Vlatko Andonovski Names 2020 U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer TeamEleven Players Return from 2016 Olympics; 17 Players from 2019 Women’s World Cup Are Named; USA Will Play Last Two Matches Before Olympics on July 1 and 5 Against Mexico in East Hartford, Conn.
CHICAGO (June 23, 2021) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski has named the 18-player roster for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Eleven players who were on the USA’s roster for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil make a return, while 17 players who were members of the USA’s 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship team were named to the roster for Tokyo.
2020 U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (6): Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City/ENG), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage)
FORWARDS (5): Tobin Heath (Unattached), Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Unattached), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign)
“It’s been a long process to get to this point, longer than anyone thought it would be, but we collected a lot of information on the players over the past year and half in trainings, in their club matches and in international games and we’re confident that we’ve selected the team with the best chance for success in Japan,” said Andonovski.
The U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team will come together in Connecticut at the end of the month to play its WNT Send-Off Series, Presented by Visa, as the USA takes on Mexico on July 1 (broadcast starts at 7 p.m. ET on FS1 & 7:30 p.m. ET on TUDN) and July 5 (5 p.m. ET on ESPN, TUDN.com and the TUDN App) at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.
Two players – forwards Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath – make their fourth Olympic Team, tying former captain and 2021 National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee Christie Pearce Rampone for the most in USWNT history. Lloyd, who will turn 39 on July 16 just before the Olympics begin, is the oldest-ever U.S. Women’s Soccer Olympian, nearly two years older than Rampone when she played in the 2012 Olympics.
Prior to the naming of this roster, 12 USWNT players had previously made three Olympic Teams. Add to that list defenders Becky Sauerbrunn and Kelley O’Hara as well as forwards Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, who all played in the 2012 and 2016 Games.
Defender Crystal Dunn, midfielders Lindsey Horan and Julie Ertz, forward Christen Press and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher make their second Olympic Teams and will be working for their first Olympic medals.
The first-time Olympians are defenders Abby Dahlkemper, Tierna Davidson and Emily Sonnett, midfielders Samantha Mewis, Kristie Mewis and Rose Lavelle and goalkeeper Adrianna Franch.
Kristie Mewis, the older sister of Samantha by 592 days, is the only player on the roster who was not on the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team. The naming of both Mewis sisters marks the first time that sisters have represented the USA on a world championship roster at the senior level. Both Samantha and Kristie played for the USA at the 2008 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, in which the USA advanced to the final, and at the 2010 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany. Together, they have combined for 99 caps (75 for Samantha and 24 for Kristie).
Heath and Ertz are still recovering from injuries but are expected to be fit and ready for selection once the Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament commences on July 21. Unlike the World Cup, when the roster is frozen once the first match is played, during the Olympics teams can make a roster change due to an injury at any time leading up to and during the tournament. There will be five substitutions allowed per team during Olympic matches, plus the possibility of one concussion substitution per new regulations.
Andonovski also named four alternate players that will travel to Japan in goalkeeper Jane Campbell, defender Casey Krueger, midfielder Catarina Macario and forward Lynn Williams. None of them have ever been on a world championship roster at the senior level, but Campbell and Krueger played for the USA in FIFA Youth World Cups. Should a player need to be replaced leading up to or during the tournament, it would come from these four.
“We know there are some very talented players that won’t be in Japan, but these were the difficult decisions that we had to make,” said Andonovski. “We have a very experienced roster that has been through adversity at the highest levels, so it’s no surprise those players have distinguished themselves. They’ve embraced the challenges and have shown tremendous flexibility and determination over the past 15 months to get us to where we are today.”
The U.S. will open Group G play on July 21 – two days before the Olympic Opening Ceremony– against Sweden (5:30 p.m. local / 4:30 a.m. ET) at Tokyo Stadium. The Americans will play their second match in Saitama – just about 18 miles north of Tokyo – when they face New Zealand at Saitama Stadium on July 24 (8:30 p.m. local / 7:30 a.m. ET). The USA will finish group play against Australia on July 27 (5 p.m. local / 4 a.m. ET) at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium in Kashima, on the coast of Japan about 70 miles northeast of Tokyo.
Tokyo Olympics Schedule -- U.S. Women’s National Team
Date Opponent Venue Kickoff
July 21 Sweden Tokyo, Japan (Tokyo Stadium) 5:30 p.m. local / 4:30 a.m. ET
July 24 New Zealand Saitama, Japan (Saitama Stadium) 8:30 p.m. local / 7:30 a.m. ET
July 27 Australia Kashima, Japan (Ibaraki Kashima Stadium) 5 p.m. local / 4 a.m. ET
The U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team had advanced to the gold medal game of every Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament that had been contested until 2016, when the Americans were knocked out in penalty kicks in the quarterfinal round by Sweden. The USA won the inaugural gold medal in 1996 in Atlanta, won silver in 2000 in Sydney and then won three straight golds after standing atop the podium in Athens, Greece in 2004, Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.
“We’ve got a balanced team with many players who can play several positions and that will be valuable as we try to play six games in 17 days in heat and humidity,” said Andonovski. “Our coaching staff has confidence that any player on the roster can perform when they get their chance. We have a few players coming back from injuries, but that gave some other players a chance to get some minutes, which was a positive, so now we have to focus on getting our entire roster ready to go and fine-tuning a few things during our Send-Off Series.”
In accordance with the local health authorities, and in cooperation with Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field as well as the U.S. Soccer medical team, tickets for both matches will available at near full capacity. Tickets are on sale through ussoccer.com [Note: Tickets will not be sold at the Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field ticket office except for the day of the event.]
Once the USA and Mexico arrive in Connecticut, all the players and staffs will operate inside highly controlled environments for the duration of the Send-Off Series. Trainings and the matches will fall under the comprehensive U.S. Soccer Return to Play Protocols and Guidelines and in accordance with the Concacaf Return to Play Protocols. Everyone entering the controlled environment will be tested for COVID-19 before traveling, upon arrival and periodically thereafter. The teams will not begin full team training until the results of all arrival tests are confirmed.
All nominations to the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team are pending approval by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee.
U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team Roster Notes:
The roster is broken down by position into two goalkeepers, six defenders, five midfielders and five forwards, but numerous players on the roster can and have played multiple positions for the USA.
Carli Lloyd has the most Olympic appearances coming into the tournament with 16 and the most Olympic goals with eight. Tobin Heath has made 12 Olympic appearances.
Lloyd scored the winning goal in the gold medal game at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. In 2008, she scored the USA’s lone goal in a 1-0 overtime victory against Brazil, and in 2012 she scored both goals in the USA’s 2-1 victory against Japan. Lloyd is the team’s leading scorer heading into the Olympics with 125 career goals, which also ranks fourth in USWNT history.
The roster averages 111 international caps per player and has a combined total of 77 Olympic appearances and 17 Olympic goals, courtesy of Lloyd (8), Alex Morgan (5), Megan Rapinoe (4) and Crystal Dunn (1). By comparison, at the time of roster announcement for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster, the squad averaged 80 caps per player. while the 2016 Olympic roster averaged 77 caps per player heading into the send-off matches with a total of 53 combined Olympic caps.
Nine of the 18 players on the roster for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have 100+ caps and every outfield player on the roster has at least 24 caps.
The average age of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team when the USA opens play on July 21 will be 30.8 years old.
At 22-years-old, Tierna Davidson is the youngest player on the roster, a distinction she also held at the 2019 World Cup. Davidson was born in September 1998, more than two years after the USA won the first-ever gold medal in women’s soccer at the 1996 Olympics.
There are five players on the roster from California (Davidson, Abby Dahlkemper, Morgan, Christen Press and Rapinoe) with two players each hailing from Georgia (Kelley O’Hara and Emily Sonnett), New Jersey (Heath and Lloyd) and Massachusetts (Kristie and Samantha Mewis).
Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch is the first women’s soccer Olympian from Kansas.
Nine players on the roster have been capped more than 100 times, led by Lloyd, who has played 304 times for the USA, third-most in U.S. history. Becky Sauerbrunn (186), Morgan (178), Rapinoe (177), Heath (169), Press (147), O’Hara (138), Dunn (114) and Julie Ertz (108) are the other eight.
Of the 16 field players on the roster, only Sauerbrunn, Dahlkemper (her center back partner) and Sonnett have yet to score an international goal. In fact, Sauerbrunn is seven games away from breaking the record for most USWNT caps without scoring a goal, currently held by USWNT General Manager Kate Markgraf.
Thirteen of the 18 players on the roster have played for the USA in a FIFA Women’s World Cup at the youth level and Franch was on a youth World Cup roster but did not play.
Of the 14 players who played in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, 13 were named to the Olympic roster.
Morgan is the owner of the record for the latest goal in Olympic, FIFA and U.S. history, tallying after 122 minutes and 22 seconds against Canada to notch the game-winning goal in the semifinals of the 2012 Olympics.
Eight of the 10 NWSL clubs are represented on the roster, with only the Kansas City NWSL and Racing Louisville without a player.
Portland Thorns FC lead the way with four players, followed by the Chicago Red Stars with three and OL Reign FC and the Washington Spirit with two each. NJ/NY Gotham FC, the Houston Dash, the Orlando Pride and the North Carolina Courage have one player each.