The U.S. WNT 23-player roster was announced this week, as they prepare for two friendlies against Germany in Offenbach April 5 and the Netherlands in the Hague April 9.
It’s been a whirlwind of a season so far, with two victories against Scotland and a 9th Algarve Cup title to boot. An obvious pattern has risen in regards to the roster and lineup for each game, leaving fans in suspense of what to expect.
Head Coach Tom Sermanni has done a savvy job of stirring up the player pot. So far we have seen favorites benched and a handful of first caps earned as younger players procure vital experience on the field against some of the world’s best.
“We got the chance to play everyone on the roster at the Algarve Cup, and to see the young players step up and play well alongside the more experienced veterans was a positive step in the continued growth of the team,” Sermanni told USSoccer. “These matches present two more excellent opportunities to increase the competition on the squad and for players to show they can perform in difficult environments.
With Hope Solo and Jill Loyden inured and out the sky is the limit for new goalkeepers to step up and show off their shut out skills in the box. Ashlyn Harris received her first cap in Portugal this month. Uncapped Western New York goalkeeper Adrianna Franch makes the roster for the trip to Germany- perhaps there is a first cap in her near future as well.
U20 WNT captain Julie Johnston, who earned her first cap Feb.9 against Scotland, graces the roster along with defender Meghan Klingenberg. Having recovered from shoulder surgery recently, the 2012 U.S. Olympic team alternate gets her first call up of the year.
Other 2013 first caps that made the roster include 2012 MAC Hermann Trophy winner Crystal Dunn, FC Kansas City midfielder Kristie Mewis and Tyreso Sweden forward Christen Press. Press has had an explosive 2013 start with four goals under her belt and leads the U.S. in goals so far.
Naturally, the dynamic duo Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach will travel to Europe as well. Fans watch as Wambach continues on her quest to nab the four goals she needs to tie Mia Hamm’s all-time scoring record of 158.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Adrianna Franch (Western New York Flash), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit)
DEFENDERS (9): Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns FC), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina), Whitney Engen (Liverpool, England), Julie Johnston (Santa Clara), Meghan Klingenberg (Tyresö, Sweden), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Yael Averbuch (Göteborg, Sweden), Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Lauren Cheney (FC Kansas City), Tobin Heath (PSG, France), Kristie Mewis (FC Kansas City), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Lyon, France)
FORWARDS (4): Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Tyresö, Sweden), Abby Wambach (Western New York Flash)