The USWNT are back and preparing for the upcoming year with their annual training camp in California. Coach Jill Ellis revealed the 29 players to make the first roster of 2017.
“The players have had a good break since our last games in November, and I know everyone is anxious to get back to work," said Ellis. “January camp has always been valuable to set the tone for the upcoming year and it will be good for the players to get back on the field. For the staff, evaluation and performance remain the focal points during camp as we begin a build up to the SheBelieves Cup.”
U.S. Soccer will host the second SheBelieves Cup from March 1-7, 2017. Four out of the five top ranked teams in the world will travel to the northeast region of the U.S. to compete. Germany, France and England will join the USA in the most elite international tournament of the year. USA is currently ranked number one in the world, with Germany coming in second, France in third and England in fifth.
The January training camp will help Ellis and the other coaches evaluate the players and choose the team’s starting lineup for the SheBelieves Cup. The USWNT was eliminated from the 2016 Rio Olympics after losing to Sweden in penalty kicks. With the 2016 Olympics in their past, they are able to focus on the next Women’s World Cup, which takes place in France in 2019.
Ellis commented, “We can now give ourselves a longer period to see players and see them play against quality teams. In 2017, the focus is not just to get results, but to see how players perform in difficult environments. Our team development is our No. 1 priority this year. Getting better is crucial to build a foundation for 2019.”
Jill Ellis and the USWNT have their eyes on the next prize. Take a look at some of the photos from their January training camp and get ready for the new and improved women’s national team.