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U.S. women’s national soccer team calls up 24 players for training camp

Spain vs USA, Alicante - 22 Jan 2019
American forward Christen Press during an international women’s soccer friendly match against Spain in Mexico on Jan. 22.
(Manuel Lorenzo / EPA-EFE / REX)

Coach Jill Ellis has called 24 women into training ahead of April friendlies in Colorado and Los Angeles, part of the U.S. national team’s final push toward this summer’s Women’s World Cup in France.

In the first game, April 4 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in suburban Denver, the U.S. will face Australia, a World Cup favorite ranked sixth in the world by FIFA. The second game, April 7 against Belgium, will be the national team’s first at Banc of California Stadium and will mark a homecoming for forwards Alex Morgan (Diamond Bar) and Christen Press (Palos Verdes Estates) as well as midfielder McCall Zerboni (San Clemente).

Zerboni also played at UCLA, as did defender Abby Dalhkemper and midfielder Samantha Mewis.

Morgan and Press were on the American team that won the last World Cup four years ago in Canada, and Morgan enters April needing just one goal to become the seventh U.S. player to reach 100 for her career.

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For defender Ali Krieger, a two-time World Cup player, Thursday’s call-up is her first since April 2017. Missing, however, is veteran defender Kelley O’Hara, who is nursing an ankle injury. Back from injury is midfielder Lindsey Horan, who missed the 2019 SheBelieves Cup because of a quadriceps issue. The U.S. won one of three games in that tournament and is 2-1-2 this year after going unbeaten in 2018.

The team will gather in Santa Barbara next week for a six-day training camp. It will be the first training camp for the U.S. women in Santa Barbara since 1991, when the team trained there for several weeks before departing for China and the first Women’s World Cup, which the Americans won.

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Following the April 7 game, the women will get a short break before a three-game sendoff series that begins May 12 in Santa Clara against South Africa.

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Tickets for the U.S.-Belgium match in Los Angeles and the U.S.-South Africa match in Santa Clara are on sale through ussoccer.com.

USWNT ROSTER

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

Defenders: Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (NC Courage), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)

Midfielders: Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Allie Long (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit), McCall Zerboni (NC Courage)

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

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


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