Ellis Mixes and Matches Roster for SheBelieves Cup

alex morgan

by TOM SLATER

With the United States women’s national team’s first real challenge since the disappointing finish at the Rio Summer Olympics coming up next week, Coach Jill Eillis continues to mix and match her roster.

Ellis’ 23-player roster for the SheBelieves Cup has veterans and rookies; the experienced with the novices; the capped and the uncapped.

The roster is filled with familiar names: Carli Lloyd, Kelley O’Hara, Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, Julie Johnston, Ali Krieger and Becky Sauerbrunn.

It has the breakout stars of a year ago: Crystal Dunn, Emily Sonnett, Morgan Brian, Christian Press, Lindsey Horan and Mallory Pugh.

And, there’s the newbies: The goalkeeper of the future Jane Campbel,, defender Casey Short, midfielders Rose Lavelle and Brianna Pinto, and forwards Lynn Williams and Jessica McDonald all make their first SheBelieves Cup roster. Campbell, Pinto and Lavelle are all uncapped while Short and Williams both have four caps and McDonald has one.

These are the players Ellis has chosen to face Germany, France and England.

Missing are former regulars Amy Rodriguez and Meghan Klingenberg. Both, along with Sky Blue midfielder Sarah Killion, are the three players who were at the pre-tournament camp who did not make the SheBelieves Cup roster. Klingenberg was in her first camp since last October after recovering from a back injury while Rodriguez was in her second since the birth of her child in July. Killion was in camp in January and February.

“We’ve now had two camps together this year and I’ve seen some good things across the board,” Ellis said. “Now we’re looking to translate that into three games against fantastic opponents. We will be greatly tested and these are the moments where you learn the most about yourself which is exactly what we need right now.”

The players on the roster are flexible. The official roster includes three goalkeepers, six defenders, eight midfielders and six forwards, but numerous players can play multiple positions. Seventeen of the players on the roster played in the inaugural edition of the SheBelieves Cup, including the scorers of all four of the U.S. goals at last year’s tournament: Morgan (2), Dunn and Samantha Mewis.

England will open the tournament* against France on March 1 in Chester, Pa. (4 p.m. ) followed by the U.S. against Germany (7 p.m.). The teams will then travel to New Jersey where France will face Germany on March 4 (2:15 p.m.) followed by the U.S. taking on England (5 p.m.) at Red Bull Arena in Harrison. The tournament will conclude on March 7, at the R.F.K. Stadium in Washington as Germany plays on England (4 p.m.) and the U.S. faces France (7 p.m.).

*All times Eastern; the games will be carried on Fox or FS1.

The complete roster — and more — are here.