CHICAGO (Sept. 9, 2021) – Washington Spirit midfielder Andi Sullivan, Portland Thorns forward Sophia Smith and Chicago Red Stars forward Mallory Pugh will join the roster from the bronze medal-winning 2020 Olympic Team for two U.S. Women’s National Team matches against Paraguay in September. The USWNT begins its BioSteel Training Camp on September 14 in Cleveland to prepare for its first matches since the Tokyo Olympics.
The USA will take on Paraguay on Thursday, Sept. 16 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2) and then again on Tuesday, Sept. 21 during the first-ever U.S. Soccer match at FC Cincinnati’s newly opened TQL Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET on FS1 & TUDN).
The match in Cincinnati will be a return to her hometown for U.S. midfielder Rose Lavelle. It will be Lavelle’s second match with the USA in Cincinnati -- she played when the USA beat New Zealand 5-0 at Nippert Stadium in 2017 -- but her first at TQL Stadium.
Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, midfielders Julie Ertz and Samantha Mewis and forward Megan Rapinoe will not play due to injuries. Naeher and Mewis will join the team during this international window for evaluation and rehabilitation. Forward Christen Press will not be on the roster as she opted out of the matches.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position – September matches vs. Paraguay:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Adrianna Franch (Kansas City NWSL)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (Houston Dash), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyon, FRA), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)
FORWARDS (6): Tobin Heath (Arsenal, ENG), Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage)
“We have a few players with injuries so we needed to add some depth to the roster and Andi, Sophia and Mal are not only having quality seasons for their NWSL teams, but they can also play multiple positions,” said U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski. “All the players will be played in as they’ve had a few matches with their clubs, so we’re planning on getting a quality start to our run to World Cup qualifying while also managing their workload as the majority of players will head back to their teams for the stretch run to the NWSL playoffs.”
All the players and staffs will operate in monitored environments for the duration of the two-game 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.
In October, the USA will come together for its final domestic games of the year in Andonovski’s home area to take on Korea Republic on Thursday, Oct. 21, at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas (8 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and TUDN) and then will travel to St. Paul, Minnesota to complete that two-game series at Allianz Field on Tuesday, Oct. 26 (7:30 p.m. ET pre-game on FS1 and 8 p.m. ET on TUDN). The match in St. Paul will be the final USA match for forward Carli Lloyd, who announced her retirement earlier this fall.
Tickets for both September matches are currently on sale via www.ussoccer.com. Pre-Sales for the October matches will begin on Sept. 7 with the public sale starting on Sept. 15. In accordance with the local health authorities, and in cooperation with each stadium, as well as the U.S. Soccer medical team, tickets for these matches will be available at near full capacity. Coaches Circle and Presidents Circle members supporting the U.S. Soccer Development Fund can receive individual customer support and concierge services for their ticketing needs. Click here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In accordance with the local health authorities, and in cooperation with each stadium, as well as the U.S. Soccer medical team, tickets for these matches will be available at near full capacity. Coaches Circle and Presidents Circle members supporting the U.S. Soccer Development Fund can receive individual customer support and concierge services for their ticketing needs. Click here or contact email@example.com for more information.
The matches in September will mark the first-ever meetings with Paraguay at the senior level. The USA has faced Paraguay once in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and twice in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
Paraguay will become the fifth South American country the USA has faced in its history, along with Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Chile, as women’s soccer continues to grow worldwide.
Paraguay is the fourth CONMEBOL opponent the USA will face in 2021, having played Colombia twice in January and facing off against both Brazil and Argentina in the 2021 SheBelieves Cup.
With the expansion of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to 32 countries, Paraguay will be looking to earn one of three automatic berths via the 2023 Copa America Femenina or one of two berths into the 10-team playoff tournament that will produce the last three teams for the World Cup tournament.