The return of Portland Thorns defenseman Crystal Dunn underscores the 24-man squad US women’s national team manager Vlatko Andonovski has selected for games against England and Spain, although a knee injury has prevented San Diego Wave’s Alex Morgan from participating.
The USA take on the Lionesses at London’s Wembley Stadium on October 7, followed by Spain at El Sadar Stadium in Pamplona four days later. Andonovski will nominate 23 players to compete for each of the games.
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More than 80,000 spectators are expected to watch the game against England, which will be America’s biggest friendly. It would also be the second largest USWNT has ever seen in a game, behind just 90,185 fans who packed the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California for the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final.
“These are big tests for our team in front of cheering crowds and after long journeys, but our players absolutely love games like this,” said Andonovski.
“The group we’re bringing to Europe includes players who have a lot of experience against top European teams and some who don’t. So these games are even more important to our growth as a team. Our entire squad needs to get a clear picture of what those games are like as we continue to prepare for the World Cup.”
The call for Dunn is her first since giving birth to her son last May, despite attending a training camp last September as a non-attendant. Since then she has played in three games for the Thorns, all as a substitute.
The squad also includes 17-year-old striker Alyssa Thompson, who represented USA at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2022, scoring one goal and one assist.
The high school graduate plays for the U17 boys team of the Total Futbol Academy in MLS NEXT. She is the youngest player to be called up for the full national team since 16-year-old Sophia Smith was part of a squad for the pre-games against Russia training camp in Texas in April 2017.
“We are very curious [Thompson’s] potential and qualities and I look forward to seeing how she will develop in our environment,” Andonovski told media during a virtual availability.
“Alyssa is a very creative player with a very good understanding of the game. We think she has the ability to play as a winger, seven or eleven. But not a classic winger, just by the way.
“She has a very good understanding of how to get into the next channel, into the inside channel and unmasking teams in those areas. So I have no doubt that she will fit in well with our system and will understand and need to understand how to connect with the players around her.”
The roster includes USWNT mainstays Becky Sauerbrunn of the Thorns, Olympique Lyon midfielder Lindsey Horan, OL Reign midfielder Rose Lavelle and OL Reign forward Megan Rapinoe.
“It’s a very young group. And players like it [Rapinoe] and [Sauerbrunn] and then [Ravelle]they’ve been in environments like this,” Andonovski added.
“They know what it takes to win big games and play in environments like that and be successful. But then we have the next generation, the younger ones, who have to experience this, which I think will be the closest we can get to playing in the actual World Cup game.
“All in all, I am very happy about this opportunity for the team. I’m very happy for the young players, for the group of young players. And I look forward.”
Racing Louisville midfielder Savannah DeMelo is the other uncapped player in the squad.
USWNT Squad for October Friendlies v England, Spain
goalkeeperCast: Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
defender: 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 F.C.)
midfield player: 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)
Forward: 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)
https://www.espn.com/soccer/united-states-usaw/story/4756539/uswnt-roster-for-englandspain-matches-headlined-by-crystal-dunn-returnalex-morgan-absence USWNT roster for England, Spain matches headlined by Crystal Dunn return, Alex Morgan absence