Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan are set to play in their fourth Women’s World Cup, alongside a number of new faces, after USA head coach Vlatko Andonovski unveiled his squad.
Nearly two decades sit between the oldest and youngest players, with 18-year-old forward Alyssa Thompson joining 37-year-old Rapinoe at the tournament starting on July 20 in Australia and New Zealand.
Thompson, who has been impressive this season as a rookie for Angel City in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), was called into the team in early April against the Republic of Ireland, taking the place of injured forward Mallory Swanson.
Swanson is one of a number of key players who will miss the World Cup for the USA, as they aim for a third successive tournament win.
Becky Sauerbrunn, Catarina Macario – who tore her ACL last year while playing for Lyon – and midfielder Sam Mewis are all sidelined.
Key defender Naomi Girma earns a spot after bursting on to the scene last year, while uncapped midfielder Savannah DeMelo is a surprise inclusion.
Up front, Andonovski has put his faith in the NWSL’s MVP Sophia Smith and Trinity Rodman, along with the 33-year-old Morgan.
Old guard help balance young USA squad
Only five players – Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Julie Ertz, Kelley O’Hara and Alyssa Naeher – were part of the victorious USA World Cup squads in 2015 and 2019.
“We are expecting the level of play at this World Cup to be the best it’s ever been, and all the teams must keep up with that growth,” Andonovski said after announcing his squad.
“For years, we’ve been able to see first-hand where the game is going and that’s exciting. We are proud to have been one of the teams leading the way for women’s international soccer and I know the tournament will once again show the world how great these players are across all 32 teams.”
The USA’s full squad
Goalkeepers: Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
Defenders: Alana Cook (OL Reign), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Kelley O’Hara (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign)
Midfielders: Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC), Julie Ertz (Angel City FC), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)
Forwards: Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Alyssa Thompson (Angel City FC), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC)
What is the World Cup schedule?
The group stage will begin on July 20 and run over a two-week period finishing on August 3 and see group winners and runners-up progress to the round of 16, which takes place from August 5 to August 8.
The quarter-finals, which will be held in Wellington, Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney, are scheduled for August 11 and 12.
The first semi-final will then be played on August 15 in Auckland, with the other semi-final taking place on August 16 at the Accor Stadium in Sydney, which will then host the final on August 20.
A third-place play-off will be played the day before the final on August 19 in Brisbane.