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Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd return to U.S. women’s soccer team

The two stars are on the 27-player roster for the training camp that begins this weekend in Orlando.
Megan Rapinoe, left, and Carli Lloyd, right, at a July 2019 Word Cup title celebration in New York, return to the U.S. soccer team for training camp this weekend in Orlando after 10 months away. They are expected to play in two exhibitions against Colombia in Orlando this month.
Megan Rapinoe, left, and Carli Lloyd, right, at a July 2019 Word Cup title celebration in New York, return to the U.S. soccer team for training camp this weekend in Orlando after 10 months away. They are expected to play in two exhibitions against Colombia in Orlando this month. [ SETH WENIG | AP ]
Published Jan. 7

Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd have returned after missing most of last year as the U.S. women’s national team prepares to open training camp this weekend in Orlando.

Coach Vlatko Andonovski on Wednesday announced the 27-player roster for the camp, which will be capped by a pair of exhibition matches against Colombia at the end of the month.

Alex Morgan, who said she has contracted the coronavirus, was among the players left off of the roster as the team prepares for the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Rapinoe, the FIFA 2019 player of the year after helping the United States win its second consecutive World Cup, has not played for the national team since the SheBelieves Cup in March. She opted out of playing for her club team, OL Reign, in the National Women’s Soccer League’s Challenge Cup and fall series.

Lloyd has also not played since the SheBelieves Cup because of injury. Also returning to the roster is Mallory Pugh, who was also sidelined for much of last year.

“As I enter the 16th year of my career, it is still exciting to be called into the first (U.S. team) camp of the year. I have recovered from my injury and am feeling fit, strong and sharp,” Lloyd said in a statement. “I cannot wait to get back with the team and get to work!”

Andonovski said Rapinoe and Lloyd are “refreshed’ after the layoff, and they are expected to play against Colombia.

The friendlies against Colombia are scheduled for Jan. 18 and Jan. 22 at Exploria Stadium in Orlando. Both games will be played before crowds limited to 4,000 ticketed fans. Ticket presale begins at 10 a.m. Thursday at ticketmaster.com.

“(Rapinoe and Lloyd) are a little bit ahead of what we expected for them to be for January camp, from the physical standpoint,” Andonovski said. “The only thing they’re missing is a team training, so it’s good that we have a good eight or nine trainings before we go into the match, and both of them are expected to get minutes. "

Also missing from the roster are Tobin Heath and Christen Press. Heath and Press, who were also part of the World Cup-winning team in France, will remain with Manchester United of the FA Women’s Super League.

Samantha Mewis and Rose Lavelle, playing for Manchester City, were included on the roster. Lindsey Horan, who contracted the coronavirus and was left out of the team’s November camp, was back with the team.

Three college players were invited to the camp: Florida State midfielder Jaelin Howell, North Carolina defender Emily Fox and Stanford forward Catarina Macario, a Brazilian-born naturalized citizen who is awaiting FIFA eligibility approval. That isn’t likely to come until March at the earliest, Andonovski said.

The camp roster including club or school affiliation:

Goalkeepers: Aubrey Bledsoe (Washington Spirit), Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars).

Defenders: Alana Cook (Paris Saint-Germain), Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Fox (UNC), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Margaret Purce (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit).

Midfielders: Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Jaelin Howell (Florida State), Rose Lavelle (Manchester City), Catarina Macario (Stanford), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (Manchester City), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit).

Forwards: Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage).