With U.S. followers still digesting the election of Carlos Cordeiro to the top spot in U.S. Soccer, the Federation’s senior teams will attempt to return the focus to the field as the two sides get set to return to action.
On the men’s side of the ledger, a troika of friendlies has been added to kick off the 2018 schedule. With interim boss, Dave Sarachan expected to be at the helm for all three matches the Yanks will host Paraguay at the 10,000 seat Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on March 27.
Speaking at Saturday’s AGM, Cordeiro and U.S. Soccer CEO Dan Flynn made it plain that hiring a new coach for the Men’s National Team would have to wait until the newly created General Manager’s position is filled and that the appointment of a men’s supremo would take precedence over hiring a GM for the women’s side, not too surprising given the relative stability of the women’s program.
Sitting alongside Cordeiro on Saturday afternoon at Cordeiro’s first press conference as President of U.S. Soccer, Flynn called filling the men’s GM role “the first priority.”
Flynn declined to “publicly state a timeline” for the hire but the CEO sounded anxious to get to it, noting that “we have candidates identified.” Cordeiro agreed with Flynn’s assessment, saying of the process, “it’s a huge priority,” adding, “we need the General Manager in place before we can go find a coach.”
So, Sarachan looks set to continue in his caretaker role when the USMNT crosses the Atlantic to challenge the Republic of Ireland on June 2, in Dublin, before facing World Cup-bound France in Lyon on June 9.
For the USWNT it is SheBelieves Cup time once again and Jill Ellis has named an intriguing roster for the four-team tournament taking place in early March.
Ellis will have to drop three players to reach the 23 player maximum for the tournament, a set of three doubleheaders featuring four of the World’s best women’s national teams, Germany, France, and, England, in addition, to the United States.
The series opens with England and France going toe to toe at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio with the U.S.A. taking on Germany in the nightcap.
The Americans will be looking to rebound from a poor performance at the 2017 event when the home team finished in last place, beating only Germany, 1-0, in the opening match before falling to England and France to end the tournament on a sour note.
This 26 player roster is highlighted by an inexperienced defense that is minus co-captain Becky Sauerbrunn, out with a foot injury, and includes two players culled from the college ranks, Tierna Davidson (Stanford) and Hailie Mace (UCLA).
Mace has no caps on her CV, while Davidson has just one. With 105 caps Kelley O’Hara is the veteran of the young group.
Ellis will also be without stalwarts Tobin Heath, ankle, and Sam Mewis, knee, but stars Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn, Julie Ertz, and Megan Rapinoe have all been named to the preliminary roster.
This will be former Manchester United, Everton, and England defender Phil Neville’s first match in charge of the England team after his recent, and controversial appointment.
March 1, 2018 – MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
4:00 – England v France
7:00 – United States v Germany
March 4, 2018 – Red Bull Arena, Harrison, New Jersey
12:00 – United States v France
3:00 – Germany v England
March 7, 2018 – Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, Florida
4:00 – France v Germany
7:00 – United States v England
U.S. roster (caps/goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 2/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 14/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 24/0)
DEFENDERS (8): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 14/0), Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 1/0), Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars; 3/0), Hailie Mace (UCLA; 0/0), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 105/2), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 19/0), Taylor Smith (Washington Spirit; 8/0), Emily Sonnett (Sydney FC, AUS/Portland Thorns FC; 13/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 69/6), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 58/15), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 44/4), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 7/2), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 247/98), Allie Long (Seattle Reign FC; 33/6), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 8/0)
FORWARDS (8): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC, ENG/NC Courage; 58/23), Ashley Hatch (Melbourne City FC, AUS/Washington Spirit; 1/0), Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue FC; 1/0), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 135/81), Christen Press (Houston Dash; 97/44), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 30/8), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 130/34), Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 16/4)