The U.S. women’s national team announced its 24-player roster Thursday for its October friendlies against England and Spain.
Crystal Dunn is making her return to the team for the first time since September 2021. She had been absent while pregnant with her first child, her son Marcel, who was born in May.
Alyssa Thompson, who played at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica this summer, gets her first senior team call-up at age 17, while veteran forward Alex Morgan is out with a knee injury.
The USWNT will face England on Oct. 7, followed by Spain on Oct. 11.
The match against England will be held at Wembley Stadium in London. The USWNT will be playing there for the first time since the gold medal match at the 2012 Olympic Games, which the U.S. won 2-1 over Japan.
With hype surrounding both sides, particularly in the wake of England’s Euros title run in July, the game sold out in less than 24 hours. That made it the fastest sellout ever in women’s soccer.
While England and the USWNT have played against one another 18 times, this will mark their first meeting at Wembley. The USWNT holds a 12-4-2 record against the Lionesses, including a memorable 2-1 win in the 2019 Women’s World Cup semifinal.
But that came before England brought on Sarina Wiegman as manager. Since she took charge in September 2021, England have gone unbeaten.
The match against Spain will bring its own drama, as Spanish players are embroiled in a dispute with their national federation.
The Spanish federation announced last week that 15 players had said they would resign rather than play under coach Jorge Vilda. The players, though, took issue with that characterization, saying they did not resign but rather asked not to be called up to the national team until their concerns for their health and well-being were addressed.
Several members of the USWNT, including Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Becky Sauerbrunn, have expressed their support for the Spanish players. Both Rapinoe and Sauerbrunn are on the roster.
All of this comes as the USWNT ramps up its quest to win a third consecutive World Cup, with the Australia-hosted tournament less than a year away.
“These are big tests for our team in front of crowds cheering against us and after long travel, but our players absolutely love games like these,” USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “The group we are bringing to Europe includes players who have a lot of experience against top European teams and some that don’t, so these games are even more critical for our growth as our team. Our whole squad needs to get a clear picture of what these games are like as we continue to prepare for the World Cup.”
𝗚𝗘𝗧 𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗣𝗔𝗦𝗦𝗣𝗢𝗥𝗧𝗦 𝗥𝗘𝗔𝗗𝗬...We're headed across the pond! 🛫#USWNT x @BioSteelSports— U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (@USWNT) September 29, 2022
𝗚𝗘𝗧 𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗣𝗔𝗦𝗦𝗣𝗢𝗥𝗧𝗦 𝗥𝗘𝗔𝗗𝗬...We're headed across the pond! 🛫#USWNT x @BioSteelSports