SheBelieves Cup: U.S. roster picks highlight battles for remaining Women's World Cup spots

The battle for spots on the USA's 2019 Women's World Cup team continues as six players not at Concacaf qualifying (20-player roster) were called in 2019 SheBelieves Cup against England, Japan and Brazil, all top 10 teams.

2019 SheBelieves Cup, Schedule:
Feb. 27 in Chester, Pa.
England vs. Brazil, 4 pm. ET
USA vs. Japan, 7 pm. ET
March 2 in Nashville, Tenn.
Brazil vs. Japan, 2 pm. ET
USA vs. England, 4:30 p.m. ET
March 5 in Tampa, Fla.
Japan vs. England, 5:15 p.m. ET
USA vs. Brazil, 8 p.m. ET

The USA will be without Lindsey Horan, one of its most influential players. The 2018 NWSL MVP with the Portland Thorns is sidelined with a quad injury. She is considered one of 19 players who are likely to be picked by Jill Ellis for her 23-player squad for the Women's World Cup, which begins June 7 in France.

Six players who were not with the team for Concacaf qualifying (20-player roster) were called in for the SheBelieves Cup: goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, defender Tierna Davidson (injured last fall), midfielders Danielle Colaprico, Andi Sullivan and McCall Zerboni (injured last fall) and forward Jessica McDonald. In addition, goalkeeper Jane Campbell, defenders Merritt Mathias and Emily Fox and midfielder Allie Long will be with the team for the pre-tournament training camp in Tampa, giving Ellis 27 players to work with.

Of these players, Davidson is considered a lock for the Women's World Cup. If healthy, Zerboni would have the inside track on one the four open spots. Franch has the edge on Campbell right now for the No. 3 goalkeeper spot, leaving two other spots up for grabs. Long is the only holdover from the 2015 Women's World Cup from the group of 10 players, though she missed the recent camp in Portugal and matches against France and Spain.

Morgan Brian, Hailie Mace (Davidson's replacement for Olympic qualifying) and Horan are the three players from the qualifying roster who won't be at the SheBelieves Cup. Brian's absence from even training camp suggests that her chances of returning to the World Cup are fading. She started for the USA at the age of 22 when it won the 2015 Women's World Cup. She only started 10 and nine games in the last two club seasons as she bounced around three clubs -- the Houston Dash to Chicago Red Stars to French champion Lyon and back to the Red Stars after failing to break in at OL.

"The SheBelieves Cup is a positive event in many ways," said Ellis, "but it's extremely valuable to get three challenging games against World Cup-bound teams in a short time span that can simulate navigating through group play. These are all teams that can go deep in the tournament this summer and provide the kind of tests we need as we continue to work to crystalize our lineup and our final roster for the World Cup."

U.S. Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3):
Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns; 0/0)
Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 19/0)
Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 40/0)
DEFENDERS (7):
Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 32/0)
Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 14/1)
Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 77/24)
Kelley O'Hara (Utah Royals; 112/2)
Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals; 151/0)
Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0)
Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns; 28/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6):
Danielle Colaprico (Sydney FC/AUS on loan from Chicago Red Stars; 2/0)
Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 74/18)
Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 21/6)
Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 43/8)
Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit 11/0)
McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 8/0)
FORWARDS (7):
Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns; 143/25)
Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 266/105)
Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 5/1)
Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 155/98)
Christen Press (Utah Royals; 108/47)
Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 45/13)
Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC; 146/41).
Note: In parentheses are caps and goals.
3 comments about "SheBelieves Cup: U.S. roster picks highlight battles for remaining Women's World Cup spots".
  1. uffe gustafsson, February 12, 2019 at 9:54 p.m.

    Wow Horan not in the picture after leaving Lyon to playvin USA to be more visiable for National team.

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, February 13, 2019 at 12:37 a.m.

    Horan is injured, Uffe.

  3. beautiful game, February 13, 2019 at 6:13 p.m.

    Time to rename this tournament sooner then later. 

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