Breaking Down Tom Sermanni’s 1st USWNT Roster

January 22, 2013
By

New USWNT head coach Tom Sermanni named his first U.S. roster today as U.S. Soccer released 29 names that will be included in Sermanni’s first national team camp.

The team will take on Sermanni’s native Scotland in two friendlies next month, the first on February 9 in Jacksonville, Florida, the second on February 13 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Here is a breakdown of the roster.

The Olympic 18

Even if the USWNT will be shaking things up over the next 30 months leading up to the 2015 World Cup, it would have been near suicidal for Sermanni to drop any of the players who won the Olympics this past summer.

So, there were no surprises as 17 of the 18 Olympic gold medalists were called in. This group includes Hope Solo, Nicole Barnhart, Rachel Buehler, Kelley O’Hara, Christie Rampone, Heather Mitts, Becky Sauerbrunn, Lauren Cheney, Shannon Boxx, Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Heather O’Reilly, Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Amy Rodriguez and Abby Wambach.

Amy LePeilbet was not called in due to a knee injury.

The Olympic Alternates

Three of the four Olympic alternates were also named to the squad in Jill Loyden, Lori Lindsey and Christen Press. The lone absence is Meghan Klingenberg who is recovering from shoulder surgery.

Lindsey was a part of the 2011 World Cup and played 90 minutes against Colombia in that tournament. She has most recently been allocated to the Washington Spirit of the NWSL.

Press was the second-leading scorer in Sweden in 2012 and recently secured a move to Swedish champions Tyreso.

Loyden has been a part of numerous U.S. camps over the past few years and was recently allocated to Sky Blue FC in the NWSL.

The Return of Ali Krieger

This will be the first time Ali Krieger has been with the squad since suffering an ACL injury during Olympic qualifying against the Dominican Republic last January.

Krieger played every single minute of the 2011 World Cup for the USWNT. She has also recently returned from playing professionally in Germany to join the Washington Spirit of the NWSL.

The U-20 Inclusions and the U-20 Snubs

Two of the standouts from the U.S. U-20 World Cup championship team made the lineup with Crystal Dunn and Julie Johnston getting their first call-ups to the senior team.

Dunn starred for the U-20’s at right-back and played as both a defender and an attacking midfielder while helping the University of North Carolina to the national championship this fall.

Johnston captained the U-20 team and was a rock for the team at center-back. Johnston frequently plays in the midfield for her collegiate team, Santa Clara University.

There were two notable exceptions from the U.S. U-20 level who were not included on Sermanni’s first roster.

The first is Kealia Ohai who excelled as a wide forward with the U-20’s and as a center forward this past fall for UNC. Ohai had the game-winning goal in the U-20 World Cup final—the only goal scored against Germany in the entire tournament—as well as the game-winning goal in the NCAA semi-finals and the opening goal of the NCAA championship game this past fall.

The other exclusion on Sermanni’s first roster from the U-20 level is Lindsey Horan. Horan was the U-20’s leading scorer prior to the U-20 World Cup, but missed the tournament due to a meniscus tear. She has been playing professionally since last fall for Paris Saint-Germain.

Not Really New

Ashlyn Harris, Whitney Engen and Yael Averbuch haven’t been with the team in awhile, but none of them are really newbies.

Harris, who has most recently been playing in Germany, but will be returning to the United States to play for the Washington Spirit in the NWSL, has been called into numerous U.S. camps in the past.

Engen saw action with the USWNT in the 2011 Algarve Cup and was the WPS Defender of the Year in 2011. She most recently signed with Liverpool.

Averbuch has over a dozen caps with the USWNT, most of them coming in 2010. Most recently, she has been playing professionally in Sweden.

The True Newbies

Jane Campbell, only 17 years old, most recently saw action in the U-17 World Cup.

Kristie Mewis has been a prominent feature of U.S. youth teams in the past. She won the Bronze Ball at the 2008 U-17 World Cup and was most recently drafted by FC Kansas City in the NWSL.

Keelin Winters formerly played with the U.S. U-20 setup and captained the team to a World Cup championship in 2008. She has been playing in Germany and was one of the few non-USWNT regulars to be subsidized by U.S. Soccer for the NWSL. She was allocated to the Chicago Red Stars.

John D. Halloran
johnhalloran@hotmail.com


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6 Responses to Breaking Down Tom Sermanni’s 1st USWNT Roster

  1. DE Dupuis on January 23, 2013 at 6:00 am

    What’s the story with the Ohai exclusion?
    Does Sermanni really think there are 20 better American women soccer players?
    If so, how did he get the job?
    The list of clutch goals Kealia has scored is long and famous, not a player to be left out of the fold.

    • John D. Halloran on January 23, 2013 at 9:52 am

      You got me.

      I could understand if he left all the U-20′s off and just wanted to look at the pros first.

      The only rationale I can think of is that our depth in the back is not that good and Dunn and Johnston may be able to fix that. We have plenty of forwards (Wambach, Morgan, Leroux, Press). I think this will be A-Rod’s last USWNT camp. I have no doubt Ohai is better.

      • DE Dupuis on January 23, 2013 at 6:17 pm

        Were I Tom I would be thinking that by the next WC, AW is very unlikely to be effective over 90 min. So, I would start reworking the team to play with 3 speedsters up front instead of a large target player. These 3 would rotate between Morgan, Leroux, Rapinoe, and Ohai. Rapinoe would also be in the rotation at midfield along with Heath, Cheney, and Lloyd. I would also be thinking that holding mid is our biggest trouble spot – and wouldn’t it be great if we a fast, fit, tough tackling, all arounder to play HM – and yes we do, Dunn. OK she would also be great at right FB but I think she could be epic at HM, let the transition start. And of course the torch must be passed from super Mom to JJ, can’t wait to see those two play together.

        • John D. Halloran on January 25, 2013 at 5:55 pm

          I’d like to see Johnston get a shot at the holding mid position. She’s very good in the air, smart on the ball, can tackle, etc… Although I would concede it is also a position of maturity and experience. I wonder how Johnston’s speed will hold up as a center-back against players like Lisa De Vanna from Australia.

  2. Danny on January 24, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    I’m pumped to see Johnston and Dunn in the mix here, and I can’t really say Ohai’s exclusion bothers me right now. She is undoubtedly a great player, and will be in the mix soon enough, but I don’t know if I necessarily want her there over Press or Rodriguez at this exact moment. There’s just no need to get her into the mix right now. I think right now the focus needs to be on building a new defense and Dunn and Johnston need to be there. I feel Dunn is more likely to emerge as a star more quickly, only because we need an outside back more than a center back–but I do like the idea of also trying her out at holding mid.

    For me, the most exciting part of this is Krieger’s return. I hope she’s back to form.

    With no real major tournament until the 2014 Gold Cup, Sermanni has time to look at new players and work out new lineups. This is a solid bunch, and I hope that the Sermanni era starts off well.

    • John D. Halloran on January 25, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      Can’t disagree that the defense is/will be a major area of concern. And Dunn should prove to be an outstanding defender for the USWNT.

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