USA Women’s National Team Sets Roster for Rio Olympics
The USA Women’s National Team sets roster for Rio Olympics. The USA is striving for its fourth straight Olympic gold medal.
The USA Women’s National Team roster for the 2016 Olympics in Rio has been released, and coach Jill Ellis has included two big surprise to her 18-women squad. The team will be aiming to take home gold for an unheralded fourth consecutive Olympic tournament.
Introducing your 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team: http://ussoc.cr/29yVpxA . #OneNationOneTeam #RoadToRiopic.twitter.com/nK0avUpBuX
The USA will be led by women’s national team veterans Alex Morgan, Hope Solo and Carli Lloyd. All three made the team as no surprise, and make up the core of the squad. Lloyd is coming off a knee injury suffered earlier in the National Women’s Soccer League season while playing for Houston Dash. She is now fit and will take part in the games in Rio. Solo recently recorded 100th career clean sheet against South Africa in the USA’s pre-Olympic tune-up. Her stellar goalkeeping is one reason the USA is expected to take gold yet again.
Ellis has included two players that have raised a few eyebrows in women’s soccer. Firstly, the USA coach has included Megan Rapinoe, despite the midfielder not featuring for club side Seattle Reign in this season NWSL. Rapinoe tore her ACL during training in December ahead of a match played on a questionable playing surface in Hawaii. The match was later cancelled due to the poor soccer turf, but only after Rapinoe had damaged her knee.
Also making the team is 18-year-old high school senior Mallory Pugh. The attacking midfielder is scheduled to attend UCLA next fall, but has been playing with the women’s senior national team since January. Pugh was selected as the 2015 US Soccer Young Female of the Year and Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Her addition shows the bright, young talent being developed in the US women’s game currently.
blessed and honored to be apart of Team USA and represent my country! we’re coming Rio!!pic.twitter.com/MAH5IsHgih
Other than Pugh, the remainder of the women’s national team is made up of players plying their trade in the USA’s NWSL.
USA Women’s National Soccer Team:
Goalkeepers: Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
Defenders: Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
Midfielders: Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
Forwards: Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)
Alternates: Heather O’Reilly, Ashlyn Harris, Emily Sonnett, Samantha Mewis
The USA will play in Group G against Colombia, France and New Zealand. The ladies will open the tournament against New Zealand on August 3rd at Mineirão Stadium in Belo Horizonte. Three days later the USA will play France in Belo Horizonte before travelling to the Amazônia Stadium in Manaus to play Colombia on August 9th.
Follow Drew Farmer on Twitter @DrewMFarmer. Check out his latest book, Soccer Travels, in paperback and on Kindle at Amazon.com.