U.S. Women's Soccer Squad In Tokyo Will Reunite Winning World Cup Team
At the World Cup in France two years ago, the U.S. Women's national team trounced the competition and came home with the trophy – all while demanding equal pay.
The U.S. hopes to repeat that winning performance at the upcoming Olympic Games – and today, head coach Vlatko Andonovski named the 18 players who are headed to Tokyo.
The roster includes the biggest names in U.S. soccer today, including Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle, and Christen Press.
And it answers one big question: Will forward Carli Lloyd, who turns 39 next month, be on the team? Yes, she will.
So will Julie Ertz and Tobin Heath, both recovering from injuries that had put their inclusion in doubt. Four alternates will also travel to Tokyo — teams are permitted to change their rosters due to an injury at any point before or during the Games.
It will be the fourth Olympic Games for Lloyd and Heath.
Coming off a World Cup victory didn't mean a lock for the 23 players on that team, as the Olympic roster is only 18. Seventeen of those who were on the World Cup team are headed to the Games. Versatility will be key with a smaller squad.
A notable absence from the team is 23-year-old Mallory Pugh, who two years ago was regarded as one of the USWNT's future stars.
"We've got a balanced team with many players who can play several positions and that will be valuable as we try to play six games in 17 days in heat and humidity," Andonovski said in a statement. "Our coaching staff has confidence that any player on the roster can perform when they get their chance."
Two of the midfielders named to the team today are sisters: Kristie and Samantha Mewis. Kristie Mewis, who is older by a year and a half, is the only member of the squad who was not on the World Cup roster.
While the U.S. women's team will face sky-high expectations in Tokyo, the U.S. men's team won't be there at all. After a loss to Honduras in March, the U.S. men's team failed to qualify for a third consecutive Summer Olympics.
The U.S. women will play their first match on July 21, two days before the Olympic Opening Ceremony, against Sweden in Tokyo.
It was Sweden that eliminated the U.S. in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Games — the only time that the U.S. women have not reached the gold medal game at the Olympics.
Here's the full roster for the U.S. women's soccer team at the Olympics:
GOALKEEPERS: Adrianna Franch, Alyssa Naeher
DEFENDERS: Abby Dahlkemper, Tierna Davidson, Crystal Dunn , Kelley O'Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn , Emily Sonnett
MIDFIELDERS: Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Kristie Mewis , Samantha Mewis
FORWARDS: Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Christen Press, Megan Rapinoe
ALTERNATES: Goalkeeper Jane Campbell, defender Casey Krueger, midfielder Catarina Macario, forward Lynn Williams
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