By Michael Lewis
Defender Ali Krieger and midfielders Lindsey Horan and Allie Long, absent from the squad in recent matches due to various reasons, Thursday were recalled to the U.S. women’s national team.
In what could be a preview of the U.S. roster for the Women’s World Cup, head coach Jill Ellis Thursday called in 24 players to the team’s training camp for the two April international friendlies.
Returning to the squad are Horan, who missed the SheBelieves Cup with a quadriceps injury, Long, a Northport, N.Y. native who also was sidelined by an injury, and Krieger, who started at the 2015 Women’s World Cup and played at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Krieger, who has made 98 international appearances, hasn’t played for the U.S. since April 2017.
“I spoke with Ali and she’s excited to come into camp and help this team in any way she can,” Ellis said. “Opportunities, however they transpire, are exactly that, and Ali has been a great pro and will no doubt lean on her experience and strengths when she comes back into this environment. Recently, she has been training with her club in the outside back position and with the potential to add depth on the right side, it was good timing to bring Ali into this camp to join the other six defenders.”
Veteran midfielder-defender Kelley O’Hara wasn’t available due to an ankle injury.
The Americans meet Australia at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. April 4 (9 p.m. ET on FS1) and Belgium at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles April 7 (9 p.m. ET on ESPN2).
Following these two matches, the USA will have only its three-game “Send-Off Series” in May remaining before departing for France.
“Right now, everything is about preparing for June,” Ellis said. “Recognizing that these are our last friendlies before the Send-Off Series and that we’re playing two quality teams provides a positive sense of urgency to get the most out of these two matches. Australia is a top-6 team, and Belgium came within a goal of qualifying for the World Cup, so these opponents will provide us a level of competition that we’ll be experiencing in France. Our time together will be important to keep forging team chemistry and build on the connectivity on the pitch so we can bring out the best from each other in our team play.”
The Women’s World Cup will be hosted by France this June and July.
Ellis is expected to announce her roster soon.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 1/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 20/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 41/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 35/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 17/1), Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 80/24), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 98/1), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 153/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 30/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 77/18), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 64/7), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 23/6), Allie Long (Reign FC; 40/6), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 45/8), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 11/0), McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 8/0)
FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 146/27), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 269/105), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 6/1), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 158/99), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 111/47), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 48/13), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC; 149/43)