Rapinoe, Morgan back with U.S. for World Cup qualifiers
Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan have been included on the U.S. roster for next month’s CONCACAF W Championship, which will determine four of the region’s teams in the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
Rapinoe and Morgan have not been on a U.S. roster since last October as coach Vlatko Andonovski evaluated younger players in the run-up to qualifying. The United States is the two-time defending World Cup champion.
“So excited to be back with my gals!” Alex Morgan tweeted following Monday’s announcement.
Twenty-three players were named to the qualifying roster, and three others — Sam Coffey, Carson Pickett and Jaelin Howell — were added to the training camp in advance of a pair of friendlies later this month against Colombia.
Several players were left off the squad because of injuries, including Sam Mewis (knee), Abby Dahlkemper (ribs) and Lynn Williams (hip). Catarina Macario tore her ACL recently while playing with her club team, Lyon, and is out for at least six months.
Crystal Dunn recently gave birth.
Tobin Heath was also left off the roster, as was Christen Press, who was injured Saturday while playing for Angel City. Press said she tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee.
In a conference call with reporters, Andonovski said the 33-year-old Press was not included on the roster even before the injury because of competition at the position — including Morgan, Trinity Rodman, Ashley Hatch, Sophia Smith and Mallory Pugh.
“It’s not easy to be to a forward in the United States right now,” Andonovski said.
The W Championship is set for July in Monterrey, Mexico, and it will determine the region’s four teams for the 2023 World Cup, which will be cohosted by Australia and New Zealand. The winner of the tournament will also earn a berth in the 2024 Olympics.
But first the United States will play matches against Colombia on June 25 in Colorado and June 28 in Sandy, Utah.
The 23-player roster by position with club affiliation:
Goalkeepers: Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars).
Defenders: Alana Cook (OL Reign), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit).
Midfielders: Lindsey Horan (Lyon), Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (Gotham), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit).
Forwards: Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Midge Purce (Gotham), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns).
Additional players for the camp roster before the two matches against Colombia:
Defenders: Carson Pickett (North Carolina Courage).
Midfielders: Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns), Jaelin Howell (Racing Louisville).
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Anne M. Peterson, The Associated Press