USWNT: Megan Rapinoe dropped for SheBelieves Cup

U.S. women's national team head coach Jill Ellis named 25 players to training camp for the SheBelieves Cup against Germany, France and England -- the biggest test of the year -- and she didn't include longtime star Megan Rapinoe. The team includes four uncapped players, among them 16-year-old Brianna Pinto.

Rapinoe suffered a knee injury in December 2015 but recovered in time to make the 2016 Olympic team. She made two brief appearances at the Rio Olympics and came on as a sub in the first two friendly games after the Olympics. She did not play in the last four games of the year. Rapinoe drew national attention when she kneel during the playing of the national anthem before the game against Thailand in Columbus.

Mike Woitalla: Meet 16-year-old Brianna Pinto

Rapinoe was one of eight players called in for a camp in January but has not been called back. The others were goalkeeper Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns), defender Jaelene Hinkle (Western New York Flash), midfielders Kristen Edmonds (Orlando Pride) and Christina Gibbons (Duke) and Taylor Smith (Western New York Flash) and forwards Jessica McDonald (Western New York Flash) and Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash).

Rapinoe's absence reflects the continued shuffling of the U.S. midfield since the 2015 Women's World Cup. Of the nine midfielders Ellis called up, only starters Carli Lloyd, Morgan Brian and Tobin Heath were with the team in Canada two years ago.

Pinto, a high school junior, attended the U-23 camp in January and stayed on to train with the senior national team. She played for the USA at the 2016 Under-17 Women's World Cup.

The other uncapped players called in to the camp that begins Feb. 20 in Orlando are goalkeeper Jane Campbell and midfielder Rose Lavelle -- both taken in the 2017 NWSL College Draft -- and midfielder Sarah Killion, who was part of the team that won the 2012 U-20 Women's World Cup, along with Julie JohnstonSamantha Mewis and Crystal Dunn.

"January gave us a chance to see some new faces in with the veterans, and get some quality time on the training field," Ellis said. "A player's performance in that camp and positional depth guided our selection for this pre-camp, and from here we will select our SheBelieves Cup roster."

U.S. Women's Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (7): Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns), Sarah Killion (Sky Blue FC), Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), Brianna Pinto (CASL)
FORWARDS (6): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea Ladies/ENG), Alex Morgan (Lyon/FRA), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (UCLA), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Lynn Williams (NC Courage).

SheBelieves Cup:
March 1 in Chester, Pa.
England vs. France (4 pm) | USA vs. Germany (7 pm on FS1)
March 4 in Harrison, N.J.
France vs. Germany (2:15 pm) | USA vs. England (5 pm on FOX)
March 7 in Washington, D.C.
Germany vs. England (4 pm) | USA vs. France (7 pm on FS1)
All times ET.

32 comments about "USWNT: Megan Rapinoe dropped for SheBelieves Cup".
  1. R2 Dad, February 9, 2017 at 12:49 a.m.

    Jill gets a hall pass on this one. She has shown she can manage the personalities and opponents at the highest level However, Pino has creativity, which is different from "depth in wide areas". Kling is in the back line, not midfield. Pugh is a rook, regardless of skill. Pino can bridge that gap, hope Ellis can bring her along. Solo is gone, Abbey is gone--don't we need senior players to enculturate the younger players? Klinsmann ran into trouble thinking he could swap his own personality in lieu of those of senior players. Will Jill make the same mistake? The team is bigger than any player OR coach.

  2. Richard T. Lynch, February 9, 2017 at 8:11 a.m.

    Plenty of senior players. That has always been a little bit of the problem, e.g. playing Rapinoe at the Olympics. MR's time, as good as it was, is over. IMO, Jill is doing a good job of seeking young talent for the next cycle. Looking forward to seeing the Pinto kid.

  3. susan pickering, February 9, 2017 at 9:35 a.m.

    "Oh Megan Rapinoe" My daughter and granddaughter sang when we were in Vancouver. When I first saw you play, I was so impressed. Go for it and if you don't get on the team, do something else to help change the world for women and LGBT!

  4. J L, February 9, 2017 at 10:10 a.m.

    Her actions on kneeling during the anthem reflects her feelings about our country and as such shouldn't be on the NATIONAL team.

    “Representing your country is a privilege and honor for any player or coach that is associated with U.S. Soccer’s National Teams. Therefore, our national anthem has particular significance for U.S. Soccer. In front of national and often global audiences, the playing of our national anthem is an opportunity for our Men’s and Women’s National Team players and coaches to reflect upon the liberties and freedom we all appreciate in this country. As part of the privilege to represent your country, we have an expectation that our players and coaches will stand and honor our flag while the national anthem is played.”

  5. Kyr-Roger St.-Denis replied, February 9, 2017 at 10:57 a.m.

    Kneeling during the anthem is a respectful and dignified way to express both love of country and a deep belief that something important is wrong with it. Whether we agree with her on that is beside the point; as an American, she's entitled to her opinion, and as a soccer player, she's earned the right to express it in a visible way in that setting.

  6. P R replied, February 9, 2017 at 11:32 a.m.

    "our national anthem is an opportunity for our Men’s and Women’s National Team players and coaches to reflect upon the liberties and freedom we all appreciate in this country"

    So according to you, our freedoms don't include the freedom to take a knee in order to draw attention to something that person sees as of national importance? Just because you view the action as meaning she hates the country or something like that, doesn't mean that's anything close to how she feels about the country. Once you start restricting freedom of expression, how far would that then be taken? Citizens aren't free to publicly criticize people in government, or members of government can't be prosecuted for any crimes they commit, as is the case in other countries around the world? I'd much rather live in a country where people are free to express themselves, including being critical, rather than live in a country where citizens aren't free to express such feelings, and everybody is expected to act like everything in the country is perfect, or they'll face consequences if they don't act like it.

  7. Ric Fonseca replied, February 9, 2017 at 1:10 p.m.

    Your comment is extremely narrow-minded, lacks depth and understanding. I my life span, having attended hundreds - no - thousands of sporting events, scholastic, collegiate, semi-pro, pro, the '68 Olympics in Mexico City, WC games, Super Bowls, etc., both male and female ad infinitum, I have seen countless of athletes not pay homage to the National Anthem, some stand staring stoicly at the national flag, some seemingly as if they're falling asleep, don't know the words, many even staring at the ground while some just wish the heck the anthem "thing" would be over and done in order to get with the match, game, kickoff, tip off, dropping the puck, etc. I was at the Olympic stadium in '68 when the raised-gloved fists were raised, and I was also present when the battle of the Plaza of Three Cultures, shooting began.I could go on and on, so thus far, given our national and political scenarios, we still have a piece of paper that allows ALL of us to do what is in one's mind. And btw, as a non-citizen-green card holder I wore the navy blue and army od's from 1958-1962.
    So Ms. Jill Rapinoe, do your thing, 'cause this old veterano, has your back!

  8. John Schubert replied, February 12, 2017 at 2:09 p.m.

    B.S. comment.

  9. Will G, February 9, 2017 at 11:09 a.m.

    Good riddance - I wish it hadn't taken this long.

  10. Rusty Welch, February 9, 2017 at 11:25 a.m.

    2 points:
    1) Most important - when you put on the uniform and represent this country around the world, then disrespect it you don't deserve to wear it. It is not a right to play on the national team, it's a privilege. Take your petty complaints elsewhere - yes, you have free speech in this country - that doesn't mean you get to show contempt for it while wearing the uniform. To call it respectful is pollyannish, wrong, and disgusting to anyone who's put on other uniforms and represented our country. Way to propagandize against your own country, megs.
    2) Pino's best days are long behind her. She has not been at her best for quite some time now, and we have better options. Much better options.

  11. J L, February 9, 2017 at 11:26 a.m.

    While I agree that one can express themselves and their opinion, I do not agree as neither does US Soccer and many others, that you can do that while wearing the national team uniform. If she REALLY believed in those causes - which is fine - she should abstain from the selection process and make THAT her statement. It's more grandstanding than political statement.

  12. Will G replied, February 9, 2017 at 11:48 a.m.

    You have absolutely hit the nail on the head. Her childish protest was nothing more than a way to bring attention to herself and her fleeting career. Grandstanding is the perfect word.

    If you really want to protest our country, then simply refuse to put on the uniform.

  13. beautiful game, February 9, 2017 at 12:04 p.m.

    JL and Will G; I accept your opinion. I do not accept your argument which lacks analytical meat. Rapinoe is grandstanding? What is she really gaining? Nada.

  14. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, February 9, 2017 at 12:11 p.m.

    One thing she has gained is that now when she isn't selected for the USWNT people assume it's because of her protesting and not because she isn't good enough any more. I kind of think that's why Kapernick decided to protest when he did. He was in danger of being cut and the 49ers chose not to cut him after the protest because it would like they were punishing him.

    Personally, I don't think this is a good way to register a protest although she's free to do it. Everyone else is also free to disagree with it and say as much.

  15. Will G replied, February 9, 2017 at 12:49 p.m.

    What did she gain? She gained the ability to have her name in the spotlight even though she was making minimal contributions. She gained a few more months of people discussing her because from a soccer standpoint, she was becoming irrelevant.

    Look, I could give two %*(&s about her protesting the anthem, just another idiot to me. However, the final straw with this attention whore was when she took all the focus away from Heather O'Reilly's last match and decided to make it about her. She had plenty to gain.

    There is no analytics needed in this discussion, it is about Rapinoe the person not here statistics.

  16. Richard T. Lynch, February 9, 2017 at 1:34 p.m.

    I'm just glad I can go back to watching the WNT again. MY "political" statement was that I was boycotting the team--plenty of other good soccer to watch-- until she was gone. When you wear the USA jersey, you are expected to respect the USA. Otherwise, don't play.

  17. j bapper, February 9, 2017 at 1:59 p.m.

    This is very simple... she's not good enough anymore. Time to move on and get some younger, fitter and quicker players into the team. All the other stuff doesn't matter if you're not good enough.

  18. R2 Dad replied, February 9, 2017 at 4:37 p.m.

    I wish this was true but not sure it is. What do we need when we're playing top 5 teams? Creativity. Someone to unlock a defense. Rapinoe has the tools. Will she be fit enough at 33+ to play 90? probably not. But we see how ineffective the men's side is without creativity, how the women's U20 team was toothless vs Japan/Korea/Ghana. We simply cannot run faster/tackle harder our way to the top like the old days--the U20 world cup proved that in spades.

  19. Bob Ashpole, February 9, 2017 at 3:04 p.m.

    The reality is that Rapinoe is 31 years old, and the next world cup is in 2019. How good Rapinoe will be in 2019 is not going to improve by playing on the national team during an off year. This the reality whatever spin you want to put on it.

  20. Richard T. Lynch, February 9, 2017 at 3:13 p.m.

    I agree completely re Rapinoe (and some others like Engen and Solo), but by that logic, Carly is 34 now and she and Ellis must be wondering whether she will still be good enough 2+ years from now. Give her minutes between then and now to the young kids??? Tough call.

  21. Bob Ashpole replied, February 9, 2017 at 10:25 p.m.

    Lloyd, however, is at the top of her game.

  22. John Soares, February 9, 2017 at 3:15 p.m.

    Interesting how some protests -mine:)- are completely legit. I can criticize, protest, boycott, complain..... After all "It's My Right". But other protests -theirs:)- are a disgrace, embarrassment, disrespect....

  23. John Soares, February 9, 2017 at 3:22 p.m.

    These "friendlies" are the perfect time to bring in new/young players. Rapinoe's health is more important. She would gain little, experience wise to be on the team now. Better she rest and be at her best if/when really need. IF and when that time comes. She is either up to the task or someone else will have gained the "experience" to step in.

  24. Ginger Peeler, February 9, 2017 at 5:26 p.m.

    So, kneeling is terrible. But standing with your hands clasped firmly behind your back is acceptable? You're kidding, right? How does one show more disrespect than the other? Who chooses? We've been letting Jozy Altidore get by with hands behind the back for YEARS! He says putting his hand over his heart is against his religion. But so is partaking in organized sports and sporting facial hair (beard).

  25. Will G replied, February 10, 2017 at 12:18 p.m.

    You are kidding, right? The person chooses whether or not to put their hand over their heart - there is no requirement that says anyone has to do so. Have you ever been on a military base? Do you realize that military personnel stand at attention with hands to their side during the anthem? Don't try to compare kneeling on the ground with not putting a hand on the are grasping at straws.

  26. Ginger Peeler, February 9, 2017 at 5:27 p.m.

    While you're all ripping on Rapinhoe, you're sliding on Jozy. How does that work?

  27. Ric Fonseca replied, February 12, 2017 at 12:36 a.m.

    FYI folks: When I was serving in the military, and for those of you that obviously don't know, whenever the flag is raised in the morning or when it is taken down in the evening, a bugle sounds and e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e in stops what they're doing, in uniform face the sound of the bugle and salute, or if not stops, faces the bugle sound, and stand at attention and if "one wishes" places his/her hand over the heart. Nuff said on this, tho I must say that folks have made this an issue instead of the fact that her game has diminished as her age has increased. Fact of life folks!

  28. Ric Fonseca replied, February 12, 2017 at 12:37 a.m.

    P.S. I forgot to mention that the raising or lowering the colors takes place on a military base.

  29. Ginger Peeler, February 9, 2017 at 5:32 p.m.

    They have rights as citizens. Appreciate the fact that they're playing for us. I see nothing in their actions indicating that they care any less for our country than we do. Go USA!

  30. John Soares, February 9, 2017 at 6:56 p.m.

    I am a veteran, Vietnam. My son is a veteran, Afghanistan. We are both proud of our country and the opportunity to serve. We don't sing during the national anthem. We don't salute. We don't put a hand over heart. I usually concentrate on the words, what they stand for and what they mean to me. I don't care if someone sings lowed, kneels, arguably the highest sign of respect or looks at the cheer leaders. What we feel is our own. Most signs of "patriotism" are jokes; a shirt made out of a cut up flag, the same for caps and many other clothing pieces.....a small flag stitched to your back pocket, sit on it, a flag attached to your car window, shredded, flags on display but not removed at sunset and so many others. All are illegal and or disrespectful. YET viewed by many as PATRIOTIC...REALLY!? Perhaps we should all stick to soccer and display/feel our patriotism in our own way. While allowing others to do the same.

  31. Bob Ashpole replied, February 9, 2017 at 10:29 p.m.

    Well said. I admit, however, that people who ignore the national anthem or the flag passing by bother me.

  32. Chance Hall, February 10, 2017 at 11:40 a.m.

    Finally, something positive from Jill and US Soccer! I am a veteran and fought for this country and the right to express your opinion BUT when someone has been offered the honor and privilege to play for your country - think hard before you put that uniform on and accept the fame and money that comes with it. If you don't respect your country and it's anthem, then don't accept the opportunity to wear them. Also, don't accept the fame, and money that comes along with it. Why can't you express your opinion like most of us. We don't seek out the tv cameras and reporters to make a show of it. Shameful, just a publicity hound seeking attention after her game has left her behind.

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