USA-South Korea: NWSL champions will lead U.S. midfield

With the NWSL season out of the way, the U.S. women's national team resumes play for the first of two two-game series.

It returns to New Orleans for the first time since the Abby Wambach farewell game to play South Korea on Thursday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Sunday's game will be played in Cary, North Carolina, at Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.

The USA will conclude the year with two games against Canada, one in Vancouver and the second in San Jose.

Loaded in midfield. NWSL championship MVP Lindsey Horan and Allie Long are the only players from the champion Portland Thorns who will play for the USA. They will lead the midfield that also includes Sam Mewis, the only player who has played every minute in 2017, and Carli Lloyd and Stanford's Andi Sullivan as well as Julie Ertz.

Sullivan will play for the national team for the first time in 2017 after injuring her knee in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

Photo: Brad Smith/, courtesy of NWSL

Injuries. Portland's Tobin Heath (ankle) and North Carolina's Taylor Smith (shoulder) are out after suffering injuries in the NWSL championship match on Saturday. Heath had just returned to action in September when the USA swept New Zealand 3-1 and 5-0. Smith had started three of the last four U.S. games.

2017. The USA is 9-3-0 with all three losses (two by 1-0 scores) coming to teams ranked third, fourth and sixth in the world.

U.S. Women's Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 1/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 13/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 20/0).
DEFENDERS (6): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 9/0), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 53/11), Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars; 1/0), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC; 101/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City; 131/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 15/0).
MIDFIELDERS (5): Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns; 39/4), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash; 242/97), Allie Long (Portland Thorns; 31/5), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 30/5), Andi Sullivan (Stanford; 4/0).
FORWARDS (6): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea/ENG; 55/22), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 130/77), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars; 92/43), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 28/6), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign; 125/33), Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 11/3).
In parentheses: caps and goals.
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