Megan Rapinoe will have an opportunity to boost the USWNT into another Olympics. (Outfoxed Media Photo)
CHICAGO – Many familiar names are on the 20-player U.S. women’s national team roster that will try to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics later this month.
That included Megan Rapinoe, Julie Ertz, Carli Lloyd and Rockville Centre, N.Y. native Crystal Dunn, who played important roles in the Americans winning their second consecutive Women’s World Cup in France last summer. Dunn, a natural attacking player who performed as a left back in France, was listed as a defender.
Northport, N.Y. native Allie Long, a member of that team, was left off the roster that was announced by head coach Vlatko Andonovski on Friday morning.
The 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament will held from Jan. 28-Feb. 9 in Texas and California. The USA opens the tournament, which will send its top two finishers to Japan, on Tuesday, Jan. 28 against Haiti. The USA will then face Panama on Friday, Jan. 31 before finishing Group A play against Costa Rica on Monday, Feb. 3. All the U.S. group matches will kick off at 7:30 p.m. CT.
The U.S. will attempt to qualify for a seventh consecutive Olympic Games and win the Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying event for the fifth consecutive time.
All 20 players selected were a part of the USA’s January training camp in Tampa, Fla. that concluded two days ago. The roster features three goalkeepers (a requirement by tournament regulations) and 17 field players, which includes six defenders, five midfielders and six forwards, although many players on the roster can play more than one position.
“Full credit to the players for competing hard during our January camp and for making our final roster decisions difficult,” said Andonovski. “We have a balanced roster with versatile players and of course they have a lot of experience in important games. This is a team that understands that you have to be aggressive and unpredictable in how you create scoring chances but also knows how to be smart on defense at the same time. They are mature and savvy players who can adjust on the fly if needed and of course are highly motivated to earn that berth to the Olympics.”
Eighteen of the 20 players chosen by Andonovski were on the USA’s 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship team and 13 players were on the USA’s roster for 2016 Olympic qualifying. Defenders Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelley O’Hara and Ali Krieger and forwards Lloyd, Rapinoe and Tobin Heath were a part of the team that qualified for the 2012 Olympics. Heath and Lloyd are the only players on the roster who also participated in qualifying for the 2008 Olympics.
The two players on the roster who were not a part of the 2019 Women’s World Cup team are forward Lynn Williams, who scored 12 goals in the NWSL last season (second in the NWSL) for the North Carolina Courage and has been playing in on loan in Australia for the Western Sydney Wanderers this off-season, and midfielder Andi Sullivan, who was the first pick in the 2018 NWSL Draft and had an excellent second pro season for the Washington Spirit in 2019.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 3), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 24), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 57)
DEFENDERS (6): Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage; 53/0), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage; 96/24), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 104/1), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 125/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 171/0), Emily Sonnett (Orlando Pride; 40/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 95/19), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 78/12), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 38/10), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage; 60/14), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 15/0)
FORWARDS (6): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 162/32), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 288/121), Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage; 14/2), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 130/51), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC; 160/50), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 21/6)