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Soccer

U.S. national team calls 26 into training camp ahead of this summer’s Women’s World Cup

Alex Morgan
Alex Morgan of the U.S. takes a shot during an Aug. 31 game against Chile.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Coach Jill Ellis has called 26 players into the first training camp of 2019 as the U.S. national team steps up its preparations for this summer’s Women’s World Cup.

The tournament will be held in France, so the U.S. will stage this month’s camp in Europe, gathering first in Portugal, then playing exhibitions against France in Le Havre and Spain in Alicante.

“Finding ways to be successful against European teams in Europe is something every team in the World Cup will have to do to advance deep into the tournament,” Ellis said in a statement. “So this is an essential trip in our prep for this summer.”

The U.S., led by player of the year Alex Morgan, was unbeaten in 2018, going 18-0-2. Morgan scored 18 goals and had three assists in 19 games, leaving her two goals shy of becoming the seventh American woman to score 100 times in her international career.

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Morgan is one of seven forwards on the camp roster. Others include Carli Lloyd, a two-time world player of year, and World Cup veterans Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath and Christen Press.

Ellis has also called up seven midfielders, including Morgan Brian, who is returning from injury, and former UCLA standout Samantha Mewis.

“We are fortunate to have solid depth in numbers for this camp because having the ability to train against ourselves is a vital part of our preparation,” Ellis said. “Inviting seven central midfielders and seven forwards for three starting position each speaks to the depth and competitiveness of the front six.

“We recognize that we have formally entered a World Cup year, and I know the players’ focus and enthusiasm will reflect the importance of the work we have to do in January.”

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Here is the full list of players and their current teams:

Goalkeepers: Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

Defenders: Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), Tierna Davidson (Stanford), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage), Emily Fox (University of North Carolina), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)

Midfielders: Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars), Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage), McCall Zerboni (North Carolina Courage)

Forwards: Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC).

kevin.baxter@latimes.com | Twitter: @kbaxter11


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