With the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicking off in June, teams are beginning their final preparations leading up to next summer’s tournament. On Friday, U.S. Soccer announced that U.S. women’s national team head coach Jill Ellis has called in 26 players for January’s training camp and games on the road vs. France and Spain. Twenty-four of those players are from the NWSL.
The United States will play France in Le Havre on January 19 (2:30 p.m. ET/FS1) and then Spain in Alicante on January 22 (2:30 p.m. ET/ESPN2 & UDN). They’ll travel to Europe for a camp in Portugal beginning January 7 before traveling to the game in France. It’s the first time that the USWNT’s annual January training camp will take place in Europe. Ellis will name gameday rosters for each game, and not all players in camp will suit up for each match.
The game at Stade Océane in Le Havre will give the U.S. a preview of the stadium that will host their final group stage game of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, vs. Sweden on June 20. The U.S. will play Spain at Estadio José Rico Perez in Alicante. It will be the first time the U.S. will play Spain, and also the first time they will play in Spain.
“It’s a real positive to start the year with this training period in Portugal and then play two top teams in France and Spain away,” Ellis said in a U.S. Soccer news release. “Finding ways to be successful against European teams in Europe is something every team in the World Cup will have to do to advance deep into the tournament, so this is an essential trip in our prep for the summer.”
North Carolina Courage midfielder McCall Zerboni and Stanford defender Tierna Davidson are back with the team for the first time since suffering injuries last fall. Also back with the team after missing the November trip to Europe are Chicago Red Stars midfielder Morgan Brian, Portland Thorns forward Tobin Heath, Utah Royals FC defender Kelley O’Hara and Utah Royals FC forward Christen Press.
Houston Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell is one of four goalkeepers in camp, her first call-up since April 2018. She joins Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride) and Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC).
Chicago Red Stars midfielder Danielle Colaprico, who earned her first caps in November, and North Carolina Courage forward Jessica McDonald, who scored her first international goal in November, are both on the roster for this camp.
The two non-NWSL players called in for this camp are Davidson and University of North Carolina defender Emily Fox.
U.S. WNT Roster by Position – January Camp 2019 (Caps/Goals):
DEFENDERS (8): Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage; 30/0), Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 12/1), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage; 75/24), Emily Fox (UNC; 2/0), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 112/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 149/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 26/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 81/6), Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars; 2/0), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 73/18), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 62/7), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 20/6), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage; 41/8), McCall Zerboni (North Carolina Courage; 7/0)
FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 142/25), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 265/105), Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage; 3/1), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 153/98), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 106/46), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 43/12), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 145/41)
“We are fortunate to have solid depth in numbers for this pre-camp, because having the ability to train against ourselves is a vital part of our preparation,” Ellis said in the release. “Inviting seven central midfielders and seven forwards for three starting positions each, speaks to the depth and competitiveness of the front six. We recognize that we have formally entered a World Cup year and I know the players’ focus and enthusiasm will reflect the importance of the work we have to do in January.”