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Many familiar names on roster as U.S. women’s soccer team readies for Olympics

Emma Hayes coaches Chelsea.
Emma Hayes coaches Chelsea during a match in March.
(Peter Dejong / Associated Press)
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Emma Hayes called up her first roster as coach of the women’s national team Tuesday and it includes a lot of familiar names, with 19 players from April’s roster returning for a pair of friendlies with South Korea next month.

Hayes, whose $2-million salary makes her the highest-paid women’s coach in the world, was named U.S. coach in November but couldn’t take charge of the team until she finished her duties with Chelsea of the Women’s Super League. That happened last weekend when Chelsea beat Manchester United 6-0 to win its fifth straight WSL title under Hayes.

Now she takes over the women’s national team less than 10 weeks before its Olympic opener, giving her precious little time to get acquainted with her players. That may be one reason why Hayes called in veteran Alex Morgan, who recently returned to training after being sidelined a month with an ankle injury. Also summoned to training camp is midfielder Rose Lavelle, who has been limited to 169 minutes with her NWSL club, Gotham FC, because of a leg injury.

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Notable among the absences is goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who missed the Chicago Red Stars game last weekend with a left thigh injury. The injury isn’t considered serious and Naeher is likely to be ready for the Olympics.

Despite the injuries to Morgan, Lavelle and Naeher, the U.S. team is healthier than it has been in some time with Catarina Macario and Mallory Swanson joining a deep forward line that also includes Sophia Smith, the reigning NWSL scoring leader, and teenager Jaedyn Shaw, who leads the national team with five goals and one assist in eight appearances in 2024.

U.S. Soccer on Tuesday confirms that Chelsea manager Emma Hayes will be the new coach of the women’s national team.

Nov. 14, 2023

In fact, the U.S. is so deep at the position that Lynn Williams, who became the all-time NWSL scoring leader with her 79th career goal Sunday, didn’t make the team. The 23 players who did average 26.3 years of age, making Hayes’ team more than two years younger than the one that bowed out of last summer’s World Cup in the round of 16.

Still, the clock is ticking for Hayes, who will have to whittle her team down to 18 for Paris. The players will have two dress rehearsals with friendlies against South Korea on June 1 in suburban Colorado and on June 4 in St. Paul, Minn. After Hayes chooses her Olympic team, the U.S. will play send-off games against Mexico on July 13 in Harrison, N.J., and against Costa Rica three days later in Washington, D.C.

The roster

Goalkeepers: Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage)

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Defenders: Crystal Dunn (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Tierna Davidson (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Fox (Arsenal FC), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Casey Krueger (Washington Spirit), Jenna Nighswonger (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Sam Staab (Chicago Red Stars)

Midfielders: Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), Hal Hershfelt (Washington Spirit), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon), Rose Lavelle (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Sonnett (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Lily Yohannes (Ajax)

Forwards: Catarina Macario (Chelsea FC), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars)

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