U.S. Women’s National Team head couch Jill Ellis has put together her 19-women roster for the August 20 friendly against Switzerland at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.
It is a safe and predictable roster for Ellis, who narrowed her field from June’s roster against France, when she called up 26 players.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (6): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Virginia), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)
Notable absences include midfielder Tobin Heath and defender Rachel Buehler; both of whom are in Portland recovering from injuries. Also missing is Sky Blue FC’s Kelley O’Hara, who seems to have been left in the cold due to an inability to find a spot on the roster for the versatile forward/defender. (Fans will have to stop doing a double take when they see Allie Long’s name on the roster, she has seemed to have found favor under Ellis’s tenure.)
For Ellis, every camp from now until World Cup Qualifying begins in mid October is an important chance to keep narrowing her roster and solidifying a starting 11.
More importantly, it’s a chance for a starting 11 to begin building team chemistry that many believe has been missing since the start of 2014. Consistent call-ups with a regular starting 11 are the keys to bringing back an orchestrated harmony that has seemed to be lost under former head coach Tom Sermanni.
For players and fans alike, a single friendly against the #19 ranked Switzerland may be overshadowed by upcoming NWSL playoff action. Eighteen of the 19 players are NWSL based with at least ten of them expected to participate in semifinal action the following weekend.
The ill-timed game makes for a busy week for players in Seattle who may be playing up to three games in the span of one week. Portland players may be facing a similar situation in making two cross-country trips.
Even with World Cup Qualifying quickly approaching, the USWNT’s premier game against the Swiss could be called unnecessary amidst the closure of a long sophomore season for the NWSL.