The United States women’s national team received good news some six weeks aheado the Rio 2016 Olympics with the return of Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe.
Both Lloyd and Rapinoe have been sidelined with injuries, Lloyd with a sprained MCL sustained in NWSL play in late April and Rapinoe with a torn ACL suffered at U.S. training in early December. Lloyd has recovered slower than initially expected but should play in the U.S.’ July 9 match against South Africa in Chicago and July 22 send-off match against Costa Rica in Kansas City.
Rapinoe has been racing to get fit to make U.S. coach Jill Ellis’ 18-player Olympic roster, and Ellis has been public about her intent to take Rapinoe to the Olympics if the dynamic midfielder is healthy enough. On Sunday, Rapinoe’s club coach, Seattle Reign FC boss Laura Harvey, said that she thinks Rapinoe will play in the upcoming U.S. friendlies and head to the Olympics.
Laura Harvey sounds confident that Megan Rapinoe will go to the Olympics, but won't play #NWSL beforehand. #USWNT pic.twitter.com/9T8HEvbBvi
— Jeff Kassouf (@JeffKassouf) June 20, 2016
U.S. Soccer says that “Rapinoe is in camp for training and evaluation and will not play in the match” on July 9. Rapinoe has joined the U.S. in camps throughout the spring in a non-playing capacity.
[RELATED: USWNT players leaving NWSL teams a week earlier than expected]
Ellis is expected to name her Olympic roster at some point after the July 9 match and before the July 22 match.
“We’re looking forward to finalizing our Olympic roster,” Ellis said. “We have been evaluating players since our victory tour last year, so we are anticipating a great camp and finishing that process. It’s exciting to play a new opponent and South Africa instantly has our respect for earning an Olympic berth from Africa.”
U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo will be aiming for her 100th shutout on July 9.
Latest USWNT roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Jaelene Hinkle (Western New York Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Gina Lewandowski (FC Bayern Munich), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)
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