For weeks, DIRECTV Insider has been keeping up with everything you need to know about the upcoming 2023 Women’s World Cup. We’ve shared the official schedule and an overview of the group stage, but until now, we haven’t been able to definitively say who you’ll see on the pitch during the tournament.
Thankfully, the day we have all eagerly awaited is finally here: the USWNT World Cup roster for the 2023 World Cup has been unveiled. Here we’ll give you the run down on the USWNT World Cup roster, including which players are heading Down Under and which are staying behind, as well as what we should expect from this year’s players come July.
USWNT World Cup Roster Announced
The US Women’s National World Cup Team roster for the 2023 tournament has officially been released. Here are the 23 players who made the cut along with their ages and clubs.
- Aubrey Kingston (31), Washington Spirit
- Casey Murphy (27), NC Courage
- Alyssa Naeher (35), Chicago Red Stars
- Alana Cook (26), OL Reign
- Crystal Dunn (30), Portland Thorns
- Emily Fox (24), NC Courage
- Naomi Girma (23), San Diego Wave FC
- Sofia Huerta (30), OL Reign
- Kelley O’Hara (34), NY/NJ Gotham FC
- Emily Sonnett (29), OL Reign
- Savannah DeMelo (25), Racing Louisville
- Julie Ertz (31), Angel City FC
- Lindsey Horan (29), Olympique Lyon (loan from Portland Thorns FC)
- Rose Lavelle (28), OL Reign
- Kristie Mewis (32), NY/NJ Gotham FC
- Ashley Sanchez (24), Washington Spirit
- Andi Sullivan (27), Washington Spirit
- Alex Morgan (33), San Diego Wave
- Sophia Smith (23), Portland Thorns FC
- Megan Rapinoe (37), OL Reign
- Trinity Rodman (21), Washington Spirit
- Alyssa Thompson (18), Angel City FC
- Lynn Williams (30), NJ/NY Gotham FC
So, there you have it. The list above contains the 23 professional women’s soccer players who will represent the United States in the 2023 World Cup.
Analyzing the USWNT World Cup Roster Selections
The roster includes some familiar faces, such as veteran forwards Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, as well as some up-and-coming stars like 18-year-old Alyssa Thompson and 21-year-old Trinity Rodman.
Overall, the USWNT has a strong roster that will undoubtedly be a force to reckon with at the World Cup. And while it’s unfortunate that many players didn’t make it on the official roster this year due to injury or other reasons, those players – and the rest of us – are surely excited to watch the USWNT attempt to get that three-peat in FIFA’s tournament.
Next, we’ll dive deeper into the USWNT World Cup roster, looking at the picks position by position to give you a better overview of how the team is shaping up.
Meet the Goalkeepers: Naeher, Murphy and Kingsbury
One of the USWNT’s biggest strengths over the past decade has been its stellar goalkeeping, thanks to many experienced and stable players. Starting as a back-up keeper for Hope Solo in 2015, Alyssa Naeher has since become a calm and collected force in net and was the US team’s top goalkeeper during the 2019 World Cup.
In recent months, though, Naeher and her club team, the Chicago Red Stars, have faltered a bit, giving up 31 goals in the 12-game regular season. So, while Naeher will certainly start in some of the matches next month, she will likely have to split playing time with the other keepers, namely Casey Murphy. The 27-year-old has experience playing in last year’s World Cup qualifiers.
Hopefully we also get a glimpse of Aubrey Kingsbury, who has been a lynchpin this season for her club, Washington Spirit.
The USWNT Defenders: Sauerbrunn Out, Who’s In?
Before we talk about the defenders on the official USWNT World Cup roster, let’s talk about the defender not on the list: Becky Sauerbrunn.
Captain and defensive powerhouse, Sauerbrunn, sustained a foot injury in late April while playing for her club team. Our hope for her speedy recovery has not come to fruition, so we unfortunately will not be seeing her on the pitch this World Cup.
While tragic, the situation opened up a spot on the official roster for another player. Now, both Alana Cook and her Stanford teammate Naomi Girma will play for the US, as they were previously competing for a starting position. Cook, 26, has a similar style of play to Sauerbrunn, which should help hold the team together.
Girma, at only 23 years old, is the first player to be named Defender of the Year and Rookie of the Year in the NWSL. We’re not surprised she made the roster, and neither is veteran Megan Rapinoe:
“She’s just f—ing good. It’s tough to step into this team at this level and immediately be like a no-brainer to start. She’s going to be the future of this team for a long time.”
With so many young players, the team is lucky to have more tenured players like Kelley O’Hara and Emily Sonnet to hold the backline.
Midfielders: Ertz Returns to Women’s Soccer
One of the players we’ve been keeping an eye on, Julie Ertz, has officially been named one of the 23 players competing for the US. After more than 600 days away from the team due to an injury and birth of her son, she is back at it. Ertz’s position in the midfield has been a difficult one to fill, so her return likely led to a sigh of relief from Coach Vlatko Andonovski. If she is at the same caliber that she once was, that is.
With Ertz in the midfield, we’ll see Rose Lavelle, who’s only improved since her breakout debut in the 2019 World Cup, and box-to-box midfielder Lindsey Horan.
Forwards: Morgan in Front, Rapinoe Behind the Scenes
One of the most well-known women’s soccer players in US history, Alex Morgan is back for her fourth World Cup, looking as talented as ever. In fact, since the birth of her daughter in 2020, she has continued to grow and is now one of the USWNT’s all-time leading scorers.
With Morgan on the field are a host of young players, including mega-talent Trinity Rodman and 18-year-old Alyssa Thompson. Thompson has been on our radar for the past few months, and we are excited to see her on the official roster. She is not only the youngest player on the US team, but she was also the first draft pick for the NWSL this year. We might not see a ton of playing time from her, but when we do, we know it’s going to be fun to watch.
Longtime player and fan-favorite, Megan Rapinoe will be heading to the World Cup after turning 38 years old a few weeks prior. Now, don’t expect to see her starting every game; Rapinoe’s spot on the USWNT World Cup Roster is one of guidance, mentorship and support for the young team. With Sauerbrunn out, Rapinoe’s leadership will be a welcome addition.
What is Andonovski’s Coaching Strategy?
Despite winning the last two FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments, the US Women’s Team has had its ups and downs since. The team lost back-to-back matches against Spain and England in 2022, something that hadn’t happened to the team since 2001.
Ideally, Coach Andonovski’s coaching strategy and USWNT World Cup roster picks, Rapinoe’s mentorship and the chance of winning the World Cup for the third time in a row will be enough to turns the tides and get the team back on course.
In a statement, Andonovski reaffirmed his choices, explaining that while it isn’t easy to select the players for the official roster, he believes these 23 players will work well together, are motivated to win and have a mix of attributes, from age to playing style.
What is the USWNT’s Winning Formula?
With such a young team, Andonovski isn’t expecting everything to go 100% smoothly; he realizes that there will be hills to climb and kinks to work out. He explained:
“We are expecting the level of play at this World Cup to be the best it’s ever been, and all the teams must keep up with that growth… We are proud to have been one of the teams leading the way for women’s international soccer and I know the tournament will once again show the world how great these players are across all 32 teams. Our players understand the challenges and the competitive environment we are heading into, and they love it. We have a roster with depth and versatility and that will help us take on all the challenges that will be coming our way.”
As we’ve learned from the one and only Ted Lasso, strategy isn’t much without a little belief. And based on what we’ve heard from Andonovski so far, belief is one thing this team does have, and we are excited to see how far it takes them.
Get Ready for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup
With the tournament starting only a few weeks away across Australia and New Zealand, now’s the time to get all the information you need to be ready for kickoff. Check out our official USWNT World Cup schedule, our group stage overview and our introduction to the USWNT on the DIRECTV Insider Blog.
And when you check out the schedule, make sure to pre-record the games you want to watch with your DIRECTV DVR. That way you’ll be able to watch the soccer content you want, whenever you want (maybe not 2AM ET).
For those who aren’t DIRECTV customers yet, now is the perfect time to switch. Don’t miss a minute of the action with four unique packages, like our Choice package. The Choice package is perfect for sports lovers, as it has 105+ channels across networks, including specialty sports networks.
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