Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe once again will lead the U.S. women’s national team into a World Cup tournament, though the roster revealed Wednesday looks much different than the one from the 2019 title run.
Morgan, Rapinoe and Kelley O’Hara provide a solid veteran foundation, as each of them are set to play in their fourth consecutive World Cup tournament with the USWNT. Alyssa Naeher and Julie Ertz each will be playing in their third World Cup, while Crystal Dunn, Emily Sonnett, Lindsey Horan and Rose Lavelle all will be playing in their second.
The other 14 members of the 23-player roster will be making their World Cup debuts in Australia and New Zealand. The tournament kicks off on Thursday, July 20, and the USWNT will play its first match at 9 p.m. ET Friday, July 21.
So far in 2023, the USWNT has gone 7-0 in international friendlies. The squad kicked off the year with two resounding wins against World Cup co-host New Zealand, then swept its three games in the SheBelieves Cup and its next two friendlies against Ireland. The squad will play in one more friendly, against Wales on July 9, before departing for the World Cup.
While the USWNT features a number of familiar faces, they will travel to Australia and New Zealand without captain Becky Sauerbrunn, who is sidelined with a foot injury. Rising star Catarina Macario also is unavailable as she continues to recover from an ACL tear.
Still, the U.S. squad remains the favorite to take home its third consecutive World Cup title.