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Emma Hayes’ first USWNT roster: Albert, Nighswonger get first calls as part of shake-up; Dahlkemper returns

Veterans Morgan, Sauerbrunn, Naeher among those absent. Interim coach Twila Kilgore will oversee camp and two games vs. China.

Abby Dahlkemper (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

The first United States women’s national team roster of the Emma Hayes era includes significant changes, with a pair of first-time call-ups among a young roster that is without veterans such as forward Alex Morgan, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and defenders Becky Sauerbrunn and Crystal Dunn.

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Korbin Albert and NJ/NY Gotham FC rookie Jenna Nighswonger received their first call-ups to a senior U.S. camp for a training camp that begins next week and will include a pair of games against China, on Dec. 2 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and on Dec. 5 in Frisco, Texas.

Hayes, as part of U.S. Soccer’s still-evolving agreement with Chelsea for the longtime Blues manager to finish the European season there, will not coach the U.S. this window. Hayes worked with interim U.S. coach Twila Kilgore — who will coach the team again, as she has since late August, before joining Hayes’ staff as full-time assistant — on selecting the roster.

“As we move forward with the next steps, we need more opportunities to see players from our pool in our unique national team environment, in both training and games, so we can evaluate if and how they might contribute moving forward to the Olympics,” Kilgore said. “We value these players who have recently been in camps or played in World Cup and were not chosen for this roster, and they are of course still a part of our pool, but we know what they bring on and off the field. At the same time, we also need to continue to evaluate and bring along players in the right ways to give the team the best chance for success.”

Nighswonger just won the National Women’s Soccer League Rookie of the Year Award and helped Gotham win its first NWSL Championship as a fullback. She is listed on the U.S. roster as a midfielder. Albert, 20, left Notre Dame after two seasons to turn professional in France earlier this year.

Returning to the team for the first time since April 2022 is defender Abby Dahlkemper, who was a starting center back for the United States’ 2019 World Cup triumph. Dahlkemper had back surgery last year and missed large chunks of 2022 and early 2023 due to injury and recovery.

Forwards Jaedyn Shaw and Mia Fishel also return to the mix after each scoring their first U.S. goals and caps in the previous set of friendly matches against Colombia in October.

Goalkeeper Jane Campbell is also back in her first U.S. camp since November 2021 after winning NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year with the Houston Dash this season. She has seven caps.

USWNT roster

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 7), Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit; 1), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 16)

DEFENDERS (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign; 29/1), Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC; 79/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 50/1), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage; 37/1), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC; 24/0), Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars; 41/0), M.A. Vignola (Angel City FC; 1/0)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA; 0/0), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC; 5/0), Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC; 6/0), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 137/30), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 91/24), Olivia Moultrie (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), Jenna Nighswonger (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 0/0), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign; 81/2)

FORWARDS (8): Mia Fishel (Chelsea FC, ENG; 2/1), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 21/5), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 24/4), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit; 26/6), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC; 2/1), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 36/14), Alyssa Thompson (Angel City FC; 8/0), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 58/17)

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