Alex Morgan off USWNT roster, Dahlkemper returns vs. China

United States women’s national team interim manager Twila Kilgore has named a 26-player roster ahead of a pair of December friendlies against China, one that omits several USWNT mainstays, including Alex Morgan, and includes 11 players with fewer than 10 caps.

The U.S. will play the first friendly against China on Dec. 2 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with the second set to take place three days later in Frisco, Texas.

The matches take place following the naming of Chelsea manager Emma Hayes to take over as U.S. manager.

But with Hayes set to see out the remainder of the club season with the Blues, Kilgore will oversee the training camp and two friendlies.

The roster was put together in consultation with Hayes and U.S. Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker.

Among the absentees are six World Cup players who were on the USWNT roster for a pair of friendlies last month, a group that includes OL Reign defender Sofia Huerta, San Diego Wave FC forward Alex Morgan, Chicago Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, Washington Spirit midfielder Ashley Sanchez, Portland Thorns FC defender Becky Sauerbrunn and Spirit midfielder Andi Sullivan.

The roster includes two uncapped players in Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Korbin Albert as well as NJ/NY Gotham FC midfielder and NWSL Rookie of the Year Jenna Nighswonger.

“As we move forward with the next steps, we need more opportunities to see players from our pool in our unique national team environment, in both training and games, so we can evaluate if and how they might contribute moving forward to the Olympics,” said Kilgore.

“We value these players who have recently been in camps or played in World Cup and were not chosen for this roster, and they are of course still a part of our pool, but we know what they bring on and off the field. At the same time, we also need to continue to evaluate and bring along players in the right ways to give the team the best chance for success.”

Nighswonger appeared in 20 games for Gotham while playing more than 1,500 minutes in her first professional season.

She scored three goals, tied for second among all rookies.

Albert signed with PSG in January 2023 after playing collegiately at the University of Notre Dame.

Since then, she has played in 17 matches for the Paris club with 10 starts over the second half of last season and the start of this season.

The roster also includes a pair of veteran defenders returning to the USWNT squad, those being the San Diego Wave’s Abby Dahlkemper and the Chicago Red Stars’ Tierna Davidson.

Dahlkemper returned to the field in 2023 after undergoing back surgery, and helped lead the Wave to the NWSL regular season title.

This is her first call-up since April 2022. Davidson recently recovered from a facial injury, though she was on the U.S. roster for a pair of September friendlies.

Midfielder Rose Lavelle is also back in the squad for the first time since the end of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The USWNT last played China in 2018, recording 1-0 and 2-1 victories.

Those were the 59th and 60th meetings between the two countries, the second-most all-time for the USWNT against an opponent behind Canada.

The two sides memorably contested the 1999 World Cup final, which the USWNT won via a penalty shootout.

U.S. women’s national team roster by position (club; caps/goals) — December friendlies vs. China PR

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 7), Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit; 1), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 16)

DEFENDERS (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign; 29/1), Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC; 79/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 50/1), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage; 37/1), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC; 24/0), Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars; 41/0), M.A. Vignola (Angel City FC; 1/0)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA; 0/0), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC; 5/0), Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC; 6/0), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 137/30), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 91/24), Olivia Moultrie (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), Jenna Nighswonger (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 0/0), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign; 81/2)

FORWARDS (8): Mia Fishel (Chelsea FC, ENG; 2/1), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 21/5), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 24/4), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit; 26/6), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC; 2/1), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 36/14), Alyssa Thompson (Angel City FC; 8/0), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 58/17)

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