Shaw earns first senior U.S. Women’s National Team call-up for friendlies against South Africa

San Diego Wave FC announced today that  defender Naomi Girma, forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Jaedyn Shaw have been named to the U.S. Women’s National Team for two friendlies against South Africa. It is the first call-up to the senior USWNT for Shaw, who has represented the U.S. Youth National Teams at the U-15 and U-20 level.

The USA will play its first matches since the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Sept. 21, in Cincinnati at TQL Stadium (4:30 p.m. PT on TNT, Universo & Peacock) and in Chicago at Soldier Field on Sept. 24 (2:30 p.m. PT on TNT, Universo & Peacock).

Shaw, 18, has scored five goals for the Wave this regular season. The midfielder made her professional debut on July 30, 2022, at 17 years of age, scoring in the 28th minute to make her the youngest player in NWSL to score in their debut. Following her debut professional season, Shaw was named the 2022 U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year. She finished 2022 with seven U-20 caps and three goals at the youth international level.

Girma, 23, was one of four players to play every minute for the USWNT in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She has 20 international appearances since making her international debut in April 2022. The 2022 Defender and Rookie of the Year has appeared in 15 games (15 starts) for the Wave in 2023.

As for Morgan, the forward ranks in the top 10 in USWNT history in goals, assists and multi-goal games. A two-time U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year (2012, 2018) and four-time Concacaf Player of the Year (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018), Morgan is heading into camp with 211 international appearances and 121 goals.

As previously announced, the match in Cincinnati will be the final international match for midfielder Julie Ertz, and the match in Chicago will be the final international game for forward Megan Rapinoe.

“The Olympics may seem like they are far away, but the amount of time that the players get with the National Team between now and Paris is not a lot, so we need to start that journey now,” said USWNT interim head coach Twila Kilgore. “No matter who the coach is, or which players get to wear the crest, the standards remain the same and everyone wants to excel, so we’ll be looking forward to putting together two good performances against a South Africa team that showed well at the World Cup.”

South Africa is just one of two African teams the USWNT has faced in its history (with Nigeria being the other), and the September meetings will be just the third and fourth matchups all-time between the two countries. The USA most recently played South Africa in May of 2019, a 2-0 win in Santa Clara, Calif.

South Africa is coming off a fine performance at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in which it advanced out of Group G behind Sweden on the strength of a 2-2 draw with Argentina and a dramatic 3-2 win over Italy in its final group game with the winning goal coming in 90+2 from Racing Louisville’s Thembi Kgatlana. The Banyana Banyana lost 2-1 to Sweden to open the World Cup and then fell 2-0 to the Netherlands in the Round of 16.

The Wave returns to regular-season action on Saturday, Sept. 16, as the club hosts Latino Heritage Night. The match is slated to kickoff at 7:00 p.m. PT at Snapdragon Stadium with tickets available here.

U.S. 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)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC), Julie Ertz (Unattached), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)

FORWARDS (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)