Introducing the new USWNT! Twelve young stars who offer hope for World Cup glory in 2027

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As several iconic players are phased out, the USWNT's next generation will soon begin their takeover

A new era is coming. With the United States women's national team's loss to Sweden, the rebuild has officially begun. The back-to-back World Cup titles are officially in the past. The USWNT are no longer defending champions, so onto the next.

Several key figures will be phased out in the coming years as the U.S. looks to move on from the team that was so successful in 2015 and 2019. The good news, though, is that there are plenty of rising stars worth being excited about as that new era begins.

Some are familiar faces, key players from this World Cup team that got a taste of the bright lights in Australia and New Zealand. Others are a bit further away from breaking through, young prospects still a few years from really making the leap from starlet to superstar.

But who are they? GOAL takes a look at the USWNT rising stars to keep an eye on in the coming years:

  1. Sophia Smith
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    Sophia Smith

    Sophia Smith offered a glimpse of her ability this summer, even if she never quite got going in the way many expected her to. But Smith is still just 22 years old with the world at her feet - who knows how good she'll be in four years time?

    The Portland Thorns star and reigning NWSL MVP could very well be starting in a different spot by the time the 2027 World Cup rolls around, as it seems likely she'll eventually be moved to striker after playing on the wing this summer.

    Smith will remain a key player for the USWNT for some time and could very well grow into one of the team's leaders by the time the next World Cup kicks-off.

  2. Alyssa Thompson
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    Alyssa Thompson

    The world got a glimpse of 18-year-old starlet Alyssa Thompson this summer, which is a major achievement in of itself. The fact that she's already at that level is incredible, and Thompson is just getting started.

    Thompson is in her first year as a professional with Angel City and will only just be entering her prime when the next World Cup kicks-off. It's a scary thought considering how good she is already. She was an impact sub this time around, but she likely won't stay in that role for long; Thompson should be a regular in the USWNT XI very, very soon.

  3. Trinity Rodman

    Trinity Rodman

    Another young player that played a key role this summer, Trinity Rodman isn't going anywhere. The 21-year-old winger is just scratching the surface of her potential, which she showed glimpses of during the USWNT's four-game run. She started three of those four games and was one of several standouts in the opener for the U.S.

    She's already been an NWSL best XI selection and has 22 U.S. caps to her name, while she doesn't turn 22 until next May. Rodman seems well on her way to being one of the best wingers in the world.

  4. Catarina Macario
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    Catarina Macario

    What would the USWNT have looked like if Catarina Macario was healthy? The midfield superstar missed out due to injury, leaving the U.S. without perhaps the team's best creative player. Without Macario, the U.S. simply didn't have the right balance in the attack, proving just how vital she is to how this team plays.

    Having left Lyon to join Chelsea this summer, she'll be back in action soon and will play a big part under whoever the next national team coach is. Few players in the world can take over a game like Macaraio, and the USWNT will be glad to see her back doing that once healthy.

  5. Mallory Swanson

    Mallory Swanson

    Like Macario, another player that will have the USWNT wondering 'what if?' Mallory Swanson's untimely injury came at the worst possible time, taking her out in the midst of the best run of form of her career. It was a huge loss for the USWNT, who surely could have used her this summer as they struggled for goals.

    The 25-year-old forward is the oldest player on this list and she'll very much be in her prime for the next cycle as the U.S. look to return to the mountaintop.

  6. Naomi Girma

    Naomi Girma

    Naomi Girma was the USWNT's best player at the World Cup, and she's only 23. Girma is already one of the game's elite defenders and her performances this summer proved it.

    She's just so smooth and composed, making the game look effortless at one of the toughest positions for a young player to thrive in. Girma isn't going anywhere, for sure.

  7. Gisele Thomspon

    Gisele Thomspon

    Oh look, another Thompson! Gisele, the younger sister of the aforementioned Alyssa is a star in the making, with the potential to be right up there with her older sibling. The 17-year-old starlet has already played at Under-20 level internationally and has trained with her sister's club, Angel City.

    While Alyssa is a talented winger, Gisele is a rising star at full-back, a position that could very well undergo plenty of change for the USWNT in the coming years.

  8. Jaedyn Shaw

    Jaedyn Shaw

    U.S. Soccer's Young Female Player of the Year for 2022, San Diego Wave starlet Jaedyn Shaw is already a key figure under Casey Stoney, who has found a way to unlock the 18-year-old in a No.10 role.

    Capable of playing all over the attack, Shaw is fantastic on the ball and looks like she'll be another superstar attacker for the U.S. to turn to.

  9. Olivia Moultrie

    Olivia Moultrie

    It's been four years since Olivia Moultrie announced that she was ready to turn professional, which means she's now 17 years old. Yes, you read that right.

    The young Portland Thorns midfielder already has an NWSL title on her resume and has been a regular for the club since 2021. She's played for the U.S. up to the U20 level, but hasn't quite broken through with the USWNT. That will change at some point as Moultrie continues on her path to becoming one of the world's elite.

  10. Lexi Missimo
    Texas Longhorns

    Lexi Missimo

    A 20-year-old University of Texas star that has already been capped up to the U23 level, Lexi Missimo has twice appeared on the NXGN list of the best teenage players in the world and been linked with Manchester City and Arsenal.

    She's been compared to the likes of USWNT stars Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis, which is a pretty good sign considering what that trio of midfielders has accomplished at the highest level. Much will be determined by where she ends up once her professional career starts, though, as Missimo has some big decisions to make going forward.

  11. Trinity Byars
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    Trinity Byars

    Missimo's running mate at Texas, Trinity Byars should be a heck of a player herself. A U.S. U23 forward who was a sprinter in high school, Byers has averaged more than a goal contribution per game since arriving at college level.

    The 20-year-old's development is something to watch, as she has the potential to be a force in the NWSL and with the USWNT whenever she does arrive into the professional game.

  12. Mia Fishel

    Mia Fishel

    Mia Fishel opted to turn down the NWSL for Liga MX, and that decision has been validated in the year-and-a-half since. The forward scored 38 goals in 48 games for Tigres, earning a big move to Chelsea this summer as she looks to take the next step in her career.

    Fishel, 22, will reportedly cost Chelsea $260,000 (£200k), and should be a key player for the defending Women's Super League champions once their season begins in October.