Eighteen-year-old Alyssa Thompson was selected Wednesday along with veteran Megan Rapinoe and the 21-man U.S. roster that will compete next month to do what no nation has ever done before — lift a third straight trophy at the Women’s World Cup.
Thompson, who excelled this season as a rookie for Angel City in the National Women’s Soccer League, is the youngest on the roster, while Rapinoe, 37, is the oldest.
“I’ve already talked to some of the veterans about how we’re assembling these players from 18 to (Rabineau),” joked forward Alex Morgan. “How can we all come together and be incredibly fluid and go through this World Cup.”
The players were also introduced A star-studded social media post It includes President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Taylor Swift, Lil Wayne and Meghan the Stallion.
The 33-year-old Morgan and Rapinoe will each play in their fourth World Cup for the No. 1-ranked U.S. team. Morgan stopped short of saying the Americans were the favorites going into the tournament.
“At the end, I think we already have a target on our back to become World Cup champions. But there are some teams that have done incredibly well in the last four years and have made a name for themselves to compete for this trophy,” he said.
Defender Kelly O’Hara, 34, earned a place in her fourth World Cup squad, giving her a veteran presence to shore up the backline in the absence of team captain Becky Sauerbrunn, who announced last week that she would not play at the World Cup. Because of a lingering leg injury.
The tournament starts on July 20 in Australia and New Zealand. The Americans are in Group E Along with Vietnam, the Netherlands and Portugal. The USA, who have won a total of four World Cups, open with Vietnam on July 22 in Auckland.
“We want to do something that hasn’t been done before. We believe in the quality of the team and the support we have and we think we have what it takes to make it possible,” Antonovski said of his chance to win a third World Cup title.
Rapinoe is currently recovering from a calf injury, but should be ready to play in Team USA’s send-off against Wales on July 9 in San Jose, California. Antonovski said he would take on a different role in 2019, scoring six goals, including a penalty, in a 2-0 win over the Netherlands in the final.
“She’s definitely going to have different types of minutes. But her role, first of all from a leadership standpoint, but her performance on the field is very valuable to us,” Antonovski said.
The team has been plagued by injuries ahead of the event. In addition to Sauerbrunn, the United States will be without forward Mallory Swanson, who tore her patella tendon. On her left knee. Swanson scored seven goals this year before suffering an injury in April’s exhibition match against Ireland.
Catarina Macario, a talented forward who tore her ACL while playing for her French club Lyon last year, did not recover in time to make the squad. Midfielder Sam Mewis is also out for the World Cup with a lingering injury.
Among some of the youngsters are 22-year-old Sophia Smith, named both the NWSL Most Valuable Player and the 2022 US Soccer Player of the Year, and 21-year-old Trinity Rodman, the US Soccer Young Player of the Year 2021 and daughter of former NBA star Dennis Rodman.
Thompson is the second youngest player on the World Cup roster after US assistant coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaytak, who played in the 1995 World Cup. Thompson was called into the squad for the match against Ireland in early April, replacing Swanson.
A surprise addition to the list is 25-year-old Savannah DeMelo, who has yet to appear in a match for the United States. DiMelo plays for Racing Louisville in the NWSL and has scored in three of his last four matches. He has scored a total of five goals this season.
DiMelo is the third American player to be named to a World Cup team without playing an international match.
“His performance in the league is one of the biggest reasons he’s on the team,” Antonovski said. “Given the needs we have in terms of the enemies and the different situations we can face, we see the save being very important going forward.”
Position wise list with club affiliation:
Goalkeepers: Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naher (Chicago Red Stars)
Defenders: Alana Cook (OL Reign), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage), Naomi Kirma (San Diego Wave), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Kelly O’Hara (Gotham), Emily Sonnett ( OL rule).
Midfielders: Savannah DiMelo (Racing Louisville FC), Julie Ertz (Angel City), Lindsay Horan (Lyon), Rose Lavelle, (OL Reign), Christy Mewis (Gotham), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andy Sullivan (Washington Spirit) .
Forwards: Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns), Alyssa Thompson (Angel City), Lynn Williams (Gotham FC).
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