If the inclusion of Ali Krieger on her third World Cup roster caught you by surprise, you aren’t the only one. Sure, last month’s call-up, her first since the 2017 Tournament of Nations, meant she wasn’t entirely out of the running, and the timing of it definitely meant Jill Ellis was concerned about her defense, but two years without a cap doesn’t scream roster lock.
Lock or last one in, Krieger is on the list, and Casey Short is not. Again, this may have caught you by surprise. While her actual game time has been few and far between for the past year, Short has been on every roster she’s been healthy enough to make, and she is a 2019 allocated player.
In the end, it came down to one or the other, and the veteran was given the nod. But it shouldn’t have been a decision between the two. Ali Krieger is a good choice for this roster, but Casey Short should be on it, too.
When healthy, Casey Short has consistently been the best pure defender among any fullback in the NWSL. While Kelley O’Hara and Steph Catley get into the attack more often, and Krieger and Jaelene Hinkle maintain an excellent balance between offense and defense, none of them can beat Short for 1-v-1 take-ons. She’s one of the few in the world who can thoroughly and repeatedly shut down Tobin Heath, a feat that should keep her in consideration in and of itself.
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