U.S. Women’s National Team interim head coach Twila Kilgore has named a 26-player training camp roster for the two December home friendly matches against China PR that will close out the USA’s 2023 schedule.
The USA will face the Steel Roses on Dec. 2 at DRV PNK Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (3 p.m. ET on TNT, Telemundo, Universo, Max and Peacock) and on Dec. 5 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas (7 p.m. CT / 8 p.m. ET on TruTV, Universo, Max and Peacock).
The USWNT heads into the two matches against China PR with a record of 12W-4D-0L in 2023 and will be looking to remain unbeaten in regulation time during this calendar year.
China PR is the second-most common opponent in U.S. history (after Canada) and these games will mark the 59thand 60th meetings between the longtime foes. While the USA and China used to meet quite often, sometimes multiple times a year, these will be the first matches between the countries since the summer of 2018.
“As we move forward with the next steps, we need more opportunities to see players from our pool in our unique National Team environment, in both training and games, so we can evaluate if and how they might contribute moving forward to the Olympics,” said Kilgore, who chose the roster as part of the overall strategy and plan that U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Matt Crocker has put together with Kilgore and Emma Hayes, the newly named USWNT head coach who will officially join the USWNT in May after the conclusion of the season with her current club, Chelsea. “We value these players who have recently been in camps or played in World Cup and were not chosen for this roster, and they are of course still a part of our pool, but we know what they bring on and off the field. At the same time, we also need to continue to evaluate and bring along players in the right ways to give the team the best chance for success.”
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position (Club; Caps/Goals) – December Friendlies vs. China PR
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 7), Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit; 1), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 16)
DEFENDERS (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign; 29/1), Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC; 79/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 50/1), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage; 37/1), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC; 24/0), Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars; 41/0), M.A. Vignola (Angel City FC; 1/0)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA; 0/0), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC; 5/0), Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC; 6/0), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 137/30), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 91/24), Olivia Moultrie (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), Jenna Nighswonger (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 0/0), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign; 81/2)
FORWARDS (8): Mia Fishel (Chelsea FC, ENG; 2/1), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 21/5), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 24/4), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit; 26/6), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC; 2/1), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 36/14), Alyssa Thompson (Angel City FC; 8/0), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 58/17)
The roster includes two midfielders – 2023 NWSL Rookie of the Year Jenna Nighswonger and Paris Saint-Germain’s Korbin Albert – selected for their first full national team training camp.
The roster does mark the return of veteran defender Abby Dahlkemper, who returned to the field after recovering from major back surgery to help the San Diego Wave win the 2023 NWSL regular season title. Dahlkemper, a starter on the 2019 Women’s World Cup title winning team, has 79 caps but this is her first call-up since April of 2022. Defender Tierna Davidson, the youngest member of the 2019 World Cup champions, also returns after recovering from a facial injury sustained during NWSL play. Davidson, who suffered a torn ACL in March of 2022, was not part of the USA’s 2023 World Cup roster but returned to action for the USWNT in September of 2023. Midfielder Rose Lavelle makes her first roster since the end of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup after also overcoming injury.
The roster includes two players who have earned first caps and scored first WNT goals this fall in 19-year-old forward Jaedyn Shaw, who hails from Frisco, Texas and will be enjoying a homecoming of sorts during the second match, and forward Mia Fishel, who dramatically scored in her hometown of San Diego on Oct. 29 in a 3-0 win over Colombia, the same game in which Shaw tallied her first.
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- The roster is stocked with NWSL award winners, led by NWSL Defender of the Year Naomi Girma, who won it for a second year in a row, as well as Rookie of the Year Nighswonger and Goalkeeper of the Year Jane Campbell.
- Six NWSL Best XI First Team selections are on this roster in Campbell, Girma, Shaw, midfielder Sam Coffey and forwards Lynn Williams and Sophia Smith. Smith also won the Golden Boot as the top scorer in the league, tallying 11 goals in 17 regular season appearances.
- Defenders Nighswonger, Emily Fox and M.A. Vignola, midfielder Savannah DeMelo and forwards Ashley Hatch and Trinity Rodman made the NWSL Best XI Second Team.
- The USA’s most recent two games against China were 1-0 and 2-1 wins in June of 2018 in Sandy, Utah and Cleveland, Ohio, respectively.
- Campbell, who recorded a career-high eight shutouts for the Houston Dash, returns to the roster for the first time since November of 2021, when she was in the training camp in Australia but did not play in either of the two matches on the trip. Her most recent cap was Oct. 26, 2021, vs. Korea Republic. She has four shutouts in her seven career appearances for the USA.
- Thirteen players called up for this camp were on the USA’s roster at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and five – Dahlkemper, Davidson, Horan, Lavelle and Sonnett – were on the roster for the 2019 Women’s World Cup champions.
- Twenty-three of the 26 players called in for this camp compete domestically in the NWSL with Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), Mia Fishel (Chelsea FC, ENG) and Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), a former Notre Dame star who signed directly with PSG out of college, as the only players currently with clubs outside the USA.
- Albert’s call-up makes four players in this training camp who played at the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica, along with Olivia Moultrie, Jaedyn Shaw and Alyssa Thompson.
- Moultrie, Shaw and Thompson were all on the team that won the 2018 Concacaf Girls’ U-15 Championship in Bradenton, Florida.
- The roster features three teenagers in Moultrie (18), Shaw (19) and Thompson (19) and a total of nine players who were born after the historic 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will celebrate its 25thanniversary next year.
- Ten different NWSL clubs are represented on this roster. NWSL champions NJ/NY Gotham FC, the Washington Spirit, OL Reign, the San Diego Wave and Portland Thorns FC all have three players each.
- Jenna Nighswonger, the fourth pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft out of Florida State, appeared in 20 games for Gotham while playing more than 1,500 minutes in her first professional season. She scored three goals, tied for second among all rookies. Nighswonger has played for the USA’s Women’s Youth National Teams at the U-16, U-17, U-18, U-20 and U-23 levels. She helped the USA win the 2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship, starting all six games, but the World Cup for that age group was cancelled due to the global pandemic, so she never played in a youth World Cup.
- Korbin Albert, the other first-time call-up, has experience with the U-15, U-17 and U-20 Women’s Youth National Teams. She has six U-20 caps and one goal. Two of those caps came at the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica. Albert had two more seasons of eligibility left at Notre Dame when she signed with PSG in January of 2023. Since then, she has played in 17 matches for the Paris club with 10 starts over the second half of last season and the start of this season. Of those 17 games, 12 have been in league, three in UEFA Champions League and two in the French Cup, including last year’s Final in which PSG fell to Lindsey Horan’s Olympique Lyon, 2-1.
- China had a hard time scoring goals at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, falling to Denmark, 1-0, beating Haiti, 1-0, and then losing to England, 6-1, to finish third in the Group D and failing to advance. Wang Shuang of Racing Louisville FC scored both of China’s goals in Australia.
- China will miss out on the 2024 Paris Olympics after finishing third in Group B during the Second Round of the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Despite hosting the group in Xiamen, China lost to North Korea, 2-1, beat Thailand 3-0, and then drew South Korea 1-1, in a game it needed to win.