The U.S. women’s national team will play its final match before the Concacaf Women’s Championship on Tuesday, heading to San Jose’s Avaya Stadium to play Chile once again.
After comfortably beating the Chileans 3-0 on Friday, head coach Jill Ellis will likely opt for some rotation and perhaps a little bit of experimentation in the friendly. Those rotations will likely be across the pitch, with a number of players who are on the bubble eligible to get starts.
Ellis may also opt to rest a few players ahead of the end of the National Women’s Soccer League season, as several are expected to be influential in their club teams’ push for the playoffs, and the upcoming World Cup qualifying tournament.
Here is a closer look at who could be in the starting lineup on Tuesday:
————————— Adrianna Franch—————————
————Abby Dahlkemper ——- Tierna Davidson————
Emily Sonnett —————————————- Crystal Dunn
——————-Lindsey Horan – Morgan Brian——————–
Mallory Pugh ————Alex Morgan—————-Tobin Heath
As is frequently the case for Ellis, Alyssa Naeher could get a break, allowing the Portland Thorns’ reliable Adrianna Franch to earn her first cap. Ellis has elected to bring Franch in for this camp and the Tournament of Nations, and should she be the third choice going forward, Ellis will likely not want to leave her uncapped. Additionally, Ashlyn Harris could get another cap of her own, having played twice in friendlies this year.
The back line might stay mostly the same. Ellis has yet to give Casey Short a lot of minutes at right back in her return from injury and leave Emily Sonnett there, and might give Abby Dahlkemper a shot at center back. Crystal Dunn may stay at left back depending on Kelley O’Hara’s fitness; the Utah Royals player is in camp for the first time since recovering from a hamstring injury, but was not in the squad for Friday’s 3-0 victory.
Further up the pitch, Julie Ertz will likely play again in her usual defensive midfield, and so might Lindsey Horan, though in a more advanced role. As Tuesday’s match is the final one before World Cup qualifying begins, Morgan Brian may get a final shot to impress Ellis before she has to make her roster decisions. Alternatively, McCall Zerboni or Samantha Mewis could get some minutes in the position, while Rose Lavelle might return to attacking midfield after a strong match.
Alex Morgan is poised to start once again up top, while Mallory Pugh could mark her return from a knee injury by playing to her right, the spot she has played in for the majority of the last year. Additionally, they could be joined by Tobin Heath on the left. It is unclear where Heath fits while Pugh and Megan Rapinoe are fit, but Heath is likely the first choice on the left should the Seattle Reign player be unavailable.