Monday officially began the National Women’s Soccer League preseason, and that occasion brought with it no shortage of corresponding news. The leading headline of the morning was the announcement of the squad selected by U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Anodonovsky for the SheBelieves Cup, where the USWNT will face Argentina, Brazil and Canada in Orlando between February 18th and 24th.
Red Stars and USWNT stalwarts Tierna Davidson, Julie Ertz and Alyssa Naeher all made the 23-player roster as expected, with Mallory Pugh also joining camp as one of three ‘training players.’ During a media availability on Monday afternoon, Andonovsky said he was no longer concerned about Pugh’s health. Rather, she’s there with a focus on her and the team’s future.
“It’s not necessarily rehabilitation, it’s more-so getting her back up to speed,” Andonovsky said via Zoom. “Mal, looking back at 2020, missed a camp and then she was injured… so we weren’t able to see Mal. Because of the stage of her career and the potential that we believe Mal has, we’re not going to give up on her. We’re going to give anything possible to help her get up to speed in order to get back to her best because we all know the potential that she has. We all know what Mal is capable of doing. So, I felt this is one opportunity for her to get to where we all want her to be.”
As he went through a litany of players within the national team pool who have dealt with injury struggles, Andonovsky also mentioned that Casey Krueger (previously Short) was not quite physically ready for January camp and “continues to be under supervision of our high-performance staff to help her prepared for the next challenges.”
All of the aforementioned players of course appeared on the Red Stars’ preseason roster, which was also announced this morning. Davidson, Krueger, Naeher and Pugh all reported for training today, while Ertz will join the Red Stars following the SheBelieves Cup.
In addition to the Red Stars’ 24 rostered players, 2020 debutants Camryn Biegalski, Aerial Chavarin, Cassie Rohan and Dani Rhodes will all join preseason training as non-roster invitees. They will be joined by former Utah Royals goalkeeper Melissa Lowder, University of South Carolina alumna Tatum Milazzo, and Purdue alumna Ena Sabanagic.
Of the Red Stars four 2021 NWSL College Draft selections, only University of Virginia forward Alissa Gorzak will join for preseason. Santa Clara forward Kelsey Turnbow will join the team in 2022, while timetables for Brianna Alger (Washington State), Channing Foster (Ole Miss) and Madison Haley (Stanford) to join the team have not been announced.
The Red Stars’ first competitive matches of the season will take place as part of the NWSL Challenge Cup, which begins on April 9th.
2021 Red Stars Preseason Roster by Position
Goalkeepers (4): Emily Boyd, Melissa Lowder (NRI), Cassie Miller, Alyssa Naeher
Defenders (9): Camryn Biegalski (NRI), Tierna Davidson, Zoe Goralski, Sarah Gorden, Casey Krueger, Tatum Milazzo (NRI), Kayla Sharples, Bianca St.Georges, Arin Wright
Midfielders (11): Aerial Chavarin (NRI), Danielle Colaprico, Vanessa DiBernardo, Julie Ertz (NYR), Morgan Gautrat, Zoe Morse, Cassie Rohan (NRI), Ena Sabanagic (NRI), Nikki Stanton, Ella Stevens, Sarah Woldmoe
Forwards (9): Makenzy Doniak, Alissa Gorzak (CDP), Rachel Hill, Katie Johnson, Sarah Luebbert, Alyssa Mautz, Mallory Pugh, Dani Rhodes (NRI), Kealia Watt
U.S. Women’s National Team 2021 SheBelieves Cup Roster by Position (Club; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 4), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 65)
DEFENDERS (8): Alana Cook (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA; 2/0), Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City, ENG; 63/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 27/1), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 107/24), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit; 133/2), Margaret Purce (Sky Blue FC; 4/1), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 179/0), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 48/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 105/20), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 88/20), Rose Lavelle (Manchester City, ENG; 48/13), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyonnaise, FRA; 2/1), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 18/3), Samantha Mewis (Manchester City, ENG; 70/21)
FORWARDS (6): Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 296/123), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 170/107), Christen Press (Manchester United, ENG; 139/58), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 170/54), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 1/0), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 31/10)
Training Players: Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC; 4/0), Jaelin Howell (Florida State; 1/0), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars; 63/18)