Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, and Alex Morgan have been named to United States women’s national team training camp for three friendlies ahead of the delayed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
However, Chicago Red Stars midfielder Julie Ertz will miss out on the 23-player camp and friendlies as she continues to come back from a MCL injury.
“Julie is fine,” said U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski. “Of course, she has an MCL injury, and as we know MCL injuries usually take time to heal, but she’ll be great. She’ll be good and ready to play in our Send Off Series. Right now her progression is going well.”
The USWNT will play Portugal on June 10 at BBVA Stadium in Houston, followed by a meeting with Jamaica on June 13, also at BBVA Stadium. The USA will then travel to Austin to face Nigeria on June 16 (9 p.m. ET on ESPN2) at Q2 Stadium.
The roster features 19 NWSL players and four from clubs in Europe. These matches will mark the final games before U.S. coach Andonovski chooses the final 18-player Olympic roster for Tokyo.
Forward Tobin Heath will also join camp as a training player as she continues her comeback from a knee injury suffered in the spring while with Manchester United.
“These games and the few training sessions we’ll have are just more tests, more challenges and more learning opportunities, for the players and coaches,” said Andonovski. “The three matches will certainly be important in the selection of the Olympic team, but we are also focused on the big picture and the overall body of work the players have put together over the past year or so for the national team and their clubs. During these games we’ll also focus on preparing for the Olympic group matches, so we need to balance all of that, as well as manage the overall physical load on the players.”
Andonovski also added about Heath in particular: “Laura Harvey, our U20 coach, works with Tobin on the field. We have an athletic trainer that monitors her development. Obviously because of because of her recovery, and how well she has recovered, she was invited to come in camp as a training player because the next step of her recovery is a team environment or training with the team. And that’s why we want to just help her out and make sure that she is ready for the Olympics.”
The USWNT will also play two Olympic send-off matches in early July before leaving for Japan. The team was drawn into Group G where it will face Sweden (July 21 in Tokyo), New Zealand (July 24 in Saitama) and Australia (July 27 in Kashima) during group play.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (8): Alana Cook (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City, ENG), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)
FORWARDS (6): Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Manchester United, ENG), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage)
on if we should assume this roster is close to the final one] No one is out of running until we make the final roster. Of course, the players that we choose for the most recent rosters are the ones that we’re focusing the most on at this moment. But nothing is closed until the roster is chosen, and the players who the coaches feel are performing the best and who fit with how the team wants to play will make the roster. [Ertz injury] Julie is fine. Of course she has an MCL injury, and as we know MCL injuries usually take time to heal, but she’ll be great. She’ll be good and ready to play in our Send Off Series. Right now her progression is going well .She’s starting back jogging, but we’re gonna be very careful in terms of how we approach her recovery and make sure that she’s 100% by [the Olympics]. She’s not with the US Women’s National Team right now, but as soon as she’s ready, or close to it, she will join us. [Tobin] We’re getting, I would say almost daily updates in terms of how she’s doing. And there are several types of updates that we get. First physically, her medical update from the PT that she’s working with. And then we’re getting also a physical update because we have a coach who works with her. Laura Harvey, our U-20 coach works with Tobin on the field in as well. we have an athletic trainer that monitors her development. Obviously because of because of her recovery, and how well she has recovered, she was invited to come in camp as a training player because the next step of her recovery is a team environment or training with the team. And that’s why we want to just help her out and make sure that she is ready for the Olympics. [any limitations for Tobin] Basically, day by day. As she’s progressing, she will get more and more. But right now, she’s not fully recovered to be with the team and practice 100%.