CHICAGO (Sept. 12, 2023) – U.S. Women’s National Team interim head coach head coach Twila Kilgore has named a 27-player Training Camp Roster for the two home friendly matches against South Africa.
The USA will play its first matches since the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Sept. 21 in Cincinnati at TQL Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET on TNT, Universo & Peacock) and in Chicago at Soldier Field on Sept. 24 (4:30 p.m. CT / 5:30 p.m. ET on TNT, Universo & Peacock). Pre-game shows on TNT will begin at 7 p.m. ET and 5 p.m. ET respectively.
The match in Cincinnati marks a return home for midfielder Rose Lavelle, who attended Mount Notre Dame High School and is one of Cincinnati’s most popular athletes, and goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury, who attended St. Ursula Academy.
As previously announced, the match in Cincinnati will be the final international match for midfielder Julie Ertz and the match Chicago will be the final international game for forward Megan Rapinoe.
"As we continue the search for our new head coach, we felt it was best to call up all of World Cup players who are fit to play, while also bringing in some players that we believe can help us moving forward as we start our preparations for the Olympics next year," said U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Matt Crocker. "We're looking forward to having the opportunity to honor the players who have decided to retire but also know these games are valuable as the first steps towards Paris. Once the new head coach comes in, that individual will assess the player pool and make roster decisions that will be focused on building a team for the future."
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position (Club) – September Friendlies vs. South Africa
GOALKEEPERS (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (9): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars), Kelley O’Hara (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC), Julie Ertz (Unattached), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)
FORWARDS (8): Mia Fishel (Chelsea FC, ENG), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC), Alyssa Thompson (Angel City FC), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC)
“The Olympics may seem like they are far away, but the amount of time that the players get with the National Team between now and Paris is not a lot, so we need to start that journey now,” said Kilgore. “No matter who the coach is, or which players get to wear the crest, the standards remain the same and everyone wants to excel, so we’ll be looking forward to putting together two good performances against a South Africa team that showed well at the World Cup.”
South Africa is just one of two African teams the USWNT has faced in its history (with Nigeria being the other) and the September meetings will be just the third and fourth matchups all-time between the two countries. The USA most recently played the South Africa in May of 2019, a 2-0 win in Santa Clara, Calif.
South Africa is coming off a fine performance at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in which it advanced out of Group G behind Sweden on the strength of a 2-2 draw with Argentina and a dramatic 3-2 win over Italy in its final group game with the winning goal coming in 90+2 from Racing Louisville’s Thembi Kgatlana. The Banyana Banyana lost 2-1 to Sweden to open the World Cup and then fell 2-0 to the Netherlands in the Round of 16.
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- Twenty one of the 23 players on the 2023 World Cup roster return for the matches against South Africa. Julie Ertz, Andi Sullivan, Alyssa Naeher and Naomi Girma played every minute for the USA during the World Cup.
- Midfielder Kristie Mewis and forward Sophia Smith are the only members of the 2023 World Cup roster who were not called in for the games against South Africa as they recover from injuries.
- Returning to the USWNT training camp roster are several players who were in the mix for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team, but ultimately did not make the final roster, in defender Tierna Davidson, a veteran of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team and 2021 Olympic Team, and forward Ashley Hatch, who is tied for second in the NWSL in goals this season with nine.
- Sam Coffey, who earned four caps in 2022, and is enjoying another fine season in the NWSL with Portland Thorns FC was named to the roster along with Chicago Red Stars defender and 2021 Olympian Casey Krueger, who has 38 caps.
- Kilgore named two uncapped players in forwards Mia Fishel and Jaedyn Shaw.
- Fishel, 22, earns her second senior team call-up after participating in a training camp in October of 2020 – the first one back after the onset of the global pandemic which did not feature any games – while Shaw’s call-up is her first at the senior level. The 18-year-old Shaw has five NWSL goals so far this season for San Diego Wave FC.
- Both have extensive Youth National Team experience. Fishel played in the 2019 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and was the USA’s leading scorer with 13 goals at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship, but the U-20 World Cup that year was cancelled due to the pandemic. Shaw played for the USA at the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and becomes the second player from that team, along with Alyssa Thompson, to get a full National Team call-up.
- With 18-year-olds Shaw and Thompson both earning call-ups, this is the first USWNT camp with games associated since 2018 to feature multiple teenagers . The last such occurrence came in April of 2018 when 19-year-olds Mallory Pugh (now Swanson) and Tierna Davidson featured for the USA.
- Both Fishel and Shaw were a part of teams that won Concacaf Girls’ U-15 Championships for the USA, Fishel in 2016 and Shaw in 2018.
- Twenty-five of the 27 players called in for this camp compete domestically in the NWSL, with Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA) and Fishel (Chelsea FC, ENG) the only players currently with clubs outside the USA.
- Nine different NWSL clubs are represented on this roster, led by five players each from OL Reign and the Washington Spirit. The Chicago Red Stars and San Diego Wave FC have three players each.
- While this will be just the second game for the USWNT at TQL Stadium, the home of FC Cincinnati in Major League Soccer, this will be the USNWT’s sixth game all-time in Cincinnati dating back to 1993 when the USA played at now-demolished Galbreath Field, which was a high school football stadium.
- This will be the ninth game for the USWNT at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Fire in MLS.
- The USA has played in the Chicago area, the home base of the U.S. Soccer Federation, many times. The USWNT has also played six games in Bridgeview, Ill, at Toyota Park.
- The USA’s most recent game at Soldier Field was the final game for former head coach Jill Ellis, a 1-1 tie with Korea Republic on Oct. 6, 2019.