CHICAGO – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named Julie Ertz, Sofia Huerta, Alyssa Naeher and Casey Short to the final 23-player roster for the 2018 SheBelieves Cup. Ellis and her staff trained 25 players for four days in Orlando, Fla., before naming the roster for matches against No. 2 ranked Germany, No. 3 England and No. 6 France.
The U.S. team will kick off the third annual edition of the world’s most elite-four team tournament on Thursday, March 1 at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. England will open against France (4 p.m. ET on ESPN3) followed by the USA against Germany (7 p.m. ET on ESPN2).
All the teams will then travel to New Jersey and Red Bull Arena where the USA will play the first match of the day on Sunday, March 4, taking on France (12 p.m. ET on ESPN2) followed by Germany vs. England (3 p.m. ET on ESPN3). The tournament will finish on Wednesday, March 7, at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, Florida, as France takes on Germany (4 p.m. ET on ESPN3) followed by the tournament finale featuring the USA against England (7 p.m. ET on ESPNews). All six games will also be available on the ESPN app.
“We have an experienced and hungry group of players who are excited to take on a big rival,” said Ellis ahead of the Germany match. “The players relish the opportunities to play the absolute best teams in the world and after a really productive week of training in Florida, we’re ready for the unique challenges that each of these teams will present.”
Ellis named three goalkeepers, seven defenders, six midfielders and seven forwards to the roster, which includes Crystal Dunn, who has been in England during the pre-tournament camp but will join the U.S. team in Columbus after traveling from London where she has played for Chelsea FC for the past year.
2018 SheBelieves Cup Roster by Position; Caps/Goals:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Jane Campbell** (Houston Dash; 2/0), 24-Ashlyn Harris*** (Orlando Pride; 14/0), 1-Alyssa Naeher*** (Chicago Red Stars; 24/0)
DEFENDERS (7): 7-Abby Dahlkemper* (NC Courage; 14/0), 17-Tierna Davidson* (Stanford; 1/0), 14-Sofia Huerta* (Chicago Red Stars; 3/0), 5-Kelley O’Hara*** (Utah Royals FC; 105/2), 2-Casey Short** (Chicago Red Stars; 19/0), 22-Taylor Smith* (Washington Spirit; 8/0), 16-Emily Sonnett*** (Portland Thorns FC; 13/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 6-Morgan Brian*** (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 69/6), 8-Julie Ertz*** (Chicago Red Stars; 58/15), 9-Lindsey Horan*** (Portland Thorns FC; 44/4), 10-Carli Lloyd*** (Sky Blue FC; 247/98), 20-Allie Long** (Seattle Reign FC; 33/6), 3-Andi Sullivan* (Washington Spirit; 8/0)
FORWARDS (7): 19-Crystal Dunn*** (NC Courage; 58/23), 21-Savannah McCaskill* (Sky Blue FC; 1/0), 13-Alex Morgan*** (Orlando Pride; 135/81), 23-Christen Press*** (Houston Dash; 97/44), 11-Mallory Pugh*** (Washington Spirit; 30/8), 15-Megan Rapinoe* (Seattle Reign FC; 130/34), 12-Lynn Williams** (NC Courage; 16/4)
*First SheBelieves Cup
**Second SheBelieves Cup
***Third SheBelieves Cup
Tickets for all three doubleheaders are on sale through ussoccer.com and by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before the game, and other unique benefits) will be available only for the March 4 event at Red Bull Arena exclusively through ussoccer.com. To receive notifications directly and for early ticket access, join U.S. Soccer’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat.
- All the games in the 2018 SheBelieves Cup will be the USA’s first meetings against these countries since last year’s tournament, starting with Germany.
- Sixteen of the players named were on last year’s SheBelieves Cup roster. Twelve U.S. players will be participating in their third SheBelieves Cup. The average age of the U.S. roster is 25.8 years-old.
- The tournament format will be the same as the first two years. The winner will be based on total points (three for a win, one for a draw), with the first tie-breaker being overall goal difference, followed by goals scored, then head-to-head result and lastly, FIFA ranking if necessary. Teams are allowed six substitutes each per game.
- The roster features 21 NWSL players, one player playing in Europe (Morgan Brian) and one non-professional player in Tierna Davidson.
- Three players on the roster have scored in previous SheBelieves Cup tournaments: Alex Morgan (2), Crystal Dunn and Lynn Williams.
- In the previous two editions of this tournament, no individual player has scored more than two goals in a tournament and only a pair have scored two in a tournament, Morgan in 2016 and Camille Abily of France in 2017.
- Carli Lloyd is the most capped player on the roster with 247 games played and is two goals away from becoming the sixth player in U.S. history to score 100 international goals. Morgan is the next highest scorer with 81 goals.
- Mallory Pugh leads the USA in scoring in 2018 after bagging two goals in the opening game of the year, a 5-1 win against Denmark on Jan. 21.
- 2017 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year Julie Ertz comes in with 58 caps and 15 goals.
- Forward Savannah McCaskill and defender Davidson both make their first tournament roster after earning their first caps on Jan. 21 vs. Denmark in San Diego.
- Sofia Huerta and Andi Sullivan also make their first tournament rosters with the U.S. WNT.
- Three of the four coaches in the tournament are women: the USA’s Jill Ellis, who recently completed her U.S. Soccer Pro Course License, Corinne Diacre of France and Steffi Jones from Germany.
- The 2018 SheBelieves Cup will mark the debut of new England head coach Phil Neville, the former Manchester United and Everton star and England National Team defender.
- The three players on the preliminary roster in Orlando who did not make the 23-player roster are midfielder Rose Lavelle, forward Ashley Hatch and defender Hailie Mace.
- The winner of second annual SheBelieves Hero contest was 13-year-old Hollis Belger who will travel Harrison, N.J. to watch USA vs. France match on March 4.
- U.S. Soccer is set to host its first SheBelieves Summit. Set for March 3 in NYC, the Summit is a day-long event meant to celebrate opportunity, empower attendees and equip young women with the inspiration, tools and connections to pursues and accomplish their goals – in life, in school, on fields and in their future careers. More information here.