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Not many people ever get a shot at Olympic glory, and this year just 18 United States women's national team talents will get the opportunity to take home gold in Paris. But who will they be? Ultimately, selecting 18 players for an Olympic roster just got more difficult for interim manager Twila Kilgore and incoming boss Emma Hayes, but that doesn't mean a final roster isn't starting to take shape.

The USWNT are flying high after their 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup run, winning the competition with a 1-0 win over Brazil. A 23-player roster was selected for the Gold Cup tournament and dealt with injury and a group loss against Mexico but triumphed through knockouts to win the inaugural cup. Combine that with numerous players in impressive form, and tough decisions are going to have to be made.   

Looking ahead, the Olympic draw will take place Wednesday and USA have been placed in Pot 1 alongside hosts France and World Cup winners Spain. Per competition rules, USA will be unable to play against fellow Concacaf team Canada in the initial phase, and Pot 2 leaders Germany cannot play against other UEFA sides, setting up at least one match-up in their eventual group. 

As things heat up, here's our first projection on who is heading to the Olympics ahead of the draw:

USWNT 2024 Olympic Roster 1.0

Goalkeepers (2): Alyssa Naeher, Casey Murphy

On the bubble: Jane Campbell, Aubrey Kingsbury, Katie Lind

Naeher is in outstanding form at the moment. She provided a legendary performance during the Gold Cup semifinals against Canada, making three saves and converting a goal during a penalty shootout, and she has carried that momentum into the NWSL regular season. Murphy earned a Gold Cup start and a win during the NWSL opening weekend with the North Carolina Courage. 

Jane Campbell and Aubrey Kingsbury, both former NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year recipients, have been part of the USWNT goalkeeper pool for some time and are firmly on the bubble for the Olympics this year. Each could compete for an alternate spot.

Defenders (6) Crystal Dunn, Naomi Girma, Tierna Davidson, Emily Fox, Casey Krueger, Jenna Nighswonger

On the bubble: Sofia Huerta, Abby Dahlkemper, Alana Cook, Becky Sauerbrunn, M.A. Vignola, Sam Staab, Sarah Gorden

There's no denying Davidson is fully back. She played nearly every game on a last-place Chicago Red Stars team last season as she returned from an ACL injury, and Davidson reintroduced herself during the Gold Cup. She and Girma have a clear understanding of their roles, and more time together will only make them a lockdown duo. 

Crystal Dunn has been a staple in the outside back position and had a standout performance during the Gold Cup final. Her veteran leadership will be an asset during the Olympics alongside fellow fullbacks Emily Fox and Jenna Nighswonger. Casey Krueger gets the nod with prior Olympic experience and her capability to shift along the backline.

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Huerta, Dahlkemper, Cook, and Sauerbrunn have all been part of previous World Cup rosters. Sauerbrunn came into Gold Cup as a replacement for Cook and both are on the outside looking at the moment. 

Vignola was in USWNT camps prior to 2024 and if she and Gorden continue to put in strong performances for Angel City FC, they'll be in contention. Staab was traded from Washington Spirit to the Red Stars in the offseason and is already showing she's a top center back no matter the system she's put in.

Midfielders (5): Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Emily Sonnett, Korbin Albert, Sam Coffey

On the bubble: Andi Sullivan, Savannah DeMelo, Ashley Sanchez, Olivia Moultrie, Kristie Mewis

Sonnett has elevated her midfielder profile since 2023 and her ability to shift into a center back role only makes her more of an asset. Coffey's Gold Cup performances alongside a budding partnership with Albert also helped out Horan's positioning on the pitch. Lavelle keeps making the most of her minutes when she gets them and will remain a feature in the midfield as long as she's healthy.

Coffey's rise in form might signal Sullivan's need for strong NWSL performances to get back in the mix. The same can be said for DeMelo and Sanchez with a breakout Gold Cup by Moultrie and Albert. Mewis hasn't been in national team camps since the World Cup, and her limited minutes with West Ham United mean her chances to crack the Olympic roster are getting slim.

Forwards (5): Alex Morgan, Jaedyn Shaw, Trinity Rodman, Sophia Smith, Mallory Swanson

On the bubble: Catarina Macario, Ashley Hatch, Alyssa Thompson, Midge Purce, Lynn Williams

Morgan was called into the Gold Cup roster as a replacement player after Mia Fishel sustained an ACL injury. She made the most of the opportunity and is in strong form for club and country once again. Morgan's chemistry with Rodman and her Wave FC teammate Shaw will only increase each of their chances of cracking the roster together. Shaw was named the best player of the Gold Cup and looks unstoppable at the moment. 

Swanson and Smith were once the duo the roster was being built around ahead of the World Cup. Swanson is back from her patellar tendon injury and showing how she's a dangerous asset in the final third. Smith is coming off a strong Gold Cup semifinal performance and two goals in the Thorns regular-season opener. Here's hoping the duo get time together during SheBelieves Cup.

Hatch is still an option as long as there is no definitive No. 9 for the squad. Thompson missed out on the Gold Cup with a slight injury but is back in time for club play but has multiple attackers ahead of her at the moment. 

We're all thrilled Macario is back from her ACL injury and she's scored off the bench in her two appearances for Chelsea. If she's even good for just a half at the Olympics and still scoring, she'll crack the roster. There might only be room for one NJ/NY Gotham FC attacker, and it's between Williams and Purce, which highlights the agony of selecting short Olympic roster times. 

Alternates: Aubrey Kingsbury, Andi Sullivan, Olivia Moultrie, Lynn Williams

The toughest role for the Olympics is an alternate but these four players offer some of the best in ability in their respective positions and are exactly who you want in training during the tournament.