Solo returns as USWNT release Algarve Cup roster

IMAGE, MLSSOCCER.COM

by MC BOUSQUETTE
Staff Writer

As the countdown to the World Cup continues, the picture of what the US Women’s National Team will look like is becoming increasingly clear.

And that picture includes Hope Solo.

Coach Jill Ellis announced the 25-woman roster for the Algarve Cup in Portugal; a competition that begins on March 4th for the United States in a match against Norway.

Goalkeeper Hope Solo is back on the roster after her 30 day suspension, which will presumably land her back in the role of starting keeper. Her reintegration to the USWNT squad is a key component to watch, as her return could be either a boon or a distraction to the team’s performance.

In other notable keeper news, Nicole Barnhart was not named to the roster, and in her place is 26-year-old 2014 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year Alyssa Naeher. In addition to Solo and Naeher, midfielder Megan Rapinoe and defender Christie Rampone, both recovering from injury, have been placed on the roster. Their return is a positive sign for the squad, who are still trying to regain their footing after a shaky start to 2015.

The Algarve Cup includes many of the top teams who will be competing in the Women’s World Cup, including France, to whom the USWNT lost two weeks ago. The USA is in Group B, which includes Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway. The Algarve Cup, beginning almost exactly three months before the World Cup begins, is the key time for the United States to solidify its lineup.

Full USWNT roster

Goalkeepers (3): Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
Defenders (10): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
Midfielders (7): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
Forwards (5): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (Western NY Flash)