The U.S. women’s national team will close out the calendar year with a two-game series against China in December. USWNT interim head coach Twila Kilgore has named a 26-player training camp roster for the matches beginning on Dec. 2 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and later on Dec. 5 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
U.S. Soccer recently announced Chelsea FC manager Emma Hayes as the next USWNT head coach. The terms of her contract will run through 2027 and include a late arrival to the team at the conclusion of Chelsea’s season. Hayes’ deal with USSF will make her the highest-paid women’s national team coach in the world, with a salary that rivals USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter’s $1.6 million price tag — but fans will have to await her arrival on the sidelines till June 2024 — just weeks ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
The unique agreement between Hayes and U.S. Soccer includes Kilgore as the interim head coach through 2023, a role she has held since Vlatko Andonovski’s departure in August. The squad is currently undefeated under Kilgore with three wins and one draw after games against South Africa and Colombia. She will remain as interim head coach for the squad till Hayes’ late spring arrival and later join as a full-time assistant on Hayes’ staff.
“As we move forward with the next steps, we need more opportunities to see players from our pool in our unique national team environment, in both training and games, so we can evaluate if and how they might contribute moving forward to the Olympics,” said Kilgore, who selected the roster in accordance with a plan crafted by the trio of Hayes, Kilgore, and U.S. Sporting Director Matt Crocker.
The pair of December friendlies will be the first between the two teams since 2018 and the United States holds a dominant record of 12W-4D-0 against hinaL. Kilgore’s 26-player roster includes only a handful of 2023 FIFA World Cup players, multiple NWSL End-of-Year and Best XI players, and some new names in the mix. There are six players in camp with 50 or more caps and 11 players with single-digit caps named to the roster, indicating that the first impressions in the Hayes era with the USWNT might contain something new and different.
NWSL rookie of the year Jenna Nighswonger received her first senior team call-up after recently winning the 2023 NWSL Championship with NJ/NY Gotham FC. Paris Saint-Germain’s Korbin Albert is also making her first USWNT camp roster. Returning to the mix is Portland Thorns FC midfielder Olivia Moultrie for her second national team camp with an eye on making her debut.
“We value these players who have recently been in camps or played in [the] World Cup and were not chosen for this roster, and they are of course still a part of our pool, but we know what they bring on and off the field. At the same time, we also need to continue to evaluate and bring along players in the right ways to give the team the best chance for success.”
On the other hand, with the NWSL season just wrapping up, some veterans like Alex Morgan, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Crystal Dunn, won’t be on hand for these friendlies as they begin their off-seasons.
Take a look at the complete roster below:
USWNT roster (Club; Caps/Goals)
Goalkeepers (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 7), Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit; 1), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 16)
Defenders (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign; 29/1), Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC; 79/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 50/1), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage; 37/1), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC; 24/0), Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars; 41/0), M.A. Vignola (Angel City FC; 1/0)
Midfielders (8): Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA; 0/0), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC; 5/0), Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC; 6/0), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 137/30), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 91/24), Olivia Moultrie (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), Jenna Nighswonger (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 0/0), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign; 81/2)
Forwards (8): Mia Fishel (Chelsea FC, ENG; 2/1), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 21/5), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 24/4), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit; 26/6), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC; 2/1), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 36/14), Alyssa Thompson (Angel City FC; 8/0), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 58/17)