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Sunday, May 19, 2024

USWNT names youthful W Gold Cup roster, with no Alex Morgan


San Diego Wave defender Naomi Girma, Lyon midfielder Lindsey Horan, and Portland Thorns forward Sophia Smith headline the 23-player United States women’s national team roster for the upcoming 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup.

The tournament runs from Feb. 17 to March 10 with the USWNT opening the competition against the winner of Guyana and Dominican Republic on Feb. 20. The USWNT will then play Argentina on Feb. 23 followed by the group stage finale against Mexico three days later. All matches will be played at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.

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San Diego Wave forward Alex Morgan was left off the squad for the second camp running, as was Portland Thorns defender Becky Sauerbrunn.

The USWNT is led by interim manager Twila Kilgore, who will remain in charge until manager-in-waiting Emma Hayes completes her duties with club side Chelsea in May.

The upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris will be Hayes’ first tournament in charge. In the meantime, Kilgore will continue to try to move the team forward.

“Not only is there a trophy on the line, but this is a great opportunity to capitalize on meaningful match opportunities and experience the short turnarounds between games, which is a rhythm that closely mirrors the Olympic format,” Kilgore said.

“We are going to take our next steps together as we continue to evolve our style of play and provide opportunities for players to grow into possible future roles and partnerships. There is something special about tournament play and what it can bring out of players.

“We are hopefully going to be together for a month and we are looking forward to both finding and enjoying that working rhythm required to be in tournament for long stretches while upholding and driving our standards forward. We can’t wait for the opportunity.”

Twenty-one players on the Concacaf W Gold Cup roster were with the USWNT for its December camp that featured two wins over China. Veteran goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher returns to the roster as does defender Crystal Dunn, who had a minor injury at the end of last year, to round out the 23.

Kilgore continues to emphasize bringing in some young players, with seven invitees having fewer than seven caps. That group includes 19-year-old San Diego Wave forward Jaedyn Shaw,18-year-old Portland Thorns midfielder Olivia Moultrie, 20-year-old Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Korbin Albert and 22-year-old Chelsea forward Mia Fishel.

Three non-rostered players will practice with the USWNT prior to the tournament, a group that includes Chicago Red Stars forward Mallory Swanson, Racing Louisville midfielder Savannah DeMelo and Angel City FC defender Gisele Thompson, the younger sister of USWNT forward Alyssa Thompson.

Swanson returns to U.S. training camp for the first time since suffering a serious injury to her patellar tendon last April that resulted in her missing the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Swanson led the USA in scoring in 2023 with seven goals despite playing in only six matches.

The top two finishers in each of the three groups along with the two best third-place teams will qualify for the knockout stage, which will commence with the quarterfinals at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles on March 2 and 3, followed by the semifinals and final at San Diego’s Snapdragon Stadium on March 6 and 10, respectively.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position (Club) – 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

DEFENDERS (8): Alana Cook (Seattle Reign FC), Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC), Crystal Dunn (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Tierna Davidson (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Fox (Arsenal FC, ENG), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Casey Krueger (Washington Spirit), Jenna Nighswonger (NY/NJ Gotham FC)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), Rose Lavelle (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Olivia Moultrie (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett (NJ/NY Gotham FC)

FORWARDS (6): Mia Fishel (Chelsea FC, ENG), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC)

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