Q&A: Jill Ellis Talks About the Roster and Upcoming Matches vs. Mexico

The U.S. Women’s National Team will face Mexico for the first time since 2016 Olympic Qualifying when the teams clash in two April friendlies. Here is U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis on the matches and selecting the 22-player training camp roster from which 18 will suit up for each game:

The U.S. Women’s National Team will face Mexico for the first time since 2016 Olympic Qualifying when the teams clash in two April friendlies. Here is U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis on the matches and selecting the 22-player training camp roster from which 18 will suit up for each game:

On facing Mexico for the first time since 2016 Olympic Qualifying:
“With two games against a potential Concacaf qualifying opponent, we really want to make the most of these opportunities. They have a new coach and roster yet to be named, but we know we’ll be facing a skillful group of players motivated to push for selection to their World Cup qualifying roster.” 

On calling in a smaller roster:
“With 18 players dressing for each game, we’ve named a smaller roster. It allows some players to stay in their club environments at the beginning of the season. My staff and I and are really looking forward to the NWSL season. With a lot of players changing clubs, and some quality younger players coming into the league, it will be fascinating to see how the teams come together and pursue success.”

On still missing a few players:
“We’re being very patient with our injured players, and when they’re ready, we’ll have them back in. We lean heavily on our expert medical staff to provide updates and track their progress as they heal. The situation certainly affords us the chance to look at different players on the field, but it will be great when we have all players available for selection.”

On the current club situation for Christen Press:
"At this point Christen is in the process of securing a club team. We've had several conversations and she understands our expectations are that a consistent training and match environment for a professional is an important factor for selection into Women's National Team rosters. Since the SheBelieves Cup, our professional players returned to pre-season training with their clubs and have had multiple scrimmages in preparation for the opening weekend. I am certain that once Christen transitions to a new team, she will embrace being back on the pitch and will help her team be successful."