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USWNT captain Becky Sauerbrunn will miss World Cup with injury

USWNT captain and Portland Thorns defender Becky Sauerbrunn will miss the World Cup with a foot injury. (Soobum Im/USA TODAY Sports)

The U.S. women’s national team will be without captain Becky Sauerbrunn at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, The Athletic’s Meg Linehan and Steph Yang reported Friday. Sauerbrunn later confirmed the news on Twitter.

USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski is set to release his roster for the tournament next week. When he does, Sauerbrunn will not be included, multiple sources told The Athletic.

The 38-year-old defender has been dealing with a foot injury for the Portland Thorns for the last two months. On June 3, she played 24 minutes as a substitute in her first action since April 22, but then she missed the following match.

Veteran defender Kelley O’Hara will make the 23-player roster, though she also has missed time with injury. The 34-year-old played Sunday for the first time since May 14, coming on as a substitute in the 73rd minute of Gotham FC’s 1-1 draw with the Houston Dash.

Racing Louisville midfielder Savannah DeMelo and Washington Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury also will make the cut, The Athletic reported. Players were informed Thursday of their roster status.

DeMelo received her first USWNT call-up last September as an injury replacement for the team’s friendlies against Nigeria. She has not trained with the team in 2023, but she has excelled in NWSL play, with seven goals across all competitions.

The inclusion of Kingsbury also aligns with Andonovski’s emphasis on club form. The 31-year-old ranks second in the NWSL with 0.91 goals against per 90. Kansas City Current goalkeeper AD Franch, who has been considered her direct competitor for the final USWNT goalkeeper spot, ranks last with 2.75 goals against per 90 and has not played since May 17.