The USWNT roster for the friendly matches in April against the Republic of Ireland was officially announced today. The roster, which consists of 26 players, sees the return from injury of known names within the team, most notably that of Julie Ertz,
The USWNT and Ireland will play each other on April 8 at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas, and on April 11 at CITYPARK in St. Louis, Missouri. This roster also signals what will be the core of the World Cup roster as these friendlies will be the final international matches for the USWNT before Vlatko Andonovski has to name his 23-player squad that will be headed to Australia & New Zealand this summer.
The return of Julie Ertz takes center stage
Julie Ertz has not made an appearance for the USWNT since the 2021 Tokyo Olympics due to injury and also giving birth to her first child in August 2022. During that time, there was question marks about her return not just to the national team but also to the sport as a whole. Not much was made official or public by Ertz or the USWNT staff but this morning, it seems as though both sides had been in communication with each other and when Ertz began her recovery and training this year, Vlatko Andonovski was convinced of her commitment to return to the game and the national team.
According to Andonovski, Julie Ertz is in the process of negotiating with a few teams as she is currently a free agent. Once she begins club play in earnest, Andonovski is fully prepared to have her compete for a spot at the World Cup, along with any other player not named to this particular roster but could be considered on the bubble.
Julie Ertz returning to her very best form is exactly what the USWNT need. During her absence the team has tried many players to fill her role and not one has managed to do so to the extent that Ertz has done throughout her career. If she is ready, her return to the midfield will be something that both Andonovski and fans of the USWNT would welcome with open arms.
Other notable returnees
Casey Krueger, Sophia Smith Kelley O’Hara and Tierna Davidson have also been selected to the roster after missing out on previous rosters due to injuries and pregnancy (in Krueger’s case). Krueger will be making her first camp since October 2021, Smith will be joining the team again after missing out on the previous camp earlier this year, O’Hara returns after not featuring for the USWNT since last summer, and Davidson, if she plays, will be seeing her first minutes for the USWNT since the 2022 SheBelieves Cup.
The full 23 player roster
Goalkeepers: Adrianna Franch (Kansas City Current), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars).
Defenders: Alana Cook (OL Reign), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars), Kelley O’Hara (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign).
Midfielders: Julie Ertz (Unattached), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyonnais), Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 87/24), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit).
Forwards: Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC).
The games will be televised at 2:30pm ET/11:30am PT on TNT, Universo and Peacock on April 8th, and at 7:30pm ET/4:30pm PT on HBO Max, Universo and Peacock on April 11.