U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Announces 18-Player Tokyo Olympic Squad
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The U.S. Women’s National Team has announced its Tokyo Olympic roster with just under a month left before the opening ceremony.
The roster includes 18 players, 11 of whom were on the 2016 Olympic roster when the U.S. was knocked out by Sweden in the quarterfinals in a penalty shootout that ended 3-4.
Furthermore, 17 of the 18 players were members of the 2019 FIFA World Cup-winning squad. The only player who missed out on the World Cup but made the Olympic roster is 30-year-old Houston Dash midfielder Kristie Mewis. The older sister of Samantha Mewis who made both the World Cup and Olympic roster.
Former Utah Royals stars Christen Press, Kelly O’Hara and Becky Sauerbrunn have all been included in the squad.
— U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (@USWNT) June 23, 2021
The Olympics also marks the first major tournament for manager Vlatko Andonovski, who took over the managerial reigns from legendary women’s soccer icon Jill Ellis shortly after she retired following the 2019 FIFA World Cup.
“It’s been a long process to get to this point, longer than anyone thought it would be, but we collected a lot of information on the players over the past year and half in trainings, in their club matches and in international games and we’re confident that we’ve selected the team with the best chance for success in Japan,” said Andonovski.
The U.S. will gather in Connecticut later this month to play its WNT Send-Off Series when they host Mexico on July 1st and July 5th at 5:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. respectively at Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. The fixture on July 1st will be available to watch on FS1 while the match on the 5th will be broadcast via ESPN.
The team will then make their way to Tokyo to further acclimatize and prepare for the Olympic Games.
The U.S. Women’s Olympic Team is vying to become the fifth squad to win gold at the Olympics for the United States. Their last gold medal came in 2012 in London, England.
Interestingly, the U.S. Women’s will open their Olympic campaign against Group G rivals Sweden on July 21st at 2:30 a.m. MT. They will then play New Zealand on July 24 at 5:30 a.m. before rounding out their group crusade against Australia on July 27 at 2 a.m.