With 2019 Women's World Cup qualifying less than five months away, the U.S. national team isn't entirely healthy, but it does welcome back three 2015 Women's World Cup veterans and one player who
played her way into the starting lineup since the 2016 Olympics. USWNT: Roster for China series
For the two-game series against China,
these four players are back:
-- Tobin Heath
, the 2016 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year, hasn't played for the USA since being injured in the 2017 NWSL final last fall. As it
was, she played in just four of 16 games in 2017. With the return to form of Megan Rapinoe
in the last year, the play of Mallory Pugh
as a focal point of the U.S. attack and emergence of
, Heath gives the Ellis quite a formidable set of options for the two wing spots in the USA's 4-3-3.
-- Julie Ertz
, the 2017 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the
Year, has been out for a shorter period of time, missing the final two games at the SheBelieves Cup in March and the Mexico series in April after suffering a knee injury during the game against
Germany at the SheBelieves Cup. She earned her player of the year honors on the basis of her play in central midfield, a position she played at in college and returned to last summer.
hasn't played for the USA in 2018 after starting every match in 2017. By the end of last year, the preferred midfield trio was Lindsey Horan
, Ertz and Mewis. But a
lingering knee injury sidelined Mewis for the beginning of the 2018 NWSL season. She only started her first match for the runaway NWSL leader in May.
-- Amy Rodriguez
appeared in a U.S. uniform since the Victory Tour that followed the USA's 2015 Women's World Cup championship. She did not play in 2016 due to pregnancy and the birth of her second son and suffered an
ACL injury in the first game of the 2017 NWSL season with FC Kansas City, missing the rest of the season. She has one goal and one assist in seven games since moving to the Utah Royals.
Lavelle will be another player to watch. She played her first game of the 2018 NWSL season with the Washington Spirit last week. Her last game with the USA was in her hometown of Cincinnati in
September 2017, but she has been struggling with hamstring issues for about eight months.
The USA isn't entirely healthy for the China series. The most notable absentee: Pugh. Also
unavailable are three defenders Kelley O’Hara
, Casey Short
and Emily Sonnett