielder Shannon Boxx, who made the team ahead of Crystal Dunn and Rachel van Hollebeke despite only recently playing for the U.S. for the first time in two years.

While Ellis has settled on a squad that includes 15 players with previous World Cup experience, it will not become official until rosters are officially submitted to FIFA on May 25.

“The players selected have the confidence, experience and desire to help us win a world championship,” said Ellis in a statement. “We had an excellent group to pick from and at the end of the last camp, I complemented all the players on how much they pushed each other and competed to make this selection challenging.”

Fifty-five days remain before the Americans kickoff their World Cup campaign. The U.S. will play three games as part of its send-off series before heading north of border, taking on the Republic of Ireland on May 10, Mexico on May 17 and Korea Republic on May 30.

The U.S. has been drawn into Group D at the World Cup alongside Australia, Sweden and Nigeria. The Americans open their tournament against Australia on June 8 before taking on Sweden four days later. The Americans finish group play on June 16 against Nigeria.

Here is the full 23-player roster:

Goalkeepers (3): Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)

Defenders (8): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)

Midfielders (7): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)

Forwards (5): Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (unattached)

What do you think of Ellis’ 23-player roster? Think the squad has what it takes to win the World Cup? Is there anyone who is/isn’t on here that surprised you?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Actually Barnhart is healthy AND younger than Solo. Barnhart has 54 caps with WNT compared to Naeher and Harris having just 7 between the two of them. Do the math. Stupid and risky move on Ellis’ part.

    • I didn’t say she wasn’t healthy now…she’s just fallen out of favor the last 18 months. That’s reality. At some point you have to move on from veterans, even when they can still help out…too bad that’s not universal (Boxx, Rampone, etc.)

      As far as Naeher and Harris’ lack of int’l experience, that’s on the coaching staff. When you play as many matches as the USWNT does, there’s no reason for Solo to play the full 90 every time. It’s not like substitutions are limited to three in friendlies or most of the comps (Algarve, the Brazil tournament) they’ve played in either. Just poor developmental planning.

      That said, both Harris and Naeher are high-level ‘keepers in their own right, and IMO, will do well shall Solo get injured or fall on her own sword some time between now and June.

  2. For having such a great depth of talent, there really wasn’t a huge pool to choose from, was there?

    I guess that’s what happens when the same 20 players get called for every match.

    Barnhart hasn’t featured in the USWNT for a year and a half…seems she’s been phased out due to age and recent injury history….also, it was time to get some new GKs in the mix.

  3. Jill Ellis chose the wrong GK team. No way should she have left Barnhart off the roster this year. Barnhart won the NWSL championship this year, was the only GK to win NWSL player-of-the-month last summer, has won WPS and NWSL championships, has won NWSL and WPS Goalkeeper of the Year, has been on two World Cup WNT rosters, and has two Olympic gold medals. She is still in her prime. Maybe Hope is insecure and whining about having real competition around her? Doesn’t Ellis know that racehorses do better when they have a competitive experienced horse next to them in warm-ups? Hope doesn’t like FCKC Blue Crew (who are massive Barnhart fans), so maybe she pressured Ellis. Or maybe Ellis (or Nike) wants edgy Ashlyn to fill in as the next pretty face with attitude after Solo self-destructs? I prefer an experienced, solid, trustworthy, hardworking and loyal player like Barnhart. Barnhart deserves to be at WWC. If something happens to Hope (injury or self-sabotage), Ellis’ poor judgment will be quickly evident with such inexperienced keepers in the net.

  4. Box must to have played 4 games in the last two years after back to back injuries and her pregnancy, add the fact that she suffers from Lupus and you cant explain her selection.

    The international game for both men and women is about speed… Boxx and speed don’t go together in the same sentence.

    biggest stupidity from Ellis not to include Dunn…

  5. Given the options after TS was fired, this isn’t too bad. Boxx isn’t on the team to play minutes. She is on the team to provide off field leadership and perhaps if we are in a tight game and appear to be coming apart mentally a big, she can play 15 tough minutes.

    What did Dunn do to make Ellis angry? I think she is a future stud for the US, but they lost trust in her. Hopefully she will find a slot on the Olympic team.

  6. Haven’t followed the team as closely as in some years past, but I thought they looked as good as I have ever seen the US women’s team has looked when they played New Zealand. If they can continue to play like that, they have an excellent chance. The women’s game worldwide has progressed so much, that no one will have any easy time winning it.

  7. Ellis is very good at selecting players that bring synergy to the group. If you think there are questionable selections you can bet that’s what is behind it. I predict we win the World Cup.

  8. Wish there was a bit more youth and would have preferred Crystal to Boxy but this is a deep and experienced team that has a great chance to win the WC this year. Screw you naysayers.

    • Maybe some of us naysayers should send the “screw you”, right back at ya.

      I’m still hoping to take my family up North for the tournament but I’m still frustrated about the player selection and I’m still not sure that Ellis is the right person for the job. I don’t think that she was an upgrade over Sermanni.

      Do I hope we win??? Of course, I do. Are we capable? Sure, we are. But does this roster inspire a lot of confidence, lead by that coach? Uhm, not so much….

      I agee with you on Dunn over Boxx and needing more youth.

    • No way Klingenberg or Chalupny are better player/athlete than Crystal Dunn.

      Kling and Chalupny were a disaster when they faced France in Paris. Watch them get toast time after time by the swedes, germans and brazilians.

      • No disrespect to the players that you mentioned but I feel on the exclusion of Dunn. I really, really do.

        Dunn should be on the roster. She’s so versatile. She’s a stone cold killer who can push into attack with her pace.

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