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USWNT Women's World Cup 2023 roster: Who will Andonovski take to Australia & New Zealand?

10:00 AM EST 2/23/23
Alex Morgan Megan Rapinoe Lynn Williams USWNT composite
Reigning champions, the U.S. is one of the favourites for the title. But who will be on its World Cup roster?

This summer, the U.S. women's national team will aim to do what no team has ever done before and win a third successive Women's World Cup title.

However, things have not been easy for the world champion in recent times, with defeats to England, Spain and Germany in the latter months of 2022 showing the growth of women's soccer in Europe.

This is still a team packed with talent, though, and there will be high expectations on head coach Vlatko Andonovski at his first World Cup tournament despite recent struggles.

So, who will he trust to deliver on the big stage and handle the pressure that comes with playing for the USWNT?

GOAL takes a look at those in the picture for Andonovski's 23-player World Cup roster...

  • Casey Murphy USWNT 2022


    It's expected that the most predictable department on this roster will concern the goalkeepers.

    Alyssa Naeher, Casey Murphy and Adrianna Franch is the trio Andonovski has selected for the USWNT's last three camps, with Naeher likely to be No.1 choice.

    Both Aubrey Kingsbury (one cap) and Bella Bixby (uncapped) have been called up in the past 12 months, but it seems unlikely either will push their way into the World Cup squad at this point.

    Bella BixbyPortland Thorns
    Adrianna FranchKansas City Current
    Aubrey KingsburyWashington Spirit
    Casey MurphyNorth Carolina Courage
    Alyssa NaeherChicago Red Stars
  • Becky Sauerbrunn USWNT 2023


    With the quality and experience the USWNT has in its defensive options, it feels like - one way or another - there is going to be a notable name left off this roster.

    Becky Sauerbrunn, Naomi Girma and Alana Cook appear to be shoo-ins, with Emily Fox and Sofia Huerta having nailed down regular starting roles in the build-up to the World Cup as well. Crystal Dunn is another extremely likely to make the roster.

    That's six names already. So who else will Andonovski pick?

    Tierna Davidson will soon make her return after an ACL injury and offers top quality cover at both full-back and centre-back. Kelley O'Hara is almost back, too, while Emily Sonnett made her first appearance in six months after injury in the USWNT's January camp.

    Meanwhile, Hailie Mace, Carson Pickett and Imani Dorsey are others who Andonovski has looked at, with Mace in particular staking a real claim for a place on the roster.

    Picking a well-balanced group of defenders and ensuring there is quality and cover in all areas will be one of Andonovski's toughest tasks when it comes to selecting the 23 players he will take to Australia and New Zealand.

    Alana CookOL Reign
    Tierna DavidsonChicago Red Stars
    Imani DorseyGotham
    Crystal DunnPortland Thorns
    Emily FoxNorth Carolina Courage
    Naomi GirmaSan Diego Wave
    Sofia HuertaOL Reign
    Hailie MaceKansas City Current
    Kelley O'HaraGotham
    Carson PickettRacing Louisville
    Becky SauerbrunnPortland Thorns
    Emily SonnettOL Reign
  • Catarina Macario USWNT


    There are a lot of questions surrounding the USWNT's midfield - particularly its base.

    Rose Lavelle excelled in a deeper position in January against New Zealand but Sam Coffey, who appears to be a perfect fit for the role, didn't see any game time.

    While many believe Coffey should be on the World Cup roster, her lack of minutes in the USWNT's first camp of 2023 and omission from the SheBelieves Cup squad may suggest Andonovski has other ideas, with him trialling Taylor Kornieck as a No.6 and also having Andi Sullivan as a strong option there.

    Lavelle is sure to be on the plane to Australia and New Zealand, as is Lyon's Lindsey Horan. Ashley Sanchez appears to have established herself in the coach's plans, too.

    Catarina Macario is in the latter stages of her recovery from an ACL injury now and is one of this team's most important players. Should all go well on her return, she will also have a ticket.

    Jaelin Howell still has an outside chance of making the roster, while Kristie Mewis having had a big chance to impress at the SheBelieves Cup and stake her claim.

    Sam CoffeyPortland Thorns
    Lindsey HoranLyon
    Jaelin HowellRacing Louisville
    Taylor KornieckSan Diego Wave
    Rose LavelleOL Reign
    Catarina MacarioLyon
    Kristie MewisGotham
    Ashley SanchezWashington Spirit
    Andi SullivanWashington Spirit
  • Trinity Rodman USWNT 2022


    The strength in depth that the USWNT has right now in the forward areas is insane.

    Few players in world football had a better year in 2022 than Sophia Smith, who became the NWSL's youngest MVP in history.

    Alex Morgan was the only player to score more league goals last season, winning her first ever NWSL Golden Boot at the age of 33.

    Mallory Swanson (née Pugh) and Ashley Hatch were fifth and sixth in those scoring standings respectively, with the former having a particularly fruitful run in front of goal for the national team right now.

    Then there's Trinity Rodman, one of the most exciting young talents in world football and a player who is clearly growing and maturing every time she plays for the USWNT. At the other end of the age spectrum is Megan Rapinoe, who is not any less effective as she approaches her 38th birthday.

    Lynn Williams' return in January will have only intensified Andonovski's selection headache, with both her and Midge Purce impressing enough to retain a place on the roster for the SheBelieves Cup.

    That's before we think about Christen Press' looming return, the 34-year-old having almost fully recovered from an ACL tear, or mention teenage talent Alyssa Thompson, who may just miss the cut for this World Cup after making her debut in October - but will have many more to come in her career.

    Smith, Rapinoe, Morgan and Swanson are the safest bets to get on the roster for this summer, with Andonovski set to make some incredibly - and unenviable - tough calls on the rest.

    Ashley HatchWashington Spirit
    Alex MorganSan Diego Wave
    Christen PressAngel City
    Midge PurceGotham
    Megan RapinoeOL Reign
    Trinity RodmanWashington Spirit
    Sophia SmithPortland Thorns
    Mallory SwansonChicago Red Stars
    Alyssa ThompsonAngel City
    Lynn WilliamsGotham
  • Vlatko Andonovski USWNT 2021


    Andonovski's USWNT will continue in a 4-3-3 set-up, with Naeher likely to take the starting spot in goal.

    It's a battle between Girma, Sauerbrunn and Cook for the two center-back spots, with the latter perhaps to miss out in a first-choice XI.

    Again, there are three players vying for two spots when it comes to the outside backs. Dunn should start on the left, while Fox could edge out Huerta on the opposite flank.

    A trio of Lavelle, Horan and Macario would represent the USWNT's best options in a midfield three, though the latter could be pushed into the front line if Andonovski opts for more defensive stability in there with Sullivan, for example.

    The forward line is probably the toughest to call, with Morgan to lead the line, Swanson to start on the left and Smith to operate from the right a possibility.

    USWNT XI (4-3-3): Naeher; Fox, Girma, Sauerbrunn, Dunn; Horan, Lavelle, Macario; Smith, Morgan, Swanson.

  • Sam Mewis USWNT Goal 50 SLIDELIST


    There are several key names missing for the USWNT at the moment, including four world champions.

    Julie Ertz gave birth to a baby boy last year and needs "a little bit more time to prepare before she even starts training with a team", Andonovski said in January. It seems unlikely that she will be able to force her way onto the roster before this summer.

    Meanwhile, both Abby Dahlkemper and Tobin Heath have been out for significant periods with injuries.

    Dahlkemper underwent surgery in November and, while she has since provided a positive update, there is no timeline as for when she will be back on the pitch.

    There is no indication as to when Heath will be back playing, either. After an injury-plagued spell at Arsenal, she moved back to the U.S. to join OL Reign and had knee surgery in September.

    Like Ertz, Sam Mewis has not featured for club or country since August 2021 - albeit for very different reasons. The midfielder has been suffering with a knee problem that needed a second surgery in January 2023.

    "This has been a really difficult time for me personally and I’ve been devastated to be away from soccer for so long," she said upon providing the update. There is no timeline for her return.

    Abby DahlkemperSan Diego WaveInjury
    Julie ErtzAngel CityRecently gave birth
    Tobin HeathOL ReignInjury
    Sam MewisKansas City CurrentInjury