Along with coach Vlatko Andonovski's announcement of his 23-player roster for the SheBelieves Cup came the realization that the USA's midfield especially will take on a new look at the 2023 Women's World Cup this summer compared to its recent big tournament appearances.
Julie Ertz, after starring on the backline in the USA's 2015 World Cup title win, moved into the midfield and helped the USA repeat at the 2019 World Cup. She also ran the midfield during the 2021 bronze medal finish. Ertz gave birth in August and the 30-year-old has yet to sign with a pro club.
"Time is running out," Andonovski said. "She's someone that we're probably not gonna be able to count on in the World Cup."
Sam Mewis, 30, who played in midfield with Ertz at the 2019 World Cup, recently underwent a second knee surgery.
"These are two big names that may be or will be absent from the World Cup," Andonovski acknowledged. "And this is something that we have planned for, and that's why we've tried different names, different players in these positions.
"We're going to continue trying in this camp until we solidify the players that we believe will give us the best chance to be successful."
Twenty-two of the players called in were part of the USA's January New Zealand trip during which it beat the Ferns 4-0 and 5-0. Rose Lavelle, Taylor Kornieck and Lindsey Horan started in midfield in the first game. Lavelle, Andi Sullivan and Ashley Sanchez started in the 5-0 win.
Not called in to either camp was 23-year-old Sam Coffey, who after last year's rookie season in the NWSL played in the USA's final four games of the 2022. "There was something else that we wanted to see in this camp, in these games," Andonovski said.
• The roster's most-capped players are Becky Sauerbrunn (212), Alex Morgan (201), Megan Rapinoe (197), Crystal Dunn (128) and Lindsey Horan (123).
• Kornieck, Sanchez, Naomi Girma and Trinity Rodman are the only players in camp who earned their first camp since the 2021 Olympics.
USWNT 2023 SheBelieves Cup roster
* Adrianna Franch (Kansas City Current) 10/0 (34)
Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage 12/0 (26)
* # Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars 87/0 (32)
Alana Cook (OL Reign) 21/0 (25)
Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage) 24/0 (24)
* Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC) 128/24 (30)
Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC) 12/0 (22)
Sofia Huerta (OL Reign) 27/0 (30)
* # Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC) 212/0 (37)
* Emily Sonnett (OL Reign) 70/1 (29)
* Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA) 123/26 (28)
Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave FC) 9/2 (24)
* Rose Lavelle (OL Reign) 86/24 (27)
Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC) 47/7 (31)
Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit) 19/3 (23)
Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit) 39/3 (27)
Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit) 15/5 (27)
* # Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC) 201/120 (33)
Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC) 22/4 (27)
* Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign) 197/63 (37)
Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit) 12/2 (20)
* # Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars) 84/28 (24)
Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC) 49/15 (29)
* Part of Coach Jill Ellis' 2019 World Cup roster.
# Part of Coach Jill Ellis' 2015 World Cup roster.
2023 SheBelieves Cup schedule
THURSDAY, Feb 16
Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida
Japan-Brazil 4 pm.
USA-Canada 7 pm.
SUNDAY, Feb. 19
GEODIS Park in Nashville, Tenn.
USA-Japan 3:30 pm.
Brazil-Canada 6:30 pm.
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22
Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas
Canada-Japan 4 pm.
USA-Brazil 7 pm.
TV: Peacock, Universo. All times ET.
I'm guessing Megan R was on the 2015 roster and not Mallory S.
Also, for goalkeepers wouldn't goals AGAINST be a better, and more informative, stat than goals scored? Or maybe goals against average? I'm assuming the 3 0s indicate goals scored.
Why is Rapino even on this team? She adds nothing.
Macario needs to be in New Zealand.
WS: Latest word is that she is expected to start playing again by April.
The young forwards could use a mentor. Bringing her and Morgan into the camp is a good move.
After Morgan, Swanson (Pugh), and Smith, there is a sharp falloff in performance and experience. Rodman, Smith and Swanson are the hope for next 9 years. Williams will be 34 in 5 years and her game is dependent on speed. The 27 year olds will be 32.
The USWNT has been strong because the coaches were always looking ahead.
30 is not the end of the world. Carli Lloyd became a world-beater after 30, but I can't think of anyone else who ever blossomed like she did after 30. She trained unbelieveably hard when most players are thinking of retirement.
It's amazing that Mregan Rapinoe is still around, but Christen Press has apparently been dumped.
Press hasn't been dumped. She tore her ACL last June, same as Macario. And she just turned 34. Whether she becomes available is up to her. Macario is only 22 and expected to return to playing by April. I haven't heard about Press's status.