USWNT roster: Crystal Dunn, Trinity Rodman return ahead of England and Spain friendlies; Alex Morgan out

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U.S. women’s national team head coach Vlatko Andonovski has named a 24-player roster ahead of two international friendlies in Europe. The USWNT will play two top ten teams in the FIFA rankings when they face England on Oct. 7 at Wembley Stadium in London and Spain on Oct. 11 at El Sadar Stadium in Pamplona. The training camp roster will be narrowed down to 23 players for each matchday.

“These are big tests for our team in front of crowds cheering against us and after long travel, but our players absolutely love games like these,” said Andonovski in a release. “The group we are bringing to Europe includes players who have a lot of experience against top European teams and some that don’t, so these games are even more critical for our growth as our team. Our whole squad needs to get a clear picture of what these games are like as we continue to prepare for the World Cup.”

The roster still features a large portion of players named to the 2022 Concacaf W Championship roster that qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Midfielders lead the way with the most players listed at the position, and Washington Spirit still have the most players featured (five) for one NWSL club as Trinity Rodman returns to the roster after missing out on the September friendlies against Nigeria due to a family commitment. 

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Forward Alex Morgan was not named to the current USWNT roster due to a knee injury, and U-20 standout Alyssa Thompson is listed among the forward core heading to Europe. Defender Crystal Dunn is back with the team and available for full selection after attending September camps for training. It is her first fill training camp since the birth of her son Marcel in May. 

Here’s the complete roster:

U.S. women’s national team roster 

Goalkeepers (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

Defenders (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Hailie Mace (Kansas City Current), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC)

Midfielders (8): Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)

Forwards (6): Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Alyssa Thompson (Total Futbol Academy)

Dunn is close to playing time with USWNT

After spending time with the USWNT during training camps in September, Dunn returned to Portland and has featured in three games with the club playing for 22 minutes. She is available for selection during the Europe friendlies, and Andonovski believes she will make her return to the pitch with the national team very soon.

“We’re excited about Crystal being back. We had a training player last camp and she looked as sharp as ever. She looked quick. Her numbers were great in terms of physical output, and we’re looking forward to having her back now and available for selection,” Andovovki said during a press conference.

“I have no doubt that Crystal will integrate back on the team. Very, very, quick, and actually, part of the reason why she was in the previous camp was so this transition now — or moment where she actually fights for a spot on the team — is not right off the bat, but she had a little time of transition.”

Dunn is back with the team and listed as a defender, the position where she won the 2019 World Cup with the USWNT, though she has predominantly played higher up the field during her time in NWSL. Perhaps the most versatile player on the team, Andnovski sees Dunn primarily as a defender for the team at fullback but isn’t ruling out the possibility of utilizing her in other areas. 

“As of right now we’re looking at Crystal as a defender, but I wouldn’t say that may not change in the future or even sometimes, from game to game.”

What’s next

Several players called into camps are preparing for their final regular season matches in NWSL. Before USWNT players head off to Europe, there are club scenarios to wrap up. There are two playoff spots remaining and multiple teams in contention for the 2022 NWSL Shield — awarded to the team with the winningest record. Fans can catch the decision-day action on Paramount+.

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