In its first competitive match since the Women’s World Cup final, the United States starts its quest for its seven successive Olympic berth against Haiti on Tuesday night.
The Americans will meet the Caribbean side in its Group A opener of the Concacaf Women’s Olympic qualifying tournament at BBVA Stadium in Houston.
This will be the first official match of the Vlatko Andonovski era. Andonovski was named head coach in October, succeeding Jill Ellis.
After Tuesday/s encounter, the USA will face Panama on Friday, Jan. 31, before finishing group play against Costa Rica on Monday, Feb. 3. All the U.S. group matches will kick off at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Americans are riding a 23-game unbeaten streak, which includes the first two games under Andonovski at the end of 2019, a 3-2 victory over Sweden and a 6-0 victory vs. Costa Rica.
All 20 players on the USA roster were part of the January training camp in Tampa, Fla. that concluded on Jan. 15. The roster features three goalkeepers (a requirement by tournament regulations) and 17 field players. Eighteen of the 20 players chosen by Andonovski were on the USA’s World Cup championship team and 13 players were on the roster for 2016 Olympic qualifying.
The U.S. has written the history of the women’s Olympic tournament, having won four gold medals (1996, 2004, 2008, 2012) and a silver (2000). The Americans were eliminated from the 2016 quarterfinals by Sweden.
Half of the Women’s Olympic soccer tournament field is set, with host Japan, Brazil (coached by former USWNT head coach Pia Sundhage) from South America, Great Britain, Netherlands and Sweden from Europe and New Zealand (coached by former USWNT head coach Tom Sermanni) from Oceania having booked tickets to Japan.
Still to be determined are the two representatives from Concacaf, one from Africa, two from Asia and the winner of a playoff between the second-placed team from Africa and Chile, which finished second in the most recent South American qualifying tournament.
GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 3), 18-Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 24), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 57)
DEFENDERS (6): 7-Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage; 53/0), 19-Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage; 96/24), 11-Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 104/1), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 125/2), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 171/0), 2-Emily Sonnett (Orlando Pride; 40/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 8-Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 95/19), 9-Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 78/12), 16-Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 38/10), 3-Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage; 60/14), 6-Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 15/0)
FORWARDS (6): 17-Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 162/32), 10-Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 288/121), 14-Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage; 14/2), 20-Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 130/51), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC; 160/50), 13-Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 21/6