U.S. women begin final preparations for Olympic soccer tournament

U.S. women’s soccer Coach Jill Ellis has called 24 players into the final national team training camp ahead of this summer’s Olympic Game in Brazil.

The U.S. will play two friendlies – July 9 in Chicago against South Africa and July 22 against Costa Rica in Kansas City, Kan. – before Ellis cuts the roster to the Olympic limit of 18 players. The U.S. opens defense of its Olympic title Aug. 3 against New Zealand in Belo Horizonte. The Americans will also play France in Belo Horizonte before closing group play against Colombia in Manaus. The top two teams in each of the three groups, plus the best two third-place teams advance to the knockout round.

The U.S. has captured the last three Olympic crowns and, after winning last summer’s World Cup, is trying to become the first team to win world and Olympic titles in consecutive years.

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo plays against Japan on June 2.
U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo plays against Japan on June 2.
(Jack Dempsey / Associated Press)

Co-captain Carli Lloyd, who missed two June friendlies with Japan because of a knee injury, will be back in training camp, as will midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who is continuing her recovery from winter ACL surgery. Rapinoe is in camp for training and evaluation and will not play in the match.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Hope Solo enters camp with 99 career shutouts, meaning her next clean sheet will make her the first player in international  soccer history, male or female, to record 100 shutouts.

The roster:

Goalkeepers: Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)


Defenders: 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: 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: Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)

Twitter: @kbaxter11 

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