The United States women’s national team (USWNT) will close out its 2016 schedule with the second in a pair of international friendlies against Romania, FIFA’s 36th-ranked team in the world, on Sunday, November 13.
On Thursday night, the USWNT defeated the Romanians 8-1, thanks to a hat trick by Christen Press, a brace by Alex Morgan and goals by Tobin Heath and Morgan Brian. Romania also scored an own goal, adding to the USWNT’s total.
The lone Romanian goal came thanks to defensive errors by Allie Long, recently pushed back from defensive midfielder to centerback as Jill Ellis has switch from a four back to a three-back formation. That error caught goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris far off her line, and in a split-second decision, Harris decided to run forward instead of back towards goal, and Romania’s Laura Rus capitalized on the mistake.
Harris’s error will likely not be a potential factor Sunday, as Ellis has been splitting goalkeeping duties equally between her two regular goalkeepers—Harris and Alyssa Naeher. That means Naeher, who seems to be steadier and more reliable in goal, will likely be between the posts for the U.S. on Sunday.
As Ellis continues to experiment with personnel and formations, fans may likely see players who did not take the field Thursday night take it on Sunday. Veterans Ali Krieger and Megan Rapinoe did not dress for Thursday’s match, and if they do not dress or play on Sunday night, that might be an indicator that Ellis no longer sees them in her future plans for the USWNT. Both Krieger and Rapinoe are popular with fans, so this revelation would be disappointing to many if true.
Kristen Edmonds, Emily Menges and Abby Dahlkemper, three newcomers to the USWNT, also did not dress Thursday but likely will on Sunday. Dahlkemper subbed into both friendlies again Switzerland back in October to earn her first two caps for the national team. Edmonds’ and Menges’ calls into this November USWNT camp was the very first of their careers, and it is likely that Ellis will test them out against Romania on Sunday to give them their first national team caps as well.
While Sunday’s match will most likely not be a close competition between the two teams, it has the potential to once again be a goal fest for the USWNT.
The USWNT closes out its 2016 schedule with its final international friendly against Romania on Sunday, November 13 at 9:30 p.m. EST. The match will be aired on FoxSports1 (FS1) and streamed on FoxSportsGo.com and the FoxSportsGo mobile app.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (Western New York Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Emily Menges (Portland Thorns FC), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Kristen Edmonds (Orlando Pride), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign), Andi Sullivan (Stanford)
FORWARDS (6): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Jessica McDonald (Western New York Flash), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Lynn Williams (Western New York Flash)