After a “perfect” 2020 that saw the USWNT win nine out of nine matches — but also miss eight months of action because of the pandemic — Vlatko Andonovski’s side is ready to begin 2021 with a January camp that includes a pair of friendlies against Colombia (Jan. 18 and 22) at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
With women's soccer at the Olympic Games scheduled to begin on July 21, this latest 27-player squad represents the majority of those battling for the final 18-player squad that’ll represent the U.S. in Japan.
There are a couple notable admissions because of extenuating circumstances: the Manchester United duo of Tobin Heath and Christen Press elected to stay in England with the Red Devils mounting a title challenge (although Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis will leave Manchester City), and Alex Morgan is out after contracting COVID.
In terms of differences from the team that played the Netherlands back in November, Ashlyn Harris has rejoined the keeper’s union, Ali Krieger and Emily Fox are back in defense, Lindsey Horan returns after testing positive for the coronavirus, Andi Sullivan is in the midfield and up top, we’ve got the long awaited returns of Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe, as well as a healthy Mal Pugh.
Ashley Hatch, after winning her second cap against the Netherlands, hasn’t been included.
Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe and Stanford Cardinal phenom Catarina Macario are the only two uncapped players in the squad, while Sophia Smith and Jaelin Howell represent the youngest. Lloyd, at 38, is the oldest and aiming for her 295th cap.
2021 USWNT Squad For January Camp
GOALKEEPERS (4): Aubrey Bledsoe (Washington Spirit), Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (10): Alana Cook (PSG, FRA), Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Fox (UNC), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Midge Purce (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Jaelin Howell (Florida State), Rose Lavelle (Manchester City, ENG), Catarina Macario (Stanford), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (Manchester City, ENG), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)
FORWARDS (5): Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Mal Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage)