United States women's national team head coach Vlatko Andonovski has named his roster for the annual January training camp. The 25 players will participate in the camps, scheduled to take place in Austin, Texas, from Wednesday, Jan. 19 through Friday, Jan. 28. The camp will serve as the first event for the USWNT in 2022 calendar, and though there are no international friendlies scheduled for the 25 players, the camps will also serve as additional evaluation ahead of the 2022 SheBelieves Cup tournament, which will take place Feb. 17 through 23.
Seventeen players who were with the USA in Australia last November for the final two matches of 2021 are featured in Andonovski's January camp. Goalkeeper Casey Murphy makes her return to the senior camps after starting both of the matches against the Matildas. The roster also welcomes the return of Mallory Pugh and is the first senior level camp for Trinity Rodman -- both players had opted out of the friendlies in Australia.
"Without any matches that we need to taper for, we can get in some more intense trainings and full-field scrimmages, which is great as we need to give this group as many chances as possible to play together in a national team environment," said Andonovski. "We understand that some of the players are coming off a break, so we'll keep that in mind as we hit the ground running in 2022 for what will be a very important year for these players and our team."
Below you'll find the complete roster and a couple of takeaways:
Goalkeepers (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
Defenders (9): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Imani Dorsey (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Kelley O'Hara (Washington Spirit), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit)
Midfielders (7): Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Jaelin Howell (Racing Louisville FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Samantha Mewis (Kansas City Current), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)
Forwards (6): Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Lynn Williams (Kansas City Current)
More youth added to the roster
Along with Rodman's first career senior level callup, recent NWSL draftees will make returns to USWNT training environments. Naomi Girma, the No. 1 overall pick in last month's NWSL Draft, makes her return to camps along with No. 2 overall pick Jaelin Howell. Howell became just the sixth player in college soccer history to become a two-time recipient of the Mac Hermann trophy, awarded to the top college soccer player in the nation.
"Girma was with us in October 2020, I believe, when we were in Denver, and Jaelin was with us a couple of times. She was in October 2020 and November in Holland," said Andonovski.
"So both will have some experience but nowhere near the experience that they need to be able to play top level games, top level international games. But this is part of the process. We have players, young players, that we believe will make a big impact, and will hopefully start in 2023, but we have players that we still need to see. We have to give them any opportunity that we have to continue to evaluate them and help them incorporate themselves into our system."
Andonovski's plan to encourage more time with younger players at the senior level began slowly with the September and October international windows along with November friendlies in Australia. Several experienced players have been in and out of camps -- due to either injury, rotation or opt outs. Both Crystal Dunn and Casey Krueger recently announced their pregnancies, and after a missing a long extended period of time with a knee injury sustained in the Olympics, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher is making her return.
Several other longtime players are out of this camp ahead of SheBelieves Cup, including Julie Ertz Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan, Christen Press and Megan Rapinoe -- though Andonovski is including them in long-term plans, and utilizing January camp for more evaluations. Ertz has been rehabbing from a knee injury sustained in May of 2021 and Andonovski says that the midfielder needs time to get acclimated with club play on her way back to the pitch.
"[Ertz] is someone that I have had several conversations with and the injury is slowly but surely is behind her, but she's not, at this point, physically ready to perform in camp," said Andonivski.
"In the conversation that we had the with Julie, the best thing to do at this point for her, is to get physically ready to get her fitness up. Start training in a club environment or in the market. Start playing games there and then hopefully, she performs well and will get we get called back up. Because we know when Julie Ertz performs, and she's anywhere near her best, she's absolutely incredible and is very valuable for our team."