On Thursday, U.S. Soccer and head coach Jill Ellis named the 23-player roster for the 2017 Tournament of Nations. The roster includes Carli Lloyd of the Houston Dash, Becky Sauerbrunn of FC Kansas City, Alex Morgan of the Orlando Pride and Megan Rapinoe of Seattle Reign FC, and is heavily dominated by players from the National Women’s Soccer League. Twenty-two of the 23 players feature in the league, and all 10 NWSL clubs are represented on the roster. The Chicago Red Stars and North Carolina Courage lead the league, sending four players each.
The United States will host three teams a second time this year as a complement to the SheBelieves Cup in March. The Tournament of Nations features six matches over eight days between the U.S., Japan, Australia and Brazil — and all four nations will feature players from the NWSL.
But in addition to the familiar faces for the USA, there are also are nine players on this roster with 25 caps or fewer — and three players who are waiting on a senior team debut. This is Boston Breakers goalkeeper Abby Smith’s third call-up to a USWNT camp, and North Carolina Courage defender Taylor Smith’s second trip to training with the team, after this year’s January camp.
Boston Breakers midfielder Margaret Purce gets her first call-up to the senior team, after time with the U-17, U-20 and U-23 squads. Purce, the No. 9 overall draft pick for the Breakers this year, is the first player from Harvard University to get a U.S. national team call-up.
Defender Ali Krieger of the Orlando Pride makes her return to the roster, and she could hit the 100 cap mark during this tournament. She currently has 98 appearances with the national team, with defender Kelley O’Hara of Sky Blue FC not far behind at 96 caps.
Houston Dash midfielder Morgan Brian and Alex Morgan are back after both missed out on selection with injuries. Three NWSL players were unavailable for Jill Ellis on this roster due to injuries: Tobin Heath of Thorns FC (back), Ashlyn Harris of the Pride (quad), and Rose Lavelle of the Breakers (hamstring).
One notable item from the official roster release: forward Sofia Huerta of the Chicago Red Stars will also be in camp with the national team for the entire tournament, though currently she is not eligible to play for the United States. Huerta has represented Mexico, with five caps for the senior team as well as featuring at the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. The U.S. Soccer Federation reports it is pursuing a change of association on Huerta’s behalf with FIFA, and if successful, Huerta could don the red, white and blue in the future.
All six games of the Tournament of Nations will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks. The first match between the U.S. and Australia will air on ESPN on July 27 at 10 p.m. ET. ESPN2 will carry the USWNT matches against Japan on July 30 at 7:15 p.m. ET and Australia on August 3 at 10 p.m. ET.
The three other matches of the tournament will all be available via ESPN3. Fans will be able to watch Brazil vs. Japan on July 27 at 7:15 p.m. ET, Japan vs. Australia on July 30 at 5:15 p.m. ET and Australia vs. Brazil on August 3 at 7:15 p.m. ET.
In a Q&A with U.S. Soccer, Ellis said, “With the many NWSL players in this tournament from all four teams, it speaks to the quality of the league and it will be exciting for fans that watch these players compete for their clubs to see them play intense matches for their countries. For the fans, it’s going to be a chance to see World Cup veterans and rising stars on all four teams. Every game of the six should be extremely entertaining.”
NWSL fans can follow all the Tournament of Nations action via the NWSL website and mobile app, as well as using the hashtag #ToN2017 and following the league’s social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
U.S. Women’s National Team 2017 Tournament of Nations Roster by Position:
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Taylor Smith (NC Courage)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), Margaret Purce (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (7): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Sydney Leroux (FC Kansas City), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Lynn Williams (NC Courage)
National Women’s Soccer League players featured on Tournament of Nations rosters:
AUSTRALIA (5): Lydia Williams (goalkeeper, Houston Dash), Steph Catley (defender, Orlando Pride), Alanna Kennedy (defender, Orlando Pride), Hayley Raso (forward, Portland Thorns FC), Sam Kerr (forward, Sky Blue FC).
BRAZIL (6): Bruna Benites (defender, Houston Dash), Camila (defender, Orlando Pride), Debinha (midfielder, North Carolina Courage), Andressinha (midfielder, Houston Dash), Marta (forward, Orlando Pride), Mônica (defender, Orlando Pride)
JAPAN (1): Rumi Utsugi (midfielder, Seattle Reign FC)