The U.S. women’s soccer team has named its official Olympic roster for the 2016 Rio Games.
The team is led by co-captains Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn. Lloyd will be appearing in her third Olympics, while Sauerbrunn will be making her second appearance. Of the 18 players on the roster, 11 will be making their Olympic debut.
The biggest storyline around the team’s roster selection is the inclusion of Megan Rapinoe. When healthy, Rapinoe is one of the best players on the national team. However, the midfielder suffered a torn ACL in December 2015 while training and has not yet played in an official match in 2016.
She has been with the national team in July for training and evaluation and was just fully cleared for contact this past week. It seems that head coach Jill Ellis and the coaching staff have seen enough from Rapinoe to include her on the team.
The U.S. has its final match before heading to Olympics on July 22 against Costa Rica. It will be important to see if Rapinoe can play in that match and what type of form she is in.
Since winning the 2015 Women’s World Cup, the U.S. has undergone changes as a result of the retirements and pregnancies of many of the team’s veterans. Established players have stepped into different roles while new players have been brought into the fold.
Four players on this Olympic roster were not on the U.S. roster at last summer’s World Cup. Despite these changes, the team will head to Rio as favorites to top the podium.
The U.S. has dominated women’s soccer at the Olympics. Since it was introduced to the Games in 1996, the U.S. has won four gold medals and one silver. This summer the team will look to win its fourth straight Olympic gold.
The U.S.’s first match at the Olympics will be on August 3 against New Zealand.
Here is the full roster:
Goalkeepers: Hope Solo, Alyssa Naeher
Defenders: Kelley O’Hara, Julie Johnston, Becky Sauerbrunn, Meghan Klingenberg, Ali Krieger, Whitney Engen
Midfielders: Carli Lloyd, Tobin Heath, Morgan Brian, Lindsey Horan, Allie Long, Megan Rapinoe
Forwards: Alex Morgan, Christen Press, Crystal Dunn, Mallory Pugh
Alternates: Samantha Mewis, Emily Sonnett, Ashlyn Harris, Heather O'Reilly