Rapinoe among 17 from World Cup champs on US Olympic roster
LOS ANGELES, June 24, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - Strikers Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan were among 17 players from the 2019 Women's World Cup championship team named Wednesday to the US women's football squad for the Tokyo Olympics.
US national team coach Vlatko Andonovski named an 18-player roster that featured 11 players returning from the 2016 Rio lineup that finished in fifth place after winning gold in 2004, 2008 and 2012.
"It has been a long process to get to this point, longer than anyone thought it would be," Andonovski said. "We're confident that we've selected the team with the best chance for success in Japan."
Joining Morgan and Rapinoe on the US front line will be Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd and Christen Press.
Lloyd and Heath made their fourth US Olympic lineup, matching former captain Christie Rampone for the most in US women's team history.
Lloyd, who turns 39 on July 16, will be oldest-ever player on a US Olympic women's football roster, almost two years older than Rampone when she played in 2012.
Those named to a third Olympic lineup included Rapinoe, Morgan and defenders Becky Sauerbrunn and Kelley O'Hara.
The US lineup also features goalkeepers Adrianna Franch and Alyssa Naeher, defenders Abby Dahlkemper, Tierna Davidson, Crystal Dunn and Emily Sonnett and midfielders Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle and sisters Kristie and Samantha Mewis.
Dunn, Horan, Ertz, Press and Naeher will make their second Olympic appearance while Dahlkemper, Sonnett, Davidson, Lavelle, Franch and the Mewis sisters make their Olympic debuts.
Kristie Mewis, the older sister of Samantha by 592 days, is the only player on the roster who was not on the 2019 Women's World Cup roster.
Heath and Ertz are still recovering from injuries but are expected to be ready for the July 21 start of Olympic play.
"We've got a balanced team with many players who can play several positions and that will be valuable as we try to play six games in 17 days in heat and humidity," Andonovski said.