The USWNT dropped its June roster on Tuesday, the first under newly minted head coach Emma Hayes. 

The USWNT is entering a new era ahead of the national team's two June friendlies with the Republic of Korea, with veterans blending with more recent additions throughout the lineup. The squad unveiled today included a few surprises, as well as some key absences as the USWNT steers toward the 2024 Olympics.

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Notably, longtime starting goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher will not be reporting to camp this month. Naeher was injured in the Chicago Red Stars’ win over Utah on May 12th and did not play over the weekend, although she did travel with the team to New Jersey. 

On the team’s injury report, Naeher was listed as out with a thigh injury. Coach Lorne Donaldson said ahead of the match that the team was "still evaluating [Naher], but no, it doesn't look good" in regards to her availability. 

As a result, Jane Campbell, Aubrey Kingsbury, and Casey Murphy all received a call up, with Murphy the most-capped goalkeeper of the trio.

Some recently injured stars did manage to make their way onto the roster, with Alex Morgan and Jaedyn Shaw both included among the team's forwards. Morgan hasn't played since April 20th, but recently posted a photo of herself training to her Instagram story with the caption "Work in progress."

Shaw, meanwhile, went down with an ankle injury on May 13th, sitting out San Diego’s latest game. 

Other call-ups fresh off the injured list include Naomi Girma and Tierna Davidson, although both recently returned to club play. Midfielder Rose Lavelle will also make her return to the USWNT roster after having been out since the W Gold Cup.

Ajax’s Lily Yohannes finds herself rostered once again the 16-year-old dual national continues to mull her national team options between the USWNT and the Netherlands. 

There’s a number of Washington Spirit players on the roster this time around, with Hal Hershfelt earning her first USWNT call-up alongside Chicago's Sam Staab. NWSL rookie of the month Croix Bethune, Kate Wiesner, and Olivia Moultrie will join as training players. 

One glaring roster absence was Lynn Williams, who was not included among the team’s forwards. On Sunday, Williams broke the NWSL all-time scoring record with her 79th career goal in Gotham's victory over Chicago. Joining the forward group is Crystal Dunn, who has traditionally played as a defender with the USWNT and as a midfielder in the NWSL.

"I’m really looking forward to getting started," Hayes said in a USWNT press release. "The preparations have been well underway and I can’t wait to get into camp. We know it’s a short turnaround and we have a lot of work to do, but I’m fully focused on making sure that the performances are at the levels that are required to compete. 

"I expect complete commitment from everyone to absorb very quickly the things that I value as the most important so that we can compete this summer. I know they are a highly coachable group and I’m looking forward to challenging them. It’s time to go to work. I can’t wait to meet the fans and it’s really time to get behind the team as we get closer to putting a roster together for the Olympics."

Full June roster:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage)

DEFENDERS (7): Tierna Davidson (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Fox (Arsenal FC, ENG), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Casey Krueger (Washington Spirit), Jenna Nighswonger (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Sonnett (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Sam Staab (Chicago Red Stars)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), Hal Hershfelt (Washington Spirit), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon), Rose Lavelle (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Sonnett (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Lily Yohannes (Ajax)

FORWARDS (7): Crystal Dunn (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Catarina Macario (Chelsea), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars)

Alyssa Naeher exited the Chicago Red Stars game early on Sunday with an apparent injury.

After making a recovery run in the second half of Chicago's 3-1 win over the Utah Royals, the 36-year-old walked off the pitch limping but unassisted in the 62nd minute. She was replaced by backup keeper Mackenzie Wood.

Red Stars head coach Lorne Donaldson didn’t offer an update on the star goalkeeper's status in his postgame interview.

"No [update], I'm leaving it to the pros — the medical staff — so I don't know what's going on yet," he said.

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While the injury is bad news for Chicago, who currently sit fifth in the NWSL table, it’s also potentially troubling for the UWSNT's Olympic prospects. Naeher, a two-time Women's World Cup champion with the US, has served as the team's default starting goalkeeper for the last several years. 

Naeher is virtually a lock for the 2024 Olympics, should her injury not be too serious. But depending on its gravity, the knock could keep her out of a series of upcoming friendlies kicking off June 1st and 4th, Emma Hayes’ first as head coach for the USWNT. 

Also leaving her game with an injury on Sunday was Jaedyn Shaw, who limped off the pitch well into stoppage time in the Wave's 1-1 draw with Gotham FC. Shaw has recently emerged as one of the Wave's top strikers, making it all the more concerning if she ends up joining teammates Alex Morgan, Naomi Girma, and Abby Dahlkemper on the injured list. All four have played in recent camps for the USWNT.

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San Diego head coach Casey Stoney did not provide an update following Sunday's game, but noted that she thought Shaw had landed on her ankle. 

The 2024 Paris Olympics begins Friday, July 26th, with rostered players scheduled to appear in their final club matches in mid-July.

For the first time in the NWSL's 12-year history, fans can now buy their own goalkeeper jerseys. And while replica goalkeeper jerseys representing all 14 NWSL teams hit the market on Wednesday, some didn't stick around for long. 

Fans across women's soccer have long vocalized their discontent over the position's lack of availability on social media, often comparing the shortcoming to the widespread availability of men’s goalkeeper jerseys. And as the NWSL has grown, so has demand — and not just from those in the stands. 

"To have goalkeeper kits available for fans in the women’s game as they have been for so long in the men’s game is not only a long-awaited move in the right direction, it’s just good business," said Washington Spirit goalie Aubrey Kingsbury in an team press release. "I can’t wait to see fans representing me, Barnie [Barnhart], and Lyza in the stands at Audi!"

Business does, in fact, appear to be booming. Alyssa Naeher’s Chicago Red Stars kit sold out less than three hours after the league's announcement. Jerseys for other keepers like DiDi Haračić, Abby Smith, Michelle Betos, Katelyn Rowland, and Bella Bixby aren’t currently available via the Official NWSL Shop, though blank goalkeeper jerseys can be customized through some individual team sites. Jerseys start at $110 each.

"This should be the benchmark," said Spirit Chief Operations Officer Theresa McDonnell. "The expectation is that all players’ jerseys are available to fans. Keepers are inspiring leaders and mentors with their own unique fan base who want to represent them... I can’t wait to see them all over the city."

The problem with picking a starting goalkeeper for the U.S. women’s national team is this: There might not be a deeper or more talented position pool from which to choose.

Alyssa Naeher has held the starting spot since before the 2019 World Cup. But the 35-year-old was left off the national team roster for the last camp of 2023 in favor of giving other goalkeepers some looks. That’s not unusual and is in fact a good sign for the team, which will have the opportunity to evaluate its options as the coaching staff plans for the 2024 Olympics.

Still, Naeher’s absence does beg the question: Who is the future at goalkeeper? Just Women’s Sports is taking a look at who could be next in line.

One note: Left off this list is Aubrey Kingsbury. While the Washington Spirit starter has proved herself as a viable USWNT backup, the 32-year-old is only three years younger than Naeher. If the national team is looking for its next long-term starter, it is a little more difficult to make the argument for Kingsbury over the names on this list.

Casey Murphy

Murphy, 27, already is an experienced USWNT backup who now has one World Cup under her belt. She also has experience starting for the USWNT, having made 16 total appearances in goal, 12 of which were shutouts. She has not conceded a goal in her three starts so far in 2023.

On top of being a reliable option for the USWNT, Murphy also is the starting goalkeeper for the NWSL’s North Carolina Courage. She was among the league’s best goalkeepers in 2023, conceding just 20 goals in 20 starts and holding a 74.2 save percentage, good for seventh in the league. Her nine clean sheets in 2023 ranked first in the NWSL, her second time topping the league in clean sheets in three years.

Murphy also has some international experience, having played for Montpellier in France’s Division 1 Féminine. Murphy’s international experience, combined with her standout performance in club play, make her a compelling candidate for taking over the starting spot when Naeher eventually steps away.

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(Charlotte Tattersall/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Phallon Tullis-Joyce

If there is one player who could fit under the new-look USWNT squad led by new coach Emma Hayes, it’s Phallon Tullis-Joyce.

The 27-year-old departed OL Reign in 2023 for Manchester United, which is also home to World Cup Golden Glove winner Mary Earps. Earps is rumored to be departing Manchester United at the end of the Women’s Super League season, which could set up Tullis-Joyce to step into the starting spot for one of England’s best clubs.

Tullis-Joyce already is a top-notch keeper, having finished her time with OL Reign with 47 appearances, 135 saves and 15 clean sheets. She holds the club record for most clean sheets in regular season play with 13, and she ranks third on the club’s all-time regular-season saves list (110). In 2022, she ranked first in the NWSL in clean sheets (9), save percentage (81.3) and goals against per 90 (0.86). She also ranked fourth in saves and third in clean sheet percentage.

While she struggled to start the 2023 NW season relative to her 2022 performance, the move to Manchester United could prove beneficial for Tullis-Joyce and for the USWNT. Under Hayes, it’s likely that international club experience will be valued highly. After all, much has been made about the changes in the international game and how the USWNT’s players need to change with it.

A goalkeeper who has experience playing against some of the world’s best players in Europe (and keep in mind Tullis-Joyce also played professionally in France) could prove vital, especially as the 27-year-old takes this season to play under one of the best goalkeepers in the game in Earps.

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(Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Jane Campbell

The 2023 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year, Campbell has been playing her way back into consideration for the USWNT. And she was given that chance this month, as she was named to the national team roster for the December friendlies against China.

Campbell’s NWSL season was an outstanding one for the Houston Dash, with the keeper making a league-leading 93 saves and recording eight shutouts all while boasting an astounding 0.83 goals against average in 22 games played. She also conceded the fewest goals (18), even though she ranked third in the league in shots on target faced (108).

With Campbell in net, the Dash came within one goal of the NWSL record for fewest goals conceded in a season. (The record of 17 was set by the North Carolina Courage in 2017 and matched by the Portland Thorns in 2021.)

Campbell has spent time in USWNT camp before, having bounced in and out of senior national team camp since 2013 and making her international debut in 2017. She also spent extensive time in U.S. Soccer’s youth development system. The 28-year-old has made seven international appearances, and she was on the USWNT roster for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, where the team won bronze.

As a player in which the USWNT already has invested time, if Campbell continues the trend she started in 2023, she could find her way not just back onto the national team but into the starting spot.

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(Kiyoshi Mio/USA TODAY Sports)

Claudia Dickey

At just 23 years old, Claudia Dickey very well may be the goalkeeper of the future for the USWNT. A former UNC Tar Heel who was the 20th overall pick in the 2022 NWSL draft, Dickey took over the OL Reign starting spot from Phallon Tullis-Joyce during the 2023 Challenge Cup. She made three starts in the Challenge Cup, recording 12 saves and not allowing a single goal.

She then started in the remaining six games of the season as Tullis-Joyce departed for Manchester United. In the playoffs, she helped lead the team to an appearance in the NWSL championship final, setting the club record for shutouts in the NWSL playoffs with two. She also became just the fifth NWSL goalkeeper to earn a shutout in her postseason debut.

“My thing with her is just how much she’s improved since taking over the Reign starting job midseason, and she’s particularly fearless coming off her line,” Just Women’s Sports writer Claire Watkins says. “So I like her intangibles. She’s young, so the rest can be coached.”

While Dickey is inexperienced, she’s shown bright spots with a club that boasted big USWNT names such as Megan Rapinoe, Rose Lavelle and Emily Sonnett. While still young, she will continue to develop under head coach Laura Harvey after signing a contract extension through 2025. By the time that the 2027 World Cup rolls around, she could at the very least warrant a look for the backup position – if not the starting spot.

Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn and several more veteran players found themselves left off the U.S. women’s national team roster for the last camp of 2023. But don’t count them out for the 2024 Olympics.

USWNT interim head coach Twila Kilgore talked with each veteran player about the decision to leave them off the roster, she said Monday.

“None of the players that were left off the roster are out of the mix,” Kilgore said. “We want to win and we want to make sure that we bring the best players with us to the Olympics, and this is just one step in making sure that we are making the right decisions moving forward.”

Players who were called into the October camp but not the December camp include Morgan, Dunn, Alyssa Naeher, Sofia Huerta, Becky Sauerbrunn, Ashley Sanchez and Andi Sullivan.

“I did call all the players that were in the previous camp that aren’t on the roster and explain to them why,” Kilgore said. “Those conversations are between coach and player. But I will say that each and every one of them are professionals. They responded as professionals would. They understand that we’re watching everything they do, everything matters.”

The coaching staff knows what all these players “are capable of doing and what their value is,” Kilgore said. The USWNT sees in the upcoming friendlies against China the opportunity to evaluate a wider pool of players.

As the team continues to build toward next year’s Olympics, Kilgore and incoming head coach Emma Hayes wanted to get younger players some looks with the senior national team. But the veterans are still very much in the mix for the Olympics, she said.

“There’s equal opportunity moving forward to make this roster,” she added.

And as for why they called in the players that they did, including newcomers Jenna Nighswonger and Korbin Albert, their strong play at the club level contributed to the decision-making process.

“The leading factor was that these players have been performing really well in their home environments,” she said. “We’ve been consistently watching them and giving an opportunity to both challenge and support in our environment and be able to evaluate them.”

The final U.S. women’s national team roster of 2023 is here, with Rose Lavelle back in the fold for the first time since the World Cup after missing the last couple of camps with a lingering knee injury.

The 28-year-old midfielder missed all but four NWSL regular-season games but returned for the playoffs, helping lead OL Reign to the NWSL championship match. She also scored in the final for the Reign in their 2-1 loss to Gotham FC.

Despite the defeat, Lavelle looked as sharp as ever in the postseason, showcasing precisely what makes her such a huge asset both for the Reign and the USWNT. As the team looks to win its final two friendlies of the year against China, look for Lavelle to make an impact.

The USWNT will host China for two matches, the first on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m. ET, and the second on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 8 p.m. ET.

Several veteran players are sidelined for the friendlies, including forward Alex Morgan, defender Becky Sauerbrunn and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. Their absences, though, should not raise too many red flags, as resting veteran players for the final camp of the year is a standard practice for the USWNT.

Also absent from the December roster are defenders Crystal Dunn and Sofia Huerta and midfielders Ashley Sanchez and Andi Sullivan.

Interim head coach Twila Kilgore will continue to lead the team in the stead of newly announced head coach Emma Hayes. This is the first roster to be dropped since the USWNT named Emma Hayes as its next head coach. But with Hayes continuing with Chelsea through the conclusion of the Women’s Super League season, Kilgore will remain at the helm until Hayes joins the USWNT in May 2024.

Catarina Macario remains sidelined, and the Chelsea midfielder is not expected to return for club or country before the end of the year, according to Hayes. But another Chelsea player in Mia Fishel is back on the roster, as is San Diego Wave forward Jaedyn Shaw. Both scored their first international goals in the USWNT’s most recent match in San Diego, a 3-0 win against Colombia at the end of October.

New faces on the roster include Korbin Albert, a 20-year-old midfielder for Paris Saint-Germain, and Jenna Nighswonger, the NWSL Rookie of the Year from Gotham FC.

USWNT schedule: December 2023

  • Saturday, Dec. 2 — 3 p.m. ET (TNT, Universo, Peacock)
    • United States vs. China (DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
  • Tuesday, Dec. 5 — 8 p.m. ET (TruTV, Universo, Peacock)
    • United States vs. China (Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas)

USWNT roster: December 2023

Goalkeepers (3)

  • Jane Campbell (Houston Dash)
  • Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit)
  • Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage)

Defenders (7)

  • Alana Cook (OL Reign)
  • Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave)
  • Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars)
  • Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage)
  • Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave)
  • Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars
  • M.A. Vignola (Angel City FC)

Midfielders (8)

  • Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain)
  • Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns)
  • Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC)
  • Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyonnais)
  • Rose Lavelle (OL Reign)
  • Olivia Moultrie (Portland Thorns)
  • Jenna Nighswonger (Gotham FC)
  • Emily Sonnett (OL Reign)

Forwards (8)

  • Mia Fishel (Chelsea)
  • Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit)
  • Midge Purce (Gotham FC)
  • Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit)
  • Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave)
  • Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns)
  • Alyssa Thompson (Angel City FC)
  • Lynn Williams (Gotham FC)

As Julie Ertz played in her final match for the U.S. women’s national team, teammates and legends took the time to share their appreciation for the retiring star.

Carli Lloyd, who played with Ertz from Ertz’s start with the national team in 2013 to her own retirement in 2021, reminisced about their offseason training sessions and mealtime chats in a social media post.

“What I love about you is that you just rolled your sleeves up every single day and competed,” Lloyd wrote. “Whether you were starting or coming off the bench, you would always do what the team needed and you could always be counted on. … You displayed what this team is all about and what mentality is needed to help the team be successful.”

While Mia Hamm’s time with the national team did not overlap with Ertz, the all-time great also applauded Ertz upon her retirement, writing on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter: “Thank you for all you have done for the team, the country and the game.”

Ahead of Thursday’s 3-0 win against South Africa, which saw Ertz wear the captain’s armband for her swan song, her current teammates shared their memories in a series of videos posted to the USWNT’s social media accounts.

“What you do on and off the field, how you prepare yourself, how you approach the game, your mentality every single day in training, in games, in video, walking around with an iPad at all times — you just, you love it,” fellow midfielder Lindsey Horan said. “You love learning. You love working. And all of these things are such an inspiration to me.”

Alex Morgan praised Ertz’s tenacity and courage, while Alyssa Naeher highlighted her passion and emotion. And Crystal Dunn shared their parallel journeys with the national team.

“You and I have stepped onto this team pretty much at the same exact time,” Dunn said. “We got our caps at the same time. You’re somebody who shared a lot of similar moments and memories in our early stages of getting onto this team. And it’s been such a joy to be able to cheer you on.”

The U.S. women’s national team soon will bring in a new head coach following the departure of Vlatko Andonovski, and the prospect of a new era brings with it both excitement and nerves for players.

Several players have given their thoughts on what they want to see in the next head coach, and the most common request so far is a coach with ample international experience. On the latest episode of Just Women’s Sports‘ “Snacks” podcast, Alyssa Naeher and Lynn Williams spoke about the emotions behind it all.

The national team will enter its September camp in mere weeks, with Twila Kilgore as the interim head coach. And while there’s excitement in getting the team back together, there’s still a whole lot of new on the horizon.

“There’s going to be a new coach, there’s gonna be a new GM,” Williams said. “There’s gonna be a whole newness that’s in some ways exciting, but also very nerve-racking. Because you just never know, you never know if this coach is going to favor you.”

Williams added there’s a “plethora of things” that come with a new coach. And while there are nerves and some anxiety, there’s also an element of excitement.

“There is excitement. There’s nerves. There’s all of it,” Naeher said. “But I think that’s why we still do it.”

Naeher knows she’s in an interesting position right now, given that her Chicago Red Stars are in the midst of an ownership change. Amid all the transitions, “there’s nothing in my life that’s remotely stable at the moment,” she told Williams and co-host Sam Mewis. She is facing down plenty of questions: What is next for the Red Stars? What is next for the USWNT? What will the USWNT coach bring to the table? How will the national team prepare for the 2024 Olympics?

“There is excitement in the newness, newness is always scary,” Naeher continued. “Change is always scary. It’s always trying to hold on to not changing because you always [would] almost rather sail with what’s known then explore what’s not. It probably shouldn’t be that way. But we hold so tightly on to what we know.”

While there will be some familiarity with Kilgore in the September camp, players also know that this camp will be a good time to press the reset button. From here on, the team is moving forward and leaving the 2023 World Cup in the past.

Naeher would love to see the next coach of the USWNT bring out the best in each individual player as part of the collective whole. She also wants to see the team build its own identity while also respecting and representing the identity honed by the generations before.

“We have so many talented players, not just in the group of 23 that we just had, but even extending beyond that,” she said. “And how can we hone in on what each special skill is and create a new identity, but that is also representative of the 25 years that have come before us.

“I think that’s the fun part of a new challenge is, it’s our identity. It’s the new team’s identity, but it’s building off of all the building blocks of what’s come before us and each team that’s come and worn the jersey and represented the crest has all left a mark and their own imprint on the federation. That’s what we started building it on. And now it’s our opportunity to add our own little building blocks and create our own different things building on the past and looking towards the future all in one fell swoop.”

Alyssa Naeher still believes she saved Sweden’s game-winning penalty for the U.S. women’s national team at the 2023 World Cup. And she probably always will.

As the USWNT goalkeeper shared with Sam Mewis and Lynn Williams on the latest episode of “Snacks,” she spent the entire day with “this feeling in the pit of my stomach” that the Round of 16 match would end in a scoreless draw followed by a penalty shootout.

“I’m not really a visualization person,” she said. But leading up to the match, she even got the feeling that she would take a penalty kick herself, and that she would have to make a double save of one of Sweden’s shots.

“And it literally played out,” she said. “I’m like, I don’t know if I overly manifested this. But obviously in my head, in the visualization, we moved on and we won.”

That part of her vision did not come to fruition. While Naeher spent the shootout diving “as far as (she) possibly could,” and she even got a hand on Lina Hurtig’s shot in the seventh round, the ball tipped up into the air and crossed the goal line by millimeters before Naeher grabbed it.

“It felt like it was in slow motion,” she said. “I felt like I ended up diving past it, and I was just trying to get anything on it. Truthfully, I will go to my grave claiming that I saved it. You cannot convince me otherwise.”

Williams agreed with Naeher, saying she also thought the goalkeeper had made the save as she watched from the pitch with their USWNT teammates. And Naeher, for her part, still has a picture of the moment saved on her phone.

“I have looked at it an unhealthy amount of times since the game has ended,” she said. “I’ve watched it over and over.”

“There’s no space between the ball and the line,” Williams said.

“Like, I don’t think that you could convince me that [there was a goal],” Naeher continued. “I genuinely thought that I saved it.”

Even as the referee signaled that the shot had crossed the line, even as Sweden started to celebrate, Naeher could not believe it.

“When she blew the whistle and I watched them run, I don’t think I can describe the sinking feeling,” she said. “But it was the most bizarre way to end the game.”

When Williams watched the video of the penalty for the first time on the stadium screen, then saw Naeher “visible angry” with the result, the loss finally sunk in. Naeher rarely shows such anger, Williams said, so her emotion hammered home the reality of the defeat.

“It hits you all in one moment,” Naeher said. “But then it also then spreads out. And I think that anger, that emotion, that stuff… you know better than anybody how much time and energy gets put into the preparation for a tournament. What you sacrifice – time with family, time with friends – and it’s all worth it. You do it for those experiences. You do it for the honor to represent your country at a World Cup. That’s why you put in all that time.

“And obviously, no one game, no one tournament comes down to one play. But in that moment, it felt like we lost the World Cup by a millimeter.”

In the aftermath of the U.S. women’s national team’s exit from the 2023 World Cup, players are sharing their reflections on their journeys.

And the same message comes through, over and over again, though captain Lindsey Horan spelled it out in the simplest terms: “We will grow. We will be back.”

From veterans Megan Rapinoe to Alex Morgan to newcomers Sophia Smith and Trinity Rodman to every player in between, this is what the stars of the USWNT have to say in the aftermath of their World Cup elimination.

Megan Rapinoe

The 38-year-old forward leaves her fourth and final World Cup without a title, but she still expressed immense pride in her team in her first Instagram captain after the USWNT’s loss to Sweden in the Round of 16.

“This team is in special hands as I walk away, just like it always was, and always will be,” she wrote. “Because that is what this team is all about. We lay it all out on the line every single time.”

Alex Morgan

“This wound will not only heal but will serve as a defining moment in the history of USWNT — one we will grow and be stronger for,” the 34-year-old striker wrote.

While Morgan did not commit to her future with the national team in the immediate aftermath of the World Cup loss, she later told ESPN that she plans to stick around — at least for the near future.

Sophia Smith

A heartbroken Sophia Smith missed a would-be winning penalty kick in the fifth round of the shootout loss to Sweden.

“It wouldn’t be life without moments like this, and I know without a doubt we will be back and hungrier than ever,” the 23-year-old forward wrote.

Trinity Rodman

While the 21-year-old forward said she had “no words” to describe her World Cup experience, she did give her thanks “to everyone who helped me grow as a person, soccer player, and teammate during this journey of the unknown.”

Lynn Williams

The 30-year-old forward took the time to praise her team — and also to push back against bad-faith critics who questioned their dedication to their sport and their country.

“For our dedication and reasoning for wearing the crest to be questioned is unfathomable,” she wrote.

Alyssa Thompson

The 18-year-old forward did not play many minutes in her first World Cup, but the experience will stick with her forever.

“While the result was not what we had wanted, I learned so much about myself, this game, and life,” she wrote.

Lindsey Horan

Horan, along with Morgan, took on the mantle of the USWNT captaincy during the tournament. And despite the pressure and the disappointment of the 2023 tournament, the 29-year-old midfielder still expressed her unwavering love for the game.

“This is why we play right? To live in the biggest pressure moments. To play on the greatest stage. Playing for something you’ve dreamt of your entire life. Playing to inspire. Playing to bring joy. Playing in front of all of you,” she wrote. “This is why I love this game so much.”

Andi Sullivan

The 27-year-old midfielder shared a poem from Oriah Mountain Dreamer, which celebrates “the adventure of being alive.”

Savannah DeMelo

“It’s hard to put into words all the emotions that have been felt within the past few months, but I’m grateful for them all, the highs and even the lows,” the 25-year-old midfielder wrote.

Crystal Dunn

Although the game can be “so cruel,” the 31-year-old defender said, she remains “so proud of this group” for its fight and its unbreakable bond.

Kelley O’Hara

The 35-year-old defender, who won the 2015 and 2019 World Cup titles with the USWNT and also competed in the 2011 tournament, apologized for her role in the shootout loss to Sweden in her first Instagram post after the 2023 tournament. O’Hara missed her kick in the seventh round of the shootout, and then Lina Hurtig buried hers to seal the win for Sweden.

“I was asked to do one job at the final critical moment and I did not execute,” O’Hara wrote. “For that, I am beyond sorry.”

Sofia Huerta

To have the dream of a lifetime end “just like that” hurts, Huerta wrote. But 30-year-old defender plans “to stay focused on the good and to turn the losses into lessons.”

“What no one sees from the outside is how each player had to dig deep,” she wrote. “And while the end result was not what we had hoped for, what happened on the field in our last game was nothing short of inspiring.”

Alyssa Naeher

“I think a piece of my heart is still on that field in Melbourne,” Naeher wrote. The 35-year-old goalkeeper had the closest possible view of Sweden’s game-winning penalty kick, which Naeher batted and then grabbed from the air but not before it crossed the goal line by millimeters.

Aubrey Kingsbury

“Our World Cup ended just as we were getting started,” the 31-year-old backup goalkeeper wrote. The USWNT played its best game of the tournament in the shootout loss to Sweden in the Round of 16.

Casey Murphy

“I’m optimistic we will come back stronger,” the 27-year-old backup goalkeeper wrote. “But also defeated, sorry, and sad it’s over.”