Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd are back with the U.S. women.
The two-time World Cup champions were among 27 players invited by coach Vlatko Andonovski to a training camp later this month. Neither Rapinoe nor Lloyd has been with the team since the SheBelieves Cup in March, with both missing a November game in the Netherlands as they recovered from injury.
“Our high-performance department has been monitoring everything they’re doing. … Everything they do, we follow, and we have a pretty good idea of where they stand,” Andonovski said after the training camp roster was announced Wednesday. “In fact, both of them are a little ahead of where we expected them to be for the January camp. The only thing they’re missing is team training.”
Alex Morgan, who announced Tuesday that she and her family have tested positive for COVID-19, was not eligible for the training camp because of U.S. Soccer’s return-to-play protocols.
The training camp begins Saturday in Orlando, Fla., and ends with a game against Colombia on Jan. 22. The U.S. women will also play Colombia, who they beat in the round of 16 at the 2015 World Cup in Canada, on Jan. 18.
The camp, and the games, are critical for the Americans, who are hoping to become the first reigning World Cup champion to win Olympic gold this summer in Tokyo. The U.S. women have played just once since March, a 2-0 victory over the Dutch on Nov. 27, and have had only one other camp.
The NWSL season also was shortened because of the pandemic, so Andonovski is eager to see exactly where his team is six months before Tokyo.
“I’m very happy and pleased with the fact we are able to play these two games,” he said. “Games are something we’re missing as a team, as a group.”
Carli Lloyd, Crystal Dunn and Megan Rapinoe are included in this USWNT squad. (Photo: Trevor Ruszkowski, USA TODAY Sports)
Of the 27 players, 16 were part of the U.S. team that won the 2019 World Cup. Besides Morgan, noticeable omissions are Tobin Heath and Christen Press, both of whom opted to stay in England, where they went this fall in search of playing time.
Rose Lavelle, Kristie Mewis and Samantha Mewis, who also are playing in England, will be present.
Also on the roster is Catarina Macario, who led Stanford to two national titles and is a two-time Hermann Trophy winner as the best player in college soccer. The Brazilian-born Macario has been at the last two camps after becoming a U.S. citizen in October.
While Andonovski said he doubts Macario’s paperwork will be completed by the SheBelieves Cup later this spring, she is still expected to be eligible to play for the United States in Tokyo.
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