CHICAGO (September 12, 2023) – Twila Kilgore, interim head coach of the U.S. women’s national team, recalled 27 players to training camp for two home friendlies against South Africa.
The United States will play its first matches since the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup on September 21 in Cincinnati at TQL Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET on TNT, Universo and Peacock) and in Chicago at Soldier Field on September 24 (4:30 p.m.) 5:30 p.m. CT / 17:30 ET on TNT, Universo and Peacock). The pre-game shows on TNT will start at 7:00 p.m. ET and 5:00 p.m. ET, respectively.
The game in Cincinnati will be a homecoming for midfielder Rose Lavelle, who attended Mount Notre Dame High School and is one of Cincinnati’s most popular athletes, and goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury, who attended St. Ursula Academy.
As previously announced, the game in Cincinnati will be the last international game for midfielder Julie Ertz, and the game in Chicago will be the last international game for forward Megan Rapinoe.
“As we continue the search for our new head coach, we felt it would be best to call up all the World Cup players who are in good shape to play, while also bringing in a few players who we believe can help us continue to develop as we begin preparations for next year’s Olympic Games ”said USA Soccer athletic director Matt Crocker. “We can’t wait to have the opportunity to honor the players who have decided to retire, but we also know that these matches are valuable and are the first step towards Paris. Once the new head coach takes over, he will evaluate the player pool and make squad decisions that will focus on building the team for the future.”
USA Women’s National Team Roster by Position (Club) – September Friendlies vs. South Africa
GOALKEEPERS (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (9): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Casey Krueger ( Chicago Red Stars), Kelley O’Hara (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign)
HELP (7): Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC), Julie Ertz (no club), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit) )
FORWARD (8): Mia Fishel (Chelsea FC, ENG), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC), Alyssa Thompson (Angel City FC), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC)
“It seems like the Olympics are a long way off, but the amount of time players spend on the national team between now and Paris isn’t very great, so we need to start that journey now,” Kilgore said. “No matter who is the coach or which players wear the badge, the standards remain the same and everyone wants to excel, so we are looking forward to two strong performances against a South African team who performed well at the World Cup Stadium. “
South Africa is just one of two African teams that the USWNT has faced in its history (Nigeria is the other), and the September meetings will be only the third and fourth matchups in the history of the two countries. The last time the United States played South Africa was in May 2019, winning 2-0 in Santa Clara, California.
South Africa is having a strong showing at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where they finished behind Sweden in Group G after a 2-2 draw with Argentina and a dramatic 3-2 victory over Italy in the final group match with the winning goal scored by Racing Louisville 90’s Thembi Kgatlana +2. The They are children, they are children lost 2-1 to Sweden in the World Cup opener, then lost 2-0 to the Netherlands in the round of 16.
Tickets for both matches can be purchased at ussoccer.com. For groups of 20 or more fans, you can also order online at ussoccer.com. Coaches Circle and Presidents Circle members supporting the U.S. Soccer Development Fund can receive personalized customer service and ticketing concierge services. Click here or email Circles@ussoccer.org for more information.
- Twenty-one of the 23 players on the 2023 World Cup squad return for the match against South Africa. Julie Ertz, Andi Sullivan, Alyssa Naeher and Naomi Girma played every minute for the U.S. team during the World Cup.
- Midfielder Kristie Mewis and forward Sophia Smith are the only members of the 2023 World Cup squad who have not been called up for the match against South Africa as they recover from injuries.
- Several players who were on the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad but were not included in the final squad return to the USWNT training camp squad, including defender Tierna Davidson, a veteran of the 2019 and 2021 FIFA Women’s World Cup Teams Olympic Team and forward Ashley Hatch, who is second in the NWSL in goals this season with nine.
- Sam Coffey, who made four international appearances in 2022 and is enjoying another strong season in the NWSL with Portland Thorns FC, has been named to the squad along with Chicago Red Stars defender and 2021 Olympian Casey Krueger, who is scheduled to 38 appearances under his belt.
- Kilgore named two uncapped players in forwards Mia Fishel and Jaedyn Shaw.
- Fishel (22) receives his second call-up to the senior team after taking part in a training camp in October 2020 – the first since the outbreak of the global pandemic during which no matches were played – while Shaw is his first call-up at senior level. Shaw, 18, has already scored five goals in the NWSL this season for San Diego Wave FC.
- Both have extensive experience in youth national teams. Fishel played in the 2019 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and was the United States’ leading scorer with 13 goals at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 World Cup, but the U-20 World Cup that year was canceled due to the pandemic. Shaw played for the United States at the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and becomes the second player from the team, alongside Alyssa Thompson, to receive a full call-up to the national team.
- With 18-year-olds Shaw and Thompson receiving call-ups, this is the first USWNT camp since 2018 with games that feature multiple teenagers. The last such event occurred in April 2018, when 19-year-olds Mallory Pugh (now Swanson) and Tierna Davidson played for the US national team.
- Both Fishel and Shaw were on the teams that won the U.S. Girls Under-15 Concacaf Championship, Fishel in 2016 and Shaw in 2018.
- Twenty-five of the 27 players invited to this camp compete in the NWSL domestic league, with Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA) and Fishel (Chelsea FC, ENG) being the only players currently playing for clubs outside the US.
- Nine different NWSL clubs are represented on this roster, led by five players from OL Reign and Washington Spirit. Chicago Red Stars and San Diego Wave FC each have three players.
- While this will be only the second USWNT match at TQL Stadium, home of FC Cincinnati in Major League Soccer, it will be the sixth-ever USNWT match in Cincinnati, dating back to 1993 when the United States played at the now demolished Galbreath Field, which was home to high school football stadium.
- This will be the USWNT’s ninth game at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Fire in the MLS league.
- The United States has played in the Chicago area, home base of the United States Soccer Federation, many times. The USWNT also played six games in Bridgeview, Illinois at Toyota Park.
- The last U.S. game at Soldier Field was former head coach Jill Ellis’ last game. Drawn 1-1 with South Korea on October 6, 2019.
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