Savannah McCaskill was called into the U.S. women’s national team for two friendlies against Mexico. (Jeffrey Auger Photo)
CHICAGO — U.S. women’s national coach Jill Ellis has named 22 players to the preliminary roster for two friendly matches against Mexico in April.
The games will take place Thursday, April 5 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. (7 p.m. ET; FS1 and UDN) and Sunday, April 8, at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston (1:30 p.m. ET; FOX). Ellis will name 18 players to suit up for each of the matches.
Several familiar names are on that roster, including Sky Blue FC midfielder Carli Lloyd and forward Savannah McCaskill and two Long Island natives — Seattle Reign FC midfielder Allie Long (Northport, N.Y.) and North Carolina Courage forward Crystal Dunn (Rockville Centre, N.Y.).
The two games will be a preview of a possible meeting in the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament this fall. Both teams are in preparations for that competition, which will send three countries to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France and a fourth into a two-game playoff with the third-place team from South America.
“With two games against a potential CONCACAF qualifying opponent, we really want to make the most of these opportunities,” Ellis said. “They have a new coach and roster yet to be named, but we know we’ll be facing a skillful group of players motivated to push for selection to their World Cup qualifying roster.”
Ellis usually calls in more players for friendlies, but this time she felt it was better with a smaller roster.
“With 18 players dressing for each game, we’ve named a smaller roster,” she said. “It allows some players to stay in their club environments at the beginning of the season. My staff and I and are really looking forward to the NWSL season. With a lot of players changing clubs, and some quality younger players coming into the league, it will be fascinating to see how the teams come together and pursue success.”
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 2/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 14/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 17/0), Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 4/0), Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars; 4/0); Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 107/2), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 21/0), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC: 135/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 15/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Morgan Brian (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 72/6), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 47/4), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 250/98), Allie Long (Seattle Reign FC; 35/6), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 9/0)
FORWARDS (7): Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 60/23), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 1/0); Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue FC; 4/0), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 138/81), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 33/9), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 133/35), Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 19/4)