On Thursday afternoon Jill Ellis officially named the 23 players she’s taking with her to the 2019 Women’s World Cup. The announcement comes just under five weeks from the start of the tournament, which kicks off in France on June 7 and concludes on July 7.
Sky Blue FC and New Jersey’s own Carli Lloyd, the “Hat Trick Hero,” will once again be representing the U.S. on the world’s biggest stage.
This will be the 36-year-old midfielder’s fourth consecutive World Cup tournament that Lloyd will be competing in, her first being in 2007.
Lloyd’s inclusion does not come as a surprise to anyone. For one, Lloyd been a near permanent fixture in U.S. camps throughout the last cycle. She now has scored 107 goals in 271 caps for the team in her lengthy tenure with them.
But Lloyd is also known to be a big-game player, playing at her best when the competition—and the stakes—are highest.
That, of course, has resulted in Lloyd scoring the gold medal-winning goals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and, more memorably, scoring the first ever hat trick in a Women’s World Cup final when she led the U.S. to their third tournament win in 2015.
Lloyd’s role may be slightly different in 2019 than in 2015, when she started every match in the U.S.’s World Cup tournament. Since the start of 2018, she has often come off the bench three times as often as she started matches (six starts in 24 appearances).
In January 2016 Lloyd was also tapped to co-captain the national team alongside Becky Sauerbrunn, and Lloyd wore the armband whenever on the field.
However, at the start of this year, Ellis has shifted her philosophy to where the starting player with the most U.S. caps will wear the arm band, resulting in Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan often splitting the on-field captain duties.
So while Lloyd’s 2019 World Cup could look very different from her 2015 tournament, her inclusion on the U.S.’s tournament roster is not surprising at all.
The more surprising inclusions are those of veteran defender Ali Krieger and midfielders Morgan Brian and Allie Long.
In April Krieger was called into national team camp for the first time since 2017. She earned her 99th cap on April 7, going the full 90 in the U.S.’s 6-0 win over Belgium.
Brian was an integral part of the 2015 World Cup-winning squad, dominating the midfield like a player with double her experience. Her soccer IQ is one of the sharpest in the game, and when healthy she is an extremely dangerous player.
Unfortunately, Brian has not been healthy for much of the current cycle, battling a litany of ongoing injuries. Although Morgan is currently playing extremely well for the Chicago Red Stars, whether she can remain healthy enough to be a major factor for the U.S. remains to be seen.
Like Brian, Long has been left out of recent U.S. camps. After being one of the few players to come to the national team via the NWSL pipeline, Long lost her allocation status as a U.S. federation player in 2019, signaling to many that she wouldn’t be making the final cut.
Less surprising is the inclusion of Jessica McDonald, who has been a key player for the North Carolina Courage in their dominant last two seasons. Like Long, McDonald’s club play earned her another shot with the national team, and her performance there booked her ticket to France.
Notable omissions from the roster, though, include defender Casey Short and midfielders Andi Sullivan and McCall Zerboni.
The full U.S. World Cup roster is below.
Goalkeepers (3): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
Defenders (7): Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
Midfielders (6): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Allie Long (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage)
Forwards (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC)