USWNT: Three keys to USA-Russia series

The U.S. women's national team will play its final two games before players scatter to start the NWSL season when its hosts Russia in a pair of friendlies. It begins on Thursday night when the USA and Russia meet at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

1. Rapinoe returns to help depleted midfield.

Megan Rapinoe was still working on regaining her form and didn't go to the SheBelieves Cup in March. But she was recalled for the Russia series and should see action as midfielders Morgan Brian, Lindsey Horan and Tobin Heath are all out with injured.

2. Real Colorado teenagers in vogue.

With the injuries, U.S. coach Jill Ellis called up 17-year-old midfielder Jaelin Howell and 16-year-old forward Sophia Smith to the  23-player training camp roster. They both play for Real Colorado, the same club that produced 18-year-old Mallory Pugh, who is enrolled at UCLA. Whether Howell and Smith get playing time remains to be seen. Ellis will dress 18 players for each game.

3. Russia looks for first win over USA.

Russia has never beaten the USA in eight meetings and only once -- in 2000 -- even managed to come away with a draw.

Under head coach Elena Fomina, the first woman to coach the women's national team, Russia has qualified for Euro 2017, where it was drawn with defending champion Germany, Italy and Sweden. Russia plays its opener July 17 in Rotterdam.

U.S. Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), 24-Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride).
DEFENDERS (6): 7-Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), 11-Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), 5-Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), 22-Megan Oyster (Boston Breakers), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), 7-Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars).
MIDFIELDERS (6): 25-Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado), 16-Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers), 10-Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash/Manchester City), 20-Allie Long (Portland Thorns), 3-Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign).
FORWARDS (8): 19-Crystal Dunn (Chelsea/ENG), 13-Alex Morgan (Lyon/FRA), 21-Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash), 23-Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), 2-Mallory Pugh (UCLA), 8-Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), 26-Sophia Smith (Real Colorado), 12-Lynn Williams (NC Courage).

Russia Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Tatiana Shcerbak (Kubanochka), 12-Alena Belyaeva (Chertanovo), 21-Iuliia Grichenko (CSKA).
DEFENDERS (6): 4-Tatiana Sheikina (Ryazan-VDV), 8-Daria Makarenko (Ryazan-VDV), 13-Anna Belomyttseva (Ryazan-VDV), 18-Elvira Ziiastinova (CSKA), 19-Ekaterina Morozova (Chertanovo), 22-Ksenia Kovalenko (CSKA).
MIDFIELDERS (7): 9-Anna Cholovyaga (CSKA), 10-Elena Terekhova (CSKA), 11-Ekaterina Sochneva (CSKA), 16-Anastasiia Pozdeeva (Zvezda-2005), 17-Ekaterina Pantiukhina (Zvezda-2005), 20-Margarita Chernomyrdina (Chertanovo), 23-Elena Morozova (Kubanochka).
FORWARDS (3): 2-Nelli Korovkina (Chertanovo), 6-Nadeshda Karpova (Chertanovo), 15-Elena Danilova (Ryazan-VDV).

2 comments about "USWNT: Three keys to USA-Russia series".
  1. Chance Hall, April 6, 2017 at 10:16 a.m.

    OMGosh. I can't believe Rapenoe is still on the US team. I thought they were finally doing the right thing. Guess not With all the younger, better, faster players coming up this makes no sense. One of them won't get this opportunity because Jill and US Soccer refuse to drop her from the team. Sad. Won't be watching as long as she's there.

  2. Pasco Struhs, April 6, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.

    Really Sidney? I really like Rapinoe. I agree she is getting older, but so is Lloyd and some of the others. Remember, this is a friendly. Perhaps Ellis is giving her "enough rope to hang herself," as the saying goes. The younger players will get their chance. There is a need for both youth and experience and its a balancing act.

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