Morgan, Boxx back in USWNT squad for June friendlies vs. France

Alex Morgan, Thais

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Jill Ellis has named her first roster as the full-time U.S. Women’s National Team head coach and there are plenty of surprises.

Twenty-six players have been called in by Ellis for a training camp prior to two friendly matches this month against France and returning are two players who have missed considerable time recently: Forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Shannon Boxx.

Morgan is still at the end of her recovery from a serious ankle injury and it will be a game-time decision by the USWNT medical staff as to whether she plays in either game. She hasn’t played in a competitive match since November.

Boxx, who hasn’t played with the USWNT since March 2013 and is returning to fitness after giving birth last February, but isn’t expected to play in either match.

Another interesting note is that Kelley O’Hara is listed as a forward on the roster, despite having spent the last two years playing as a defender, including every minute of the 2012 Olympics as left back when the team won gold.

Ellis also recalled Portland Thorns midfielder Allie Long after she received her first cap in May against Canada. Ellis also decided not to recall Jill Loyden, a longtime backup to Hope Solo, and has picked Nicole Barnhart and Ashlyn Harris to serve as backup goalkeepers.

The USWNT officially hired Ellis to be the team’s next head coach on May 16, though she had served as interim manager for the U.S. in a 3-0 victory against China and a 1-1 draw at Canada.

The first match takes place on June 14 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. and the second match follows on June 19 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. Both games will be broadcasted on USSoccer.com

Here’s a look at the USWNT roster for the France friendlies:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)

DEFENDERS (7): Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Houston Dash), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers)

FORWARDS (7): Sarah Hagen (FC Kansas City), Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)

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19 Responses to Morgan, Boxx back in USWNT squad for June friendlies vs. France

  1. Alex H says:

    Who picks these friendly dates? Why hold friendlies right in the middle of the World Cup? I love the USWNT but no way in hell I am missing a second of action in Brazil for it.

    • Taylor says:

      Actually FIFA who’s holding the WC, assigned those dates as Women international friendly dates. Of course, NWSL fans would ask why do they overlap with NWSL games dates given they are scheduled by the same body.

    • cpldaniel says:

      24hrs in a day, only 4hrs of World Cup games…another hour of prematch coverage…leaves 19hrs extra in the day with nothing better than to piggyback on WC-related soccer interest and patriotic fervor. During a World Cup is the perfect time for a WNT game.

      • wfrw07 says:

        Well six hours of WC games.

        And also, the France game is literally during a WC match. The friendlies should be in California and start at 7 local time, or in the east at 8 local time to stay as far away from WC matches as possible.

  2. JC says:

    Is Meagan Rapinoe injured? Is it possible that she did not make the squad?

    • chris says:

      Yeah, she’s just gotten off crutches and isn’t supposed to be playing for the Seattle Reign again until sometime in July.

  3. Maykol says:

    Who cares, when the men’s WC is on. Not a wise move by the female federation.

    • mitchell goosen says:

      bro, there is no such thing as a female federation. the USWNT is run by US Soccer the same way the USMNT is. US Soccer does stupid things all the time

      • Zworst says:

        This man is not Maykol. And he is certainly not your “bro”. Get away while you can. Baptista came down with cooties today and could be infectious.

  4. QuakerOtis says:

    Maybe Green can star in this team. I think he was picked for the wrong team.

    • Zworst says:

      This just in, local doosh expands his failed enterprises to include attempted name hijackings. The failure was predictably contained.

      The Baptista/Ztom etc. virus remains manageable and under control. Carry on, Baptista will be reporting to his Algebra final as scheduled, per his mother. His kids remain an unlikely figment of his imagination.

  5. Jill says:

    I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed to see Alex Morgan play! I’m seated in row e in section 135!!!! So excited!!!

    • user222 says:

      Boxx should retire…who needs a 34 yo player?

      bad move by new coach Ellis here we go again with the good ol’ system…

      • Yankiboy says:

        If Boxx can still perform well at club level then more power to her. I honestly felt that Pia went with her too long. It’s not just about the number of years but about what she has left in the tank.

        I’m gonna leave it at that (for now)…

  6. recovered amishman says:

    I think they might as well go full in on their return to the good ol’ days. Along with Boxx they should bring back Lilly. Heck, maybe they can coax Hamm, Fowdy, Scurry and others back too. If a player doesn’t have at least 75 caps they have no business representing the USWNT.

    • kurttrail says:

      All the players you mentioned were a hell of a lot better than Boxx in her prime, and she is long past her prime.

      Bring back Shannon MacMillan!

  7. Amber says:

    Does anyone know what channel it will be on?

  8. Ashley says:

    Are we ever going to see Rapinoe play again or what?!?!!?!