This year's squad has a mixture of both youth and experience
We're just a month away from the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, which will be taking place on European soil for the first time since 2011 (Germany), and just the third time in tournament history (the 1995 edition was in Sweden). With France as the backdrop, Team USA is looking to keep its place atop the soccer mountain.
Since winning the 2015 World Cup in Canada it's been a mixed bag for the USWNT. They won the very first SheBelieves Cup in 2016, finished fifth at the Summer Olympics in Brazil later that year, finished fourth in the 2017 SheBelieves event, but rebounded by winning SheBelieves again in 2018, took home the Tournament of Nations trophy that summer, and won the CONCACAF Women's Championship in October. In preparation for their trip to France, Team USA has gone 4-3 friendlies this year and finished second in the most recent SheBelieves Cup.
Recently, head coach Jill Ellis revealed the roster of the 23 ladies that will represent the U.S. in France looking to win a fourth Women's World Cup trophy. "Selecting a World Cup team is a long process, and I want to thank the players — the ones that made the final team and the ones that didn’t — for all of their hard work over the past two and a half years. They all pushed each other in every training session and every game and challenged the coaches to make some tough decisions. These 23 players have been through adversity and success, and it’s a group that has the talent, confidence, experience and desire to help us win the World Cup," Ellis said after the roster was unveiled.
This year's team has plenty of players with World Cup experience, along with some players who are participating in soccer's biggest event for the first time. All 23 players are also participating in the NWSL this season, and they are ready to make their presence felt in France. So here is the roster that coach Ellis will have with her for this year's Women's World Cup, which begins with Group F play against Thailand on June 11.
Since 2010 Morgan, who's one of the team captains, has posted 160 caps and 101 goals. She's playing in her third Women's World Cup, and in the 2015 event, she scored a goal and converted a penalty kick.
The most experienced player on the roster, Lloyd has been with Team USA since 2005. She ranks fifth all-time in caps (271), fourth in goals scored (107), seventh in assists (52), and this is her fourth Women's World Cup. Another one of the captains, Lloyd is one of the decorated players in team history as she's won 28 individual awards, two Olympic gold medals (2008, '12), and has been a part of 18 total championships.
Between her collegiate career at Stanford, her club career which spans seven teams, and her tenure with the U.S. team, the 30-year-old Press has a total of 353 caps and has scored 218 goals. She's now playing in her second World Cup where she looks to add to her list of championships won, which currently stands at nine.
As one of the lesser experienced players on this year's team, McDonald has just seven caps with the U.S. team. But she has 145 caps and 50 goals in her club career since 2010, which shows that she's effective when on the field. And she'll definitely be ready to go in France.
While she may be participating in her first World Cup, Pugh has already won three championships with the USWNT (2016 and '18 SheBelieves Cups, 2018 CONCACAF Women's Championship), and has been quite productive within the program. When you combine her time with Team USA's Under-17, Under-20, and senior teams, Pugh has registered a total of 62 caps and 30 goals. Only 21-years-old, she has many more productive years ahead of her.
She's the third captain of this team and has quite the decorated career. Since 2006 she's registered 150 caps and 44 goals for U.S. Soccer. She's making her third Women's World Cup appearance (was a member of the 2015 championship team), and has played a significant role in the U.S. team's other recent championships.
She has the fifth-most caps (147) out of everyone on the current roster. She's also the fifth-leading goal scorer (28), has been a part of 13 championships with the U.S. team, and has collected nine individual awards. This will be Heath's third FIFA Women's World Cup.
While she's only been a part of the team since 2016, Dahlkemper already has 37 caps and has been a member of three championship teams (2018 SheBelieves, Tournament of Nations, and CONCACAF Women's Championships).
Making her third World Cup appearance, Krieger has been a part of the USWNT back line since 2008. And in that time she's posted 99 caps. She brings valuable experience to France.
She has the most caps (155) out of everyone at her position, and she's helped her team win 14 championships since 2008.
She's 26 and she's been a part of the program since 2010. She registered 33 caps for the Under-20 team, and currently has 83 caps to go along with 24 goals with the senior team. This is Dunn's first Women's World Cup appearance.
Another Women's World Cup rookie, Sonnett has been with U.S. Soccer since 2011. She started with the Under-18 team, moved up to the Under-23 squad in 2013, and has been with the senior unit since '15.
She's another experienced player whose career spans college (Stanford), club level (five different teams), and just about every level with Team USA (U-16, U-17, U-20, U-23, senior). She's amassed 361 total caps and 124 goals in her career.
At 20-years-old, Davidson is the youngest player at her position on this year's roster. She's making her Women's World Cup debut, and when she isn't wearing the red, white, and blue of the USWNT she's wearing the jersey of the Chicago Red Stars of the NWSL.
The wife of Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, Julie has recorded 79 caps and 18 goals since getting her first call up back in 2013.
While she has been a member of the USWNT since 2014 (42 caps, six goals), this will be Long's Women's World Cup debut.
This Chicago Red Stars midfielder ranks third in both caps (66) and goals scored (8) among her position for the USWNT.
The 26-year-old's 82 caps place her second at her position and ninth on the USWNT.
Just like fellow Washington Spirit teammate Mallory Pugh, Lavelle also will be making her Women's World Cup debut.
The younger sister of USWNT alumna Kristie Mewis, Samantha has contributed 47 caps and nine goals since getting called up to the senior team in 2014.
A member of the Portland Thorns in NWSL, Franch is the newest member of USWNT as the youngest goalie on the roster (28).
She's the fourth Chicago Red Stars player on the roster, and since taking over in net for Hope Solo back in 2016 she's added 43 caps (1.78 GAA) to her credit.
Harris won the U-20 World Cup with the U.S. team back in 2002 and also was a member of the '15 Women's World Cup championship team.
— Compiled by Gabe Salgado, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He's also written for NBC, Fox, The Sporting News, The Sports Journal, The Undefeated and Complex. He's a co-host of The Rewind Sports: 60. Follow him on Twitter @GabeSalgado82.
(Graphic courtesy of @USWNT)