USWNT Olympic Squad: Which 18 players made it into Team USA for Tokyo 2020?



Head coach Vlatko Andonovski has narrowed down a collection of world-class talent for this year’s tournament

Vlatko Andonovski has now made the biggest call of his coaching time in the US women’s national team.

After replacing Jill Ellis in 2019, Andonovski’s debut at a major tournament was delayed by a year but has now finally arrived in the form of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

After the end of the three USWNT June friendlies, Andonovski has now named his 18-person Olympic list.

Here are the 18 USWNT players heading for the Olympics.


MAKING THE EDIT: Alyssa Naheher, AD Franch

MISSED: Jane Campbell, Ashlyn Harris

Nahe is locked up as a starter, but the parts behind her have mixed up quite a bit over the past few months.

Long-time backup Harris was frozen by Andonovski in 2021, which opened the door for Campbell and, more recently, Franch to step in and fill the void.

Franch is back in shape for the Portland Thorns and has the experience advantage over Campbell as the team’s third striker at the 2019 World Cup. It may well be Campbell’s job, but for the moment Franch received the nod.


MAKING THE CUT: Becky Sauerbrunn, Abby Dahlkemper, Kelley O’Hara, Crystal Dunn, Emily Sonnett, Tierna Davidson

MISSED: Alana Cook, Midge Purce

Dunn, Sauerbrunn, Dahlkemper and O’Hara form the team’s starter chain and form the backbone of the team. Central defenders Sauerbrunn and Dahlkemper in particular are vital to almost everything the team does.

Sonett can play any position across the defensive line as well as hold as a midfielder, which will be crucial as Julie Ertz’s health is a big question mark. Davidson can play the same positions, and Andonovski also gave her the nod as the youngest player on the squad at 22.

Purce, who can play full-back or one of the broad forward roles, has been left out in favor of more experienced options.

Cook is highly regarded and her time with the US will come, but the writing was on the wall when she didn’t play in any of the team’s friendlies this month.

midfield player

MAKE THE EDIT: Julie Ertz, Sam Mewis, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Kristie Mewis

MISSED: Catarina Macario, Andi Sullivan

Ertz’s injury status is clearly worrying, but Andonovski felt it was worth bringing her to Japan nonetheless. The USWNT would be fine in the group stage without her and would give her a week and a half to recover if needed.

Andonovski appears ready to give Horan the first chance to replace Ertz in the holding role, which makes sense given her experience in the position and ability to launch attacks from the depths. But it’s not their most effective role. Andonovski admitted that the USWNT “wasted some of the qualities it has in the Sixes” against Nigeria, suggesting that he is eager to try other options.

Lindsey Horan USWNT 2021

Lavelle’s status is a little worrying after sustaining a minor ankle injury against Jamaica, while Sam Mewis is a must-have and likely set up in a box-to-box role.

This left another place in midfield, which went to Sam’s older sister Kristie, who has re-integrated into the team after a long time without being called up.

Macario, 21, was expelled after failing to fully show her groundbreaking potential in limited time with the USWNT.

Andi Sulivan, although a natural midfielder, is being abandoned this year due to her lack of consistent engagement with the USWNT, combined with the team’s other options in that position.


MAKE THE EDIT: Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, Christen Press, Carli Lloyd

MISSED: Sophia Smith, Lynn Williams

Morgan, Rapinoe and Press have the vast gaming experience and current skills that have put them banned from the squad. Heath has that combination too, but her health is a big question mark.

Heath has not played a game since January and their inability to fully participate in training prior to the Olympic team’s appointment was a cause for concern. In the end, however, her talent, combined with positive indicators from the team’s health staff, gave Andonovski the confidence to move her into the 18th

Williams looked like a solid bet because of her speed and pressure, but her lack of end product seems to have cost her a spot on the team.

Smith is undoubtedly talented, but she is only 20 years old and her scanty playtime during the three USWNT friendlies suggested that she will be kept an eye on for the future.


MAKE THE CUT: Jane Campbell, Casey Krueger, Catarina Macario, Lynn Williams

MISS: Midge Purce, Alana Cook, Andi Sullivan, Sophia Smith


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