June 23, 2016
A LAST LOOK OR TWO
Ellis names 24 players for training camp before she makes her final Olympic cuts
CHICAGO - Before she names her 18-player roster for the Rio Olympics, U.S. women's national coach Jill Ellis has some tough decisions to make.
She will begin making them in the final two warm-up matches next month.
Ellis called in 24 players into camp prior to a July 9 match against South Africa at Soldier Field in Chicago (FS1, 1 p.m. ET).
She will have to pare six players from that roster for her final list of players.
Midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who is continuing her recovery from ACL surgery after a December injury, is in camp for training and evaluation and will not play in the match.
Among the local players named to the training camp were Sky BLue FC defender Kelley O'Hara, Portland Thorns FC midfielder Allie Long, who hails from Northport, N.Y., and Washington Spirit forward Crystal Dunn, who comes from Rockville Centre, N.Y.
"We're looking forward to finalizing our Olympic roster," Ellis said. "We have been evaluating players since our Victory Tour last year, so we are anticipating a great camp and finishing that process. It's exciting to play a new opponent and South Africa instantly has our respect for earning an Olympic berth from Africa."
Twenty-two of the players were on the roster for the USA's two early June friendlies against Japan, but two familiar faces make their returns. U.S. co-captain Carli Lloyd is back on the roster after missing the Japan matches with a knee injury and should be available for selection. Midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who is continuing her recovery from ACL surgery after a December injury, is in camp for training and evaluation and will not play in the match.
Goalkeeper Hope Solo enters the match with 99 career shutouts and the possibility of hitting 100, making her the first goalkeeper in U.S. and world history to achieve that milestone. Solo has nine shutouts in her 10 wins in 2016.
The final Olympic send-off game taking place on July 22 vs. Costa Rica at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)..
The U.S. roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Jaelene Hinkle (Western New York Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Gina Lewandowski (FC Bayern Munich), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Heather O'Reilly (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)