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Morgan, Rapinoe return to USWNT for World Cup qualifying

Photo Copyright Valerie Terranova for The Equalizer

The United States women’s national team’s 2023 World Cup qualifying roster was announced on Monday, and it features the return of several veteran stars who have been absent from the team since last fall.

Alex Morgan, who leads the National Women’s Soccer League with nine goals in nine regular-season games, and Megan Rapinoe — who has appeared in four games off the bench for OL Reign this regular season as she regains fitness — are back with the United States.

Morgan, a two-time World Cup-winner, was among a large group of veterans who were excluded from recent training camps as U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski brought in young and less experienced players to see who could be ready to contribute. The most impressive of those players, along with those in form for their clubs, remain on this 23-player roster which will compete against Colombia in a pair of friendlies in late June before departing for Mexico for World Cup qualifying.

“Since we were last together in April, we’ve been evaluating a lot of games and hours of video and have had extensive conversations among the coaching staff to arrive at this 26-player roster for the Colombia games and the final 23 for qualifying,” Andonovski said. “As usual, the players don’t make these decisions easy, but we feel this is a roster that can accomplish all of our goals over the four weeks we will be together for what we hope will be seven successful games.”

Defender Carson Pickett and midfielders Sam Coffey and Jaelin Howell will join the team for friendlies against Colombia. Pickett and Coffey receive call-ups to the senior team for the first time.

San Diego Wave midfielder Taylor Kornieck also received her first senior U.S. call-up and will join the team for World Cup qualifying in Mexico.

Absences remain a significant part of the equation for the United States. Catarina Macario, who was the early focal point of the team’s next chapter, recently tore her ACL and is sidelined for at least six months. Sam Mewis remains out with a lingering knee issue, and Abby Dahlkemper is still recovering from broken ribs sustained last month. Lynn Williams and Tierna Davidson are out for the year after early-season NWSL issues.

Christen Press left Angel City FC’s match on Saturday with an apparent knee injury. The club is yet to release details about her status, and U.S. Soccer did not mention Press in its roster announcement. Press, also a two-time World Cup champion, last played for the U.S. at the Tokyo Olympics in August.


GOALKEEPERS (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit; 1), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 4), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 80)

DEFENDERS (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign; 9/0), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC; 13/0), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC; 1/0), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign; 12/0), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit; 152/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 202/0), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 65/0)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 109/25), Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave FC; 0/0), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 71/20), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 38/5), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit; 7/2), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 27/3)

FORWARDS (7): Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 8/4), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC; 190/115), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars; 72/23), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 14/3), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 187/62), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit; 3/1), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 15/4)

Additional Players for June Friendlies Roster vs. Colombia (Club; Caps/Goals):

Carson Pickett (North Carolina Courage; 0/0)

MIDFIELDERS (2): Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), Jaelin Howell (Racing Louisville: 5/1)


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