Category Archives: USWNT Shirts

Kristen Hamilton Jersey

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On Thanksgiving Eve, Kristen Hamilton feasted on goals.

Wednesday in Australia, the American forward scored three times for Western Sydney Wanderers FC in the club’s 3-1 victory over Brisbane Roar FC.

It was the club’s first-ever hat trick in Australia’s W-League and it powered the Wanderers to their third straight win.

Hamilton’s first goal of the night came in the 10th minute, and the set-up was a familiar one for fans of the National Women’s Soccer League. Hamilton’s North Carolina Courage teammate, Lynn Williams, sprinted up the left flank and into the box before playing a low through ball to Hamilton, who scored from close-range.

Williams, Hamilton and Denise O’Sullivan are all playing with the Wanderers this season on-loan from the Courage.

“We’re best friends off the field and we connect well on the field,” Hamilton told Fox Sports when asked about Williams. “I definitely don’t get three goals without her tonight… She’s all over the place, she makes defenders think twice about leaving her and coming to defend me. It makes my job easy having her on my team.”

The second goal of the day for Hamilton came in the 45th minute off a long throw-in. After the ball bounced around the box, it fell to Hamilton, who rifled a shot past Australian keeper MacKenzie Arnold with her right foot.

Hamilton secured her hat trick and sealed the win for the Wanderers in the 64th minute by spinning around a defender, racing past another, and firing a mid-range shot into the back of the net.

Kristen Hamilton vs Brisbane Roar – 19/20 W-League Game 3 (28th November 2019) #WSW

The hat trick for Hamilton is another memorable moment in what has been a stellar 2019 for her. She helped the Courage capture another NWSL shield and championship this season, tallying nine goals and five assists in 24 appearances. She was named to the NWSL Player’s Associations’ Best XI and was a finalist for the league’s MVP award.

The 27-year-old Colorado native also made her U.S. national team debut this year, subbing on in a September friendly against Portugal.

Hamilton must have a knack for scoring goals in bunches around holidays. A day after the Fourth of July this past summer, she netted four goals in a win over the Houston Dash.

The Wanders are 3-0 to start the season and are at the top of the W-League table. If Hamilton keeps up her impressive form, she could take home more hardware in her first W-League season.

Megan Rapinoe Jersey

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(CNN)Social activist and soccer icon Megan Rapinoe has had one heck of a year. After leading the US Women’s National Soccer team to a World Cup title in July, the legend scored yet another victory.

Rapinoe has been named Sports Illustrated’s 2019 Sportsperson of the Year. The midfielder, who captains the professional Seattle Reign FC, also won the Ballon d’Or award last week, given annually to the world’s best soccer players.

“While we do not get to choose what we see or what happens around us, and sometimes to us and others, we do get to choose how we bear witness to it,” Rapinoe captioned an Instagram post of the magazine cover.

The 34-year-old graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, styled in a sheer turtleneck Valentino gown. Donning her famous purple hair and holding a sledgehammer, she’s a force to be reckoned with.

This year, Megan Rapinoe was a galvanizing force on a team that is now looked up to by any woman who doesn’t want to be told she’s come far enough, who’s taking matters into her own [email protected] on the 2019 #Sportsperson of the Year:

— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 9, 2019
“This year, Megan Rapinoe was a galvanizing force on a team that is now looked up to by any woman who doesn’t want to be told she’s come far enough, who’s taking matters into her own hands,” Sports Illustrated said on Twitter.
Rapinoe is a fierce advocate for women’s rights, and has been one of the leading soccer player’s in the fight for equal pay.
When the two- time World Cup champion isn’t dominating the soccer field in the midst of chants of “equal pay,” she can be found challenging US President Donald Trump or suing the United States Soccer Federation for alleged gender discrimination.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the US Women’s National Soccer team won the World Cup in July.

McCall Zerboni Jersey

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The 23 players who will represent the U.S. women’s national team at the 2019 World Cup were announced on Thursday, with the usual names like Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe on the squad. As it goes with every squad selection, there are some perceived snubs who maybe should have made the team over others.

Two of the biggest surprises on the team are midfielder Morgan Brian who has suffered through injuries and defender Ali Krieger, who is 34 years old. As a result, the general consensus of the two players who maybe deserved to be ahead of them are defender Casey Short and midfielder McCall Zerboni. Here’s what to know:

The case for Short
The U.S. needs some depth at left back, and the 28-year-old is a more than viable option. She’s been in great form with the Chicago Red Stars and showed that form at the SheBelieves Cup and the CONCACAF Women’s Championship. She has pace, she hustles, and she’s someone who will do the dirty work for her team. She’s also proven she can help in attack with four goals in 47 games for her club.

She’s been consistent with the U.S. over the last few years and there isn’t really any depth behind Crystal Dunn on the left flank. Certainly, her absence is the most questionable decision.

The case for Zerboni
At 32, she’s a late bloomer but somebody who has really impressed. She was called up for the first time in 2017, two months shy of her 31st birthday, making her the oldest player to earn a first cap for the USWNT. McCall is a high-quality midfielder who is calm on the ball, doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and has a ton of experience. The one downside was a broken elbow against Chile in September which saw her miss the CONCACAF Women’s Championship. Had she been able to continue to impress there on a more difficult stage than friendlies, who knows what would have happen.

With coach Jill Ellis, it certainly makes sense to trust her after the last World Cup. But if Brian doesn’t bring enough to this team in the middle, if there is an obvious hole behind Dunn, and if the U.S. doesn’t win, hard questions will be asked.

You can watch the 2019 World Cup on fuboTV (Try for free).

Allie Long Jersey

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Before the final whistle, before the chants of “Equal pay!” ricocheted around Stade de Lyon, before Megan Rapinoe’s arms were filled with all the trophies a soccer player could possibly earn in one year, first came the tears.

On July 7, in the 61st minute of the 2019 World Cup final against the Netherlands, Rapinoe scored to put the U.S. up 1–0. To her, though, this was more than the goal that would win the Americans a record fourth title. It was the equivalent of flashing double-barrel middle fingers. She’d have loved to have done that just once. But, she says, “there are lines.”

The goal itself, on a penalty kick drawn by teammate Alex Morgan, was, like Rapinoe, more about brains than brawn. She reminded herself, Your opponent is more nervous than you are, then she went low and a bit right, breaking her tendency of high and left. Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal flinched toward Rapinoe’s usual side, the net rippled, teammates swarmed and the whole scene ended with the pink-haired lesbian winger posing near the corner flag in defiance and triumph and joy: arms outstretched, chin up, head tipped just back.

The Pose, the signature sporting image of 2019, was more than a celebration, just as Rapinoe’s goal was more than a tournament-winner. No one knew this better than Rapinoe’s mom, Denise, and fraternal twin, Rachael, who together had traversed France for a month with the U.S. team and on the day of the final were sitting just down the sideline. They were there because Megan had laid it on thick that this might be her last World Cup (she’ll reassess after the 2020 Olympics) but also because they know she can be as sensitive as she is tough, and even those who appear superhuman need support. Especially if they’ve been publicly questioned by the leader of the free world.

For 34 years, since Megan was born 11 minutes after Rachael—since they learned to play soccer together at age five, since they came out to each other as gay when they were sophomores at the University of Portland—one sister has fortified the other. In France that meant Rachael pulled Megan aside during a family visitation hour in a hotel lobby, sheltering her from all the fuss and all the paranoia from U.S. Soccer officials who feared the muscle stimulator on Rapinoe’s ailing right hamstring might tip off the world that she’d be missing the semifinal against England. It had meant, years earlier, hiding from Megan the hateful emails that came pouring into Rapinoe SC, a clinics-and-online-apparel company that the sisters run together, after Megan joined an NFL quarterback’s lonely protest during the national anthem.

All of which had led to this day. Rapinoe was the hero of the World Cup, achieving everything she’d ever dreamed of, but in so many ways it was unlike anything she’d imagined. And so, 16 minutes after her final goal, in her 428th minute of play over five matches, she was substituted out and sat down, just across a divider from the U.S. family seats. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the sisters locked eyes. And they started bawling.


Jeffery A. Salter

Megan Rapinoe is Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year. She is just the fourth woman in the award’s 66-year history to win it unaccompanied, a feat that is both a remarkable athletic achievement and a reflection of entrenched gender biases. Rapinoe challenged perceptions of her, of female athletes, of all women. She led her teammates, three months before their tentpole tournament, to sue the U.S. Soccer Federation for equal pay; to declare in advance that they would not visit the White House when they won the Cup; to score 13 goals in a group-stage match against Thailand, without apology.

As for The Pose? “It was kind of like a ‘F— you,’ but with a big smile and a s— eating grin,” Rapinoe says. “You are not going to steal any of our joy.”

Yes, the U.S. women have been here before. But the ’19ers were more dominant than the team that won four years ago—they never trailed in France; they scored a record 26 goals—and they were even bolder than the ’99ers who collectively captured SI’s year-end award two decades ago. Julie Foudy, co-captain of that team, asked her old cohort Mia Hamm about the equal-pay lawsuit, “Do you think we would’ve done this?” And Foudy says they concluded, “We probably would have said, Let’s plant that flag after we’ve won. We had been socialized not to stir the pot. Which I love about Rapinoe, this freedom to speak her mind in a way we didn’t feel we had.”

Simon Bruty

Since bursting onto the scene with a perfect left-footed cross to Abby Wambach in the 2011 quarterfinal, Rapinoe has been a change agent for the U.S. But the meaning of that change has evolved over time. In ’19 she was the anchor of the left side, coaching up Sam Mewis and Crystal Dunn; she was the captain who walked into the locker room after a tough first half of one elimination game and declared the U.S. was playing “Awesome!”—coercing her teammates to accept said awesomeness; she was the veteran champion of equality who had history on her side when it came to persuading teammates to sue. Most of all, she was a galvanizing force on a team that is now looked up to by any woman who doesn’t want to be told she’s come far enough, who’s taking matters into her own hands. But even Rapinoe couldn’t have predicted how this year would play out.

Before the opening game in Reims, she and Morgan were sitting at their lockers. “One of us has to win the Golden Boot” for the World Cup’s top scorer, Rapinoe told her co-captain. But what she really meant was: You have to win it. Rapinoe never would have bet on herself to take that award (for which she ultimately edged out Morgan) or the Golden Ball (for MVP) or to be named FIFA’s Women’s World Player of the Year two months later. “I’m not sure I’m the best player on my own team,” she admits.

Hers is another kind of magic. Sure, she scored six times, five of those in elimination rounds. But in her three decades preparing for this stage, she never expected to have to perform while the president of her country taunted her and a nonzero percentage of Americans rooted for her to fail.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Rapinoe and her teammates were busing to their training grounds in the western outskirts of Paris on June 26, in advance of a quarterfinal against France, when Donald Trump fired his Twitter salvo. A video, recorded earlier in the year, was making the rounds; in it Rapinoe declared, “I’m not going to the f—— White House” if the U.S. wins. And now POTUS was tweeting: “. . . Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!” Midfielder Allie Long saw this and leaned forward in her seat, toward Rapinoe in front of her. “Pookie,” she said, “you a G.”

In so many ways. Two days later, in a game that felt more like a final, Rapinoe lined up for a fifth-minute free kick from just outside the penalty box. When she saw only two French players in the defensive wall, she said to herself, Well, thank you, and smashed a low kick that bounced through traffic into the goal. Consider The Pose (which she struck after both of her goals in a 2–1 win) her direct response to the President. Says Rapinoe, “I’m going to do me.”

Which has had costs and benefits. After celebrating the championship with teammates in New York City and then Los Angeles, Rapinoe and her girlfriend, WNBA player Sue Bird, were on their way to LAX to catch a flight home to Seattle when U.S. teammates began texting warnings: You cannot go through airport security! They were getting mobbed, even without the pink-haired national hero. Rapinoe had no idea what to do. She didn’t have the means for personal security or a private flight. In the end, her agent hastily arranged for access to a VIP entrance to the airport, something Rapinoe had never considered before.

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

In the months since: Michelle Obama recruited Rapinoe to join in a voter-participation initiative. Gloria Steinem, the original feminist icon, thanked Rapinoe for carrying her torch. A high school girls’ soccer team in Burlington, Vt., staged its own campaign in support of equal pay, and an 11-year-old boy in Geneva, Ill., went viral for his pink-haired Halloween costume, each inspired by Rapinoe. She has been invited to Washington by New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; talked politics on Meet the Press, Pod Save America and CNN; and turned into a coveted endorsement for the 2020 election. No, she’s not running for office anytime soon. “I don’t have plans for policies and how to implement them,” she says. “I’ll just be the jabber.” (The White House did reach out privately to the team about a visit, a U.S. Soccer rep confirms. Rapinoe says she heard about the outreach on the plane ride home from France, from USSF president Carlos Cordeiro. He suggested a visit to both the White House and Capitol Hill; Rapinoe and another player reiterated they didn’t want to meet with Trump. Rapinoe would like to visit Congress with her team, but she doesn’t think U.S. Soccer is willing to organize a trip that skips the White House, with the World Cup coming to the U.S. in 2026. The team rep says ’26 “has absolutely zero bearing” on the issue.)

Obama, AOC, CNN. . . Rapinoe has a name for all of this. Her “newfound fame.” When she travels, she enters what her teammates have dubbed “IncogPinoe” mode, often slipping on a Supreme ballcap with a hidden message stitched in white thread on white canvas: f— you. It’s her way of poking fun at this temporary status; she knows how easily the cheers can turn to boos.

Megan Rapinoe is Sportsperson of the Year, though, not because of her newfound fame but because of how she’s handled it. She owned the biggest moment of her life and silenced all the doubts. Except, perhaps, her own.


It’s early November and Rapinoe is standing on a frosty field in Greenwich, Conn., popping cough drops to combat a cold she picked up after having spent maybe three days at home in the last month. She and Rachael held a soccer clinic in Farming­ville, N.Y., last night; today they have two more sold-out sessions, 175 kids each, before Megan will rush to catch a flight to Columbus for the last national team camp of the year. Denise and the twins’ Aunt Melissa are working the check-in desk, and there’s no security here—which is fine, except when it comes to Megan separating from the crowd for a bathroom break, which proves more challenging than getting one past Van Veenendaal in Lyon.

Erick W. Rasco

Away from this chaos, one dad sits in the bleachers, talking on a cellphone while Rapinoe guides girls and boys through a shooting station, and his words remind an eavesdropping interloper of what preceded All of this. “. . . When Megan was kneeling,” the man says, “it was a big deal. . . .”

It’s hard to imagine now, but Rapinoe SC almost went under after Megan joined Colin Kaepernick in protesting police brutality and systemic racism by taking a knee during the national anthem in 2016. A youth club that was hosting a clinic near D.C. that fall felt compelled to request security for its event, fearful of protesters. (No protestors showed.) Enrollment and merchandise sales nosedived. “Maybe those parents are kicking themselves now,” Rapinoe shrugs.

Erick W. Rasco

In Greenwich the sun peeks out and a swarm descends on the star instructor. Rapinoe waves over some high school field hockey players who’ve been hovering nervously, while off to another side a soccer mom coaches up her young daughter to approach for a picture. (“It’s now or never!”) The girls gush thank-yous, and Rapinoe thanks them back.

Megan remembers what it was like sitting with Rachael in the Stanford Stadium stands for the 1999 Women’s World Cup semifinal, watching in awe as the U.S. beat Brazil en route to its second trophy. But, for the most part, female athletes were invisible when Rapinoe was growing up. The posters she had in her room were all of Michael Jordan. The point of these camps is not to teach the kids some magical skill that will land them on the national team. It’s to be visible. Now, gathering her campers at midfield before she leaves for Columbus, Rapinoe opens up the session to questions. Which is how we land on fear.

“My biggest fear is claustrophobia, being stuck in small places,” Rapinoe says. “And also that people will think I’m a fraud.”

On one hand, Rapinoe is very much the person captured, post–World Cup, on U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris’s rollicking Instagram story: standing on a parade float in lower Manhattan, trophy in one hand, bottle of bubbly in the other, announcing, “I deserve this!” But there’s also a part of her that is deeply uncomfortable with all the accolades and attention over her outspokenness. Following the Greenwich camp, in a hotel lobby in Ohio, after one wheel on her suitcase finally gives out from months of travel, she explains, “I never want to be seen as trying to leverage something for personal gain. A lot of the stuff I talk about has a personal benefit. Equal pay. Even kneeling with Kaepernick, there was a lot of personal gain from that.”

For Kaepernick, kneeling during the national anthem meant, seemingly, the end of his career. For Rapinoe, it was a rebirth of hers, eventually. And she wrestles with those outcomes. Not that she ever could have guessed how things would play out.

Kaepernick’s peaceful protest first caught the eye of the nation in August 2016. Rapinoe joined nine days later, before a game with her NWSL club, Seattle Reign. “He needs support,” she remembers thinking, “and I can help.” That September she warned U.S. teammates: She would kneel again before a friendly against Thailand, and she knew it might be uncomfortable for them. “All of us were a little timid about it,” says defender Ali Krieger, who supported Rapinoe but told her she wouldn’t join in. “We didn’t want to lose our jobs, and we weren’t sure how U.S. Soccer was going to react, how the country was going to react. She took all of that criticism.”

When U.S. Soccer released a statement during the Thailand match saying that players and coaches were expected to stand for the anthem “as part of the privilege to represent your country,” and when Rapinoe was benched or kept off the roster for friendlies in October and November, and when again she was left off the roster for the ­SheBelieves Cup the following spring, yes, she worried that it all spelled the end of her days as a U.S. player. At the time coach Jill Ellis chalked up the moves to roster churn and to the right ACL tear that Rapinoe was still rehabbing. But Rapinoe insists “that’s not the reason I was not on those rosters.” She says the decisions were never fully explained, but the time line married precisely: She didn’t play again for the national team until after the federation passed a rule stating that all players “shall stand respectfully” for the anthem. (Ellis, who stepped down from her U.S. job in July, maintains she made “football decisions” without any direction from the federation. “Was [kneeling] the appropriate thing to do in a national team jersey? I didn’t know,” Ellis says. “But I certainly understood it, and in no way was I saying, You can’t do it.”)

In the end, “it just so happens that I came back with a vengeance, better than I had ever been,” Rapinoe says. “And then it was like, Well, you are stuck with me now.”


Denise Rapinoe is making the rounds at Jack’s Grill on a recent Wednesday night. After helping out at her daughters’ camps, she later followed Megan to New York City, where mother and daughter attended Glamour’s Woman of the Year awards. Now she’s back home in Redding, Calif., at this dimly lit, 81-year-old steakhouse with linoleum floors and tin ceilings.

A group of women ask Denise to see her photos from the Glamour event, and they coo over the black lace dress Denise found at Nordstrom, over Megan’s Gucci ensemble, over the picture they posed for with Charlize Theron. “You must be so proud,” one woman says, squeezing Denise’s hand.

Proud Mom smiles and slips her phone back into a pocket of her black pants. Then she pulls out her pad and pen and takes an order at the next table.

Denise began waitressing here when Megan and Rachael were 22 months old, working nights while her husband, Jim, a contractor, worked days. On Tuesdays, her day off, she would drive the twins 2½ hours each way to their club soccer practice near Sacramento.

Today Megan is an international star, one of the most famous athletes in the world, but growing up Denise made sure to tell her daughters You’re not the s— just because you’re good at sports. Later, as a senior at Foothill High, Megan was voted Most Likely to be Famous, but she was also the kind of kid who wrote her assistant principal a lengthy thank-you note at graduation.

Denise and Jim have been asked about Megan’s origin story enough times over the past six months that they have a rotation of anecdotes. Among them: the middle-school assembly where Megan gave a rousing speech about each of the grades coming together, like a hot dog folded between the sides of the bun; or the time in fifth grade when she and Rachael stood up to eighth-grade bullies on the playground. But the most salient aspect of Rapinoe’s upbringing doesn’t fit into a tidy narrative. She was part of a big, messy and (eventually) politically divided American family.

Together Denise and Jim raised seven children, not all their own. Denise has a son and daughter, Michael and Jenny, from a previous marriage; then came Brian and the twins. They also took in Denise’s youngest sister, CeCé, after their parents died, in 1981, and Brian’s son, Austin, who needed a home when Brian struggled with drug addiction.

Redding is firmly in the red part of Northern California, such that when Rapinoe knelt during the national anthem, the owner of Jack’s, spurred on by disapproving patrons, took down the photos of Denise’s daughter that a bartender had hung at the restaurant.

Even Jim admits, “I wasn’t thrilled” with Megan’s kneeling. He was still hurt, though, by all the hate mail he received, all the people calling his daughter unpatriotic. He and his father, Jack, both served in the Army. And he has a cousin, John, he points out, who served in Vietnam and remains a huge supporter of Megan. Her right to protest, Jim says, is “what he fought for.” (Megan: “I don’t understand the [idea] that it’s un-American to criticize your country. That’s what an open democracy is about—civil discourse and being able to protest. Clearly, we are not perfect. Until we address the problems we have, it is not going to be better.”)

Over the years, all the differing viewpoints have allowed Rapinoe to grow more comfortable with uncomfortable conversations. When she told her mother she was gay, in college, she thought about everything from Denise’s perspective, knowing Mom would need time to wrap her head around this new reality. As Denise recalls, “She said, ‘Mom, I get it. Things are going to look different from what you thought, and you have to grieve that.’ That was really helpful.”

In 2016, after the November presidential election in which Jim voted for Trump, Megan and Rachael refused to talk to their father, outside of a happy-birthday text, until finally they came home for the family’s traditional Italian-sauce dinner on Christmas Eve. Eventually the wine got flowing and everyone engaged in a heated living-room debate that lasted for hours, but by the end of the night everyone said “I love you” and went to bed.

“I’m thankful I have this understanding,” Rapinoe says, “from the place I’m from, from the career and the life I’ve had, the things I’ve been able to do, the people I’ve known . . . the brother I’ve had,” meaning Brian, with his dependency issues. “It’s all given me this full view. I’m from Trump country. But I’m able to travel the world and live in very liberal places now. I am sort of in all the worlds at once.”

Brian, five years older than the twins, is the one who set up cones in the yard to teach them how to dribble, whose games first mesmerized the future World Player of the Year. The girls were in second grade when he started using drugs; they were 10 when he first got in trouble. Later, Jim had the radio on one morning during breakfast when they all heard a bulletin: Brian Rapinoe has been arrested for burglary. Other times, the girls’ achievements would appear in the sports section of the local paper while their brother was written up in the news section the same day. “It was all out there,” Denise says. “The good, the bad, the dirty.”

Now 39, Brian watched his little sister’s first two World Cups, in 2011 and ’15, from prison, his drug addiction and related criminal offenses having consumed most of his adult life. This summer, though, he was able to cheer her on from a transitional facility in San Diego, where he finished out his latest sentence in a reentry program. “Being able to watch the World Cup outside of bars,” Rachael says, “meant a lot to him and to our family.”

Simon Bruty

In early August, two weeks before he was paroled, Brian secured a 12-hour pass to travel to a victory-tour game at the Rose Bowl, and Michael drove him up. Megan wasn’t playing that afternoon (she was nursing the same left Achilles injury that’s nagging her today; just old age, she says), but at the team hotel before the match she reunited with her brother for the first time in more years than she could remember. Nine, maybe?

Looking back on that visit, Rapinoe wipes at her eyes, but she pushes forward. The subject is not off-limits. “It’s fully on-limits,” she says. In an era when everything can feel over-filtered, over-curated, she doesn’t want her life story to be just the highlights. The raw footage links her to others with loved ones battling addiction; it has shaped her opinions on the need for prison reform. “Being able to understand these different perspectives, it maybe gives some white people incentive to care about these things. . . . It’s given me a tremendous amount of empathy and understanding.”

When it’s suggested that empathy—this ability to see the world as others are experiencing it—may be something of a theme here, Rapinoe seizes the chance to lighten the mood. “Oh, that’s good,” she says, dryly. “You don’t think I’m a psychopath.”


Today Rapinoe stands during the national anthem, hands crossed behind her back instead of over her heart, reflecting silently. Sometimes, she says, the names of people of color who have unjustly lost their lives run through her mind. Trayvon Martin. Michael Brown. Tamir Rice. She stops herself. She doesn’t want to seem like she’s leveraging their names. “But I think about Why?” she continues.

For her the anthem is no longer a reflexive experience, Rapinoe says, “whereas I feel like most people who put their hand over their heart and sing, it’s a totally unconscious act.” She thinks about her decision three years ago to kneel and walks through all the subsequent possibilities, knowing Kaepernick has not had the chance to return to his sport.

Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

“I considered [continuing to kneel],” she says. “It’s still something I’m a little conflicted about. I don’t know what would have happened [if I’d continued]. Can you do the same thing without kneeling? Did I make my point? How long do you need to protest? It certainly was better for me to stop kneeling. So, that’s a little, like—” Rapinoe scrunches up her face. As she graces magazine covers, as she appears on stages and fields and podiums across the world, she carries the question with her: Am I doing enough?

Several hours after pondering this she finds herself at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, on her way home to Seattle, when a passenger walks over to say hello. Jen Fry runs her own social justice education firm, working with athletic departments and conferences across the country, and here she introduces herself to Rapinoe, explaining that her job tackles the intersection of race and sports. “Really, there’s no intersection,” Rapinoe replies, meaning: You can’t talk about one without the other; they’re intertwined.

Fry agrees, hands over a business card and everyone’s on her way. . . . Only, a few minutes later, Fry looks up to see Rapinoe walking back toward her. Can we chat a little more? What more can I do as a white person? How can I best use the platform I have?

“I told her she should talk about her whiteness, and name it”—normalize it—Fry recalls. “Homegirl knelt in support of Kaepernick, and she still was like, What more can I do? That shows: You don’t have to know everything to do something.”

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

But part of Rapinoe’s power is that she typically does seem to know everything, to say the right thing (with a few f-bombs mixed in), to deliver off-field moments as memorable as those on. At the Glamour event she thanked Kaepernick, whose courage lit the path she followed, and acknowledged the role that white privilege plays in her being feted as an outspoken World Cup champion while he remains unemployed. Named last week as the winner of the second-ever Ballon D’Or Féminin award, she challenged the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to join her fight against racism and sexism in soccer. And on a September night in Milan, when she was handed her FIFA award, she used her platform to call attention to Raheem Sterling (of Manchester City) and Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli), two players, among many, for whom the cost of playing the game they love is enduring racist chants; and Iran’s “Blue Girl,” who disguised herself as a man in order to attend a soccer game, and who then set herself on fire to avoid charges for violating a ban against women in stadiums; and MLS player Collin Martin, then the only openly gay male in America’s big five professional sports.

“I couldn’t believe it,” says Martin. “It’s probably her greatest personal achievement as a soccer player, and she decided to talk about others.”

That ability to see the bigger picture is something Rapinoe’s teammates have experienced more personally. Two years ago Rapinoe and Bird were in Turks and Caicos on vacation with a group of friends that included fellow national teamers Harris and Krieger, who by then had been dating for several years, when over dinner one night the conversation turned to the idea of coming out. Harris and Krieger had until then kept their relationship out of the public eye, but that was starting to feel inauthentic, and they were wrestling with the pros and cons of being open about it all.

“Megan said something,” Krieger recalls, “that I will never forget: that there are young kids who are too scared to be themselves, and if we keep hiding, it doesn’t make it normal to be in a lesbian relationship.” (The couple announced their engagement in People magazine this year, and when they wed later this month, Rapinoe will be Harris’s maid of honor.)

Denise Rapinoe watched her own daughter go through the same process years ago, opening her true self to the world. She’s seen Megan go from an awkward preteen grappling with her identity, to the first prominent women’s soccer player to come out, to an American icon. “She’s the voice so many people don’t have,” Denise says, tearing up. “It’s hard to be ­really open and vulnerable like [Megan does]. There are a lot of people who probably want to, but they just don’t have the voice, haven’t found it yet. Megan has it now.”


Thirty minutes before she poses for yet another magazine shoot—Marie Claire, Glamour, GQ—Rapinoe is touching up her famous coif with Walmart dye. Ever wonder why the color varies between pink (it started, in May, as Pravana Neon Pink, at a Seattle salon) and purple, sometimes with a brown undergrowth? She’s a busy lady, and hair upkeep is not high on her list.

The Olympics are in seven months, and at times soccer feels like the furthest thing from Rapinoe’s mind. It’s easy to see why no women’s team has ever followed a World Cup win with an Olympic gold. “That’s a frustrating thing,” Rapinoe says. “Through our [U.S. Soccer contract] we are not able to secure our financial futures. In order to [do that] you have to win everything, catch lightning in a bottle, like this summer. Then you can blow up. But to secure your financial future you have to undevote yourself to your sport, which does not put you in a position to catch lighting in a bottle again.”

Jeffery A. Salter

About that lightning in a Walmart bottle. Denise’s first thought on her daughter’s pink do was that it looked like cotton candy. She didn’t like it. But then she thought about it, and something came to her. “You’ve been in the trenches for so long,” she said. “You take on a lot of heavy stuff, and this is your way of being light.” Rapinoe doesn’t know if it was that deep—not consciously, at least—but she filed it away as she’s tried to make sense of the craziest year of her life.

Back in the studio, pink-haired Megan Rapinoe is gliding in a gauzy Valentino gown with black Maison Margiela shoes, a light moment made more enjoyable by all the heavy ones. Her brother . . . Kaepernick. . . . The lawsuit, which is headed for a May trial after mediation talks in August broke down. . . . Trump, which she says her experience kneeling “positioned me perfectly” to handle. . . .

She FaceTimes Denise and texts a photo to Harris, who replies, “You look like a goddam goddess.” Then she puts down the phone and a photographer asks her to pose with a prop sledgehammer, the concept being that she’s smashing the patriarchy. Someone suggests that she roar, too, the way she does after a goal. She dislikes this idea. The face and the sledgehammer, she scoffs, say the same thing.

“What about a smirk?” she asks. “It’s kind of like a little, F— you, I’m coming.”

She knows the look well. Everyone does by now. Rapinoe first struck The Pose after a goal in an April friendly against Australia. It was her way of asking fans, “Are you not entertained?” As the year progressed, though, it grew to take on greater meaning, purpose, prominence. Maybe you saw self-love, or defiance, or something else entirely. Today, even Rapinoe struggles to explain The Pose. It’s against her nature, after all, to see things in their simplest terms.

“It’s clearly more than a celebration,” she says, but “I’m still trying to articulate exactly the way I feel in it. This is me in the full. We’re not going to be a certain way for anyone. This is me, and you know you love it.”

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The cheeky fire-starters at Eight by Eight magazine knew exactly what they were doing when they waited six whole months until the business end of the Women’s World Cup to publish the interview with Megan Rapinoe they had recorded in January. At least as much as the impish American midfielder knew what she was provoking when asked whether the US women’s national soccer team she captains intended to visit Donald Trump if they managed the exceedingly rare feat of repeating as world champions.

“I’m not going to the fucking White House,” Rapinoe flatly stated. “No fucking way will we be invited to the White House.”

Megan Rapinoe calls for more investment in US women’s game

The release of the Rapinoe interview during the last week of June was a journalistic depth charge timed for maximum impact. The USA women, who had only just outrun an early-tournament controversy where they had become perhaps the first team in World Cup history to come under criticism for scoring too many goals (yes, really), were one day removed from seeing off Spain to set up a blockbuster quarter-final with the hosts, France, when the teaser clip dropped and went viral.

Trump, an instinctive counter-puncher who never met a spotlight he didn’t try to hijack, fired back the next day with a warning to Rapinoe to not “disrespect” her country: “Women’s soccer player, @meganrapino, just stated that she is ‘not going to the F … ing White House if we win’. Other than the NBA … teams love coming to the White House. I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS!”

Nothing about the presidential riposte came as a surprise, least of all the lie that he likes soccer or that he initially addressed it to the wrong Megan Rapinoe. Ever since he seized on Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police violence as a wellspring of easy political points, Trump has regularly co-opted sport as not merely a proxy battle in the culture wars but a primary theatre. Suddenly Rapinoe and co were no longer solely up against the growing cluster of European powers that have closed the competitive gap over the past decade, but what seemed like the entire American right.

She has compelled the country to engage in conversations once considered forbidden in the public square
Rapinoe was openly backed by her teammates as the back-and-forth with Trump came to overshadow the team’s looming showdown with a hotly tipped France side eager to knock the Americans off their perch. Alex Morgan also made it known she wouldn’t go to the White House, while Ali Krieger threw her support behind Rapinoe, saying Trump was angered by women he “cannot control or grope” and decrying what she described as the administration’s “fight against LGBTQ+ citizens, immigrants & our most vulnerable”.

But Rapinoe, a lesbian with a taste for the fight whose unapologetic political views have made her a lightning rod for conservatives, was always the primary target, with more skin in the game than anyone else. Not that she would have it any other way.

The rest is history. The purple-haired talisman, who turned 34 during the tournament, bounced back from a somewhat ponderous showing in group play to score pivotal goals in three of her side’s final four matches, earning the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer and the Golden Ball as the best overall player, while helping the US become the third country to defend successfully a World Cup, men’s or women’s, since the second world war.

Even after the USA returned home after defeating the Netherlands for their record fourth world title, Rapinoe’s right-wing critics redoubled in volume and numbers – no doubt irked by the pictures beamed around the globe of fronting a ticker-tape parade in lower Manhattan with the World Cup trophy in one hand and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame in the other.

Megan Rapinoe
FacebookTwitterPinterest Drinking it in: Megan Rapinoe downs champagne on the USA’s victory parade in New York.

The Fox News anchor Howard Kurtz accused Rapinoe of using her platform “to mar or spoil or tar what could have been this great unifying victory”, while the conservative pundit Ben Shapiro said the midfielder was getting lucrative contracts only because she’s an “outspoken lesbian” who just happens to be good at soccer.

Piers Morgan, who had previously hit out at Rapinoe’s statuesque pose after the second of her two goals to beat France, called her unbearable, while the Fox News host Jesse Watters decried her “unpatriotic” behaviour, saying it undermined the team’s campaign for equal pay. Sebastian Gorka, a former White House aide, invoked Rapinoe (“this woman who dyes her hair, who thinks she’s a big warrior”) to allege the US team were out “to destroy everything that is wholesome in our country and in our Judeo-Christian civilisation”.

Everything about Rapinoe – the flamboyant hairstyle, the victory pose that launched a thousand memes, the unrepentant egotism – makes them angry. She was the first white athlete to take a knee during the Star-Spangled Banner in solidarity with Kaepernick and the Black Lives Matter movement in 2016, and drew criticism for standing with her hands at her sides during the World Cup while representing the US on a global stage. She has consistently spoken up for LGBT rights and has also been one of the faces of a gender-discrimination complaint filed by a group of US women’s players alleging they are paid less than their male counterparts. Not since Kaepernick has a single athlete made them so uncomfortable.

But not unlike the exiled former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, she has compelled the country to engage in conversations once considered forbidden in public square – turning the afterglow of her team’s championship on vital matters of LGBTQ rights as well as racial and gender equality.

And no, she never made it to the White House.

“I don’t think anyone on the team has any interest in lending the platform that we’ve worked so hard to build and the things that we fight for and the way that we live our life,” she told CNN’s Anderson Cooper during the team’s extended victory lap. “I don’t think that we want that to be co-opted or corrupted by this administration.”

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When asked whether she had a message for Trump, she took a breath, broke the fourth wall and spoke: “Your message is excluding people. You’re excluding me, you’re excluding people that look like me, you’re excluding people of colour, you’re excluding Americans that maybe support you.”

She went on: “I think that we need to have a reckoning with the message that you have and what you’re saying about ‘Make America great again’. I think that you’re harking back to an era that was not great for everyone. It might have been great for a few people. Maybe America is great for a few people right now. But it’s not great for enough Americans.”

Win before you talk? No problem. And by taking the fight to enemies foreign and domestic, our purple-haired champion and voice of the disenfranchised ensured the Summer of Rapinoe will be long remembered.

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CHICAGO (Nov. 27, 2019) – U.S. Soccer has announced the nominees for the 2019 Young Male, Young Female and Player of the Year with a Disability awards. Voting for the candidates begins Nov. 27 and closes on Dec. 6 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The winner will be announced during the second week of December.

The Young Male Player of the Year field showcases a number of rising stars who have played for the U.S. Men’s National Team and the Youth National Teams this year. Defender Sergiño Dest shined for the USA at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland and parlayed a sterling early season with Ajax into repeated senior MNT call-ups that will continue to come after he became cap-tied to the U.S. in November’s Concacaf Champions League match vs. Canada. Midfielder Paxton Pomykal saw his star rise as he helped lead the charge for the U.S. in Poland and turned consistent MLS performances into his first senior Men’s National Team appearance. Center back Chris Richards made a big move to Bayern Munich and showcased why Germany’s biggest club signed him as he earned a spot on the U-20 World Cup’s 10 players to watch list. Gianluca Busio had a breakout year for club and country as the most experienced professional player to ever suit up for a U-17 USMNT that qualified for a record 17th U-17 World Cup, while teammate Gio Reyna was the U-17s’ top scorer and secured a move to German powerhouse club Borussia Dortmund. Ricardo Pepi also contributed to the U-17 USMNT’s success while making his mark in the pro ranks with USL League One outfit North Texas SC, as his goals helped fire the side to the league title game.

The Young Female Player of the Year nominees represent a group of talented players who have all seen time with U.S. Youth Women’s National Teams this year. Goalkeeper Casey Murphy returned from beginning her pro career in Europe to mind the nets for Reign FC, helping the side to a fourth-place NWSL finish and semifinal playoff appearance – a body of work that earned her a call-up to the WNT’s December ID camp. U-17 WNT forward Trinity Byars ran rampant through the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, scoring 31 goals in 18 games to help Solar Soccer Club win the U-16/17 National Championship while also shining at the international level. Defender Naomi Girma entered her second cycle with the U-20 WNT and led Stanford as a sophomore captain, while U-20 teammate Brianna Pinto has helped UNC to a 22-1-1 record; both have earned a call-up to the WNT’s December Identification camp. Rounding out the field is forward Allyson Sentnor. The Massachusetts native was recently named Sports Illustrated Kids SportsKid of the Year and is the U-17 WNT’s leading scorer this year, despite playing up an age group.

This year’s Player of the Year with a Disability field features Steve Everett, a player, coach and organizer for Power Soccer, who is working hard to expand access and investment in the sport. Holly Hunter of the U.S. Deaf Women’s National Team is a strong defender for U.S. Soccer Development Academy club Legends FC who has been called into a pair of U.S. Youth National Team camps, while U.S. Para 7-a-Side striker Nick Mayhugh is on the ballot again for his second straight year of superlative play for the USPNT, which achieved two historic tournament finishes this year thanks to Mayhugh’s goals and leadership. Michael Schmid completes the list of nominees after a superb year for the U.S. Deaf Men’s National Team, winning the Golden Boot while helping the USA win a gold medal at the 2019 Pan-American Games in Chile.

Young Female, Male & Player with a Disability Bios

Past Player of the Year Award Winners

Votes for U.S. Soccer Player of the Year awards are collected from National Team coaches, senior National Team players who have earned a cap in 2019, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, the U.S. Soccer Athletes’ Council, select media members as well as former players and administrators. Nominees were selected by coaches of the respective National Teams.

Players cannot win the Young Male or Young Female Player of the Year award more than once.

The award for Young Player of the Year was first presented in 1998 with Josh Wolff and Cindy Parlow winning for the Young Male and Young Female category, respectively. The Player of the Year with a Disability award was first given in 2012 with Felicia Schroeder earning the honor.

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — Each year the Chicago Red Stars return to the NWSL playoffs, the questions about winning in the playoffs and getting past the semifinal barrier became more prominent.

Each year, the players and coach Rory Dames would be asked about how they could reach the final. After four straight defeats, they had to face the reality that until they won a semifinal, the questions would remain.

The Red Stars were finally able to answer those questions in a definitive way Sunday with a 1-0 win against the Portland Thorns. The memories of four straight semifinal losses may still linger for some, but now it’s about the next step.

“It’s nice to be able to finally get there,” Dames said. “We’ve been close, but I’d be lying if I said that we’ve accomplished all that we want to do this year.”

Dames has been the coach all five years, but most of the roster has turned over. Only four active Red Stars were on the first playoff team in 2015: Vanessa DiBernardo, Danielle Colaprico, Julie Ertz and Arin Wright. Wright was unavailable due to illness, while the other three started Sunday.

For DiBernardo, the win was more about excitement than relief. She noted how things were different late in the season. The Red Stars entered the playoffs on a five-match winning streak.

“We’ve finished out this season on a high and I think in the past it’s always kind of not been like that so this year’s a little bit different,” DiBernardo said. “We just tell ourselves that every year is different. It’s a different team. It’s a different year. The playoffs in the past are so different. It’s exciting to just get over the hump.”

So what was different about this team that allowed them to get over that hump?

“I don’t think there’s anything specific,” DiBernardo said. “We’ve had this core group for so long and we’ve been able to grow together and play well together. Being able to keep that chemistry is huge. We’ve had four other semifinals so we’re used to the pressure, we know what to expect and I think that’s big.”

Sam Kerr, the lone goal scorer Sunday, is in her second year with the Red Stars. For her, the sting of a playoff defeat is concentrated on last year. Kerr recalled last year’s 2-0 loss to the North Carolina Courage.

The Red Stars will face the Courage again, but this time it will be in the final.

“I think honestly last year, the loss in the semifinal, we feel like we kind of let ourselves down,” Kerr said. “We had worked so hard. Everyone just came back with a different mentality that this is going to be our year. We’ve stuck together. People have come in and out all year. It’s just been about the team. We’ve got a lot of big personalities in our team, but no big egos. I think that’s really unique in this team and, like I said, we totally deserved to be there and I’m so happy to be a part of it.”

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CHICAGO (Dec. 4, 2019) – Florida State midfielder and U.S. Youth National Teams veteran Jaelin Howell has replaced University of North Carolina defender Emily Fox on the U.S. Women’s National Team Identification Camp roster. The 24-player training camp will take place from Dec. 9-14 in Bradenton, Florida.

Fox, who has three USWNT caps, suffered a knee injury in UNC’s NCAA quarterfinal playoff victory against USC on Nov. 29.

Howell has trained with the USWNT once previously, back in 2017 when she was 17. She played for the USA at both the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan and the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France.

She started all 23 games she played for the Seminoles this season and scored five goals with four assists from her defensive midfield position, helping FSU into the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. During the 2018 season, she played in 26 matches as a freshman with 24 starts in helping the Seminoles win the NCAA Championship.

GOALKEEPERS (2): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 3/0), Casey Murphy (Reign FC; 0/0)

DEFENDERS (8): Maycee Bell (UNC; 0/0), Malia Berkely (Florida State; 0/0), Imani Dorsey (Sky Blue FC; 0/0), Naomi Girma (Stanford; 0/0), Sarah Gorden (Chicago Red Stars; 0/0), Hailie Mace (Rosengård FC, SWE; 3/0), Kiara Pickett (Stanford; 0/0), Margaret Purce (Portland Thorns FC; 1/0)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars; 2/0), Vanessa DiBernardo (Chicago Red Stars; 0/0), Jordan DiBiasi (Washington Spirit; 0/0), Jaelin Howell (Florida State; 0/0); Sarah Killion (Sky Blue FC; 0/0), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 15/1), Brianna Pinto (UNC; 0/0), Ashley Sanchez (UCLA; 0/0)

FORWARDS (6): Bethany Balcer (Reign FC; 0/0), Madison Haley (Stanford; 0/0), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 2/0), Paige Monaghan (Sky Blue FC; 0;0), Sophia Smith (Stanford; 0/0), Ally Watt (Texas A&M; 0/0)

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As he begins efforts to expand the United States women’s national team player pool, new head coach Vlatko Andonovski has named 24 players for an identification camp, 17 of whom are uncapped.

The camp, taking place from Dec. 9-14 in Bradenton, Fla., is comprised entirely of players who are not regulars to the national team as mainstays enjoy contractually obligated time off. There will not be a match during this camp, meaning Andonovski and his staff will have only training sessions to evaluate these players.

Andonovski has invited mostly players from the National Women’s Soccer League, rewarding several for a successful 2019 season. The 2019 Rookie of the Year, Bethany Balcer of Reign FC, made the cut, as did another nominee for that award, the Washington Spirit’s Jordan DiBiasi. Three members of the Chicago Red Stars team that reached the NWSL Championship match — Sarah Gorden, Danielle Colaprico, and Vanessa DiBernardo — also made the roster.

A number of college players will also participate in the camp. The University of North Carolina’s Emily Fox, Stanford’s Sophia Smith, and UCLA’s Ashley Sanchez made the roster after previous call-ups under Andonovski’s predecessor Jill Ellis. Additionally, one player from outside of the U.S. made the cut, with Rosengård’s Hailie Mace rejoining the team after making the World Cup qualifying roster in October of 2018.

The training camp is a final opportunity for many to impress Andonovski ahead of the Olympic qualifying tournament that begins in January.

Here is the full roster:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Casey Murphy (Reign FC)

DEFENDERS (9): Maycee Bell (UNC), Malia Berkely (Florida State), Imani Dorsey (Sky Blue FC), Emily Fox (UNC), Naomi Girma (Stanford), Sarah Gorden (Chicago Red Stars), Hailie Mace (Rosengård FC, SWE), Kiara Pickett (Stanford), Margaret Purce (Portland Thorns FC)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars), Vanessa DiBernardo (Chicago Red Stars), Jordan DiBiasi (Washington Spirit), Sarah Killion (Sky Blue FC), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash), Brianna Pinto (UNC), Ashley Sanchez (UCLA)

FORWARDS (6): Bethany Balcer (Reign FC), Madison Haley (Stanford), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Paige Monaghan (Sky Blue FC), Sophia Smith (Stanford), Ally Watt (Texas A&M)

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CHICAGO (Nov. 27, 2019) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski has named a 24-player roster for an Identification Camp that will take place from Dec. 9-14 in Bradenton, Florida and will complete the year of activity for the USWNT.

Andonovski’s second training camp roster – he officially came on board on Oct. 28 – will not include any players from the USA’s 2019 World Cup Team, all of whom are on a well-deserved end-of-year break. This event is being staged to evaluate younger players from the college game and those who have performed well in the National Women’s Soccer League or in pro leagues abroad, with the goal of deepening the player pool and positioning players for possible future call-ups to events in 2020.

GOALKEEPERS (2): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 3/0), Casey Murphy (Reign FC; 0/0)

DEFENDERS (9): Maycee Bell (UNC; 0/0), Malia Berkely (Florida State; 0/0), Imani Dorsey (Sky Blue FC; 0/0), Emily Fox (UNC; 3/0), Naomi Girma (Stanford; 0/0), Sarah Gorden (Chicago Red Stars; 0/0), Hailie Mace (Rosengård FC, SWE; 3/0), Kiara Pickett (Stanford; 0/0), Margaret Purce (Portland Thorns FC; 1/0)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars; 2/0), Vanessa DiBernardo (Chicago Red Stars; 0/0), Jordan DiBiasi (Washington Spirit; 0/0), Sarah Killion (Sky Blue FC; 0/0), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 15/1), Brianna Pinto (UNC; 0/0), Ashley Sanchez (UCLA; 0/0)

FORWARDS (6): Bethany Balcer (Reign FC; 0/0), Madison Haley (Stanford; 0/0), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 2/0), Paige Monaghan (Sky Blue FC; 0;0), Sophia Smith (Stanford; 0/0), Ally Watt (Texas A&M; 0/0)

“One of our main goals heading into 2020 is to expand the player pool, but with Olympic Qualifying coming up soon, we don’t have much time to do that, so this camp is a great opportunity for the players and the coaches,” said Andonovski. “For the players, it’s a chance to try to earn invitations to future camps so we can evaluate them against the veteran players, and for the coaches, it’s a very valuable few days to try to add depth to positions where we may need it.”

The roster features 17 uncapped players, six with three caps or less and Houston Dash midfielder Kristie Mewis, older sister of 2019 World Cup champion midfielder Samantha Mewis, who earned 15 caps over 2013 and 2014.

“It’s important to reward players who have done well for their college teams and for their professional teams in the NWSL or overseas, and it’s also important for talented young players to get a taste of the National Team environment as breaking into the full team can often be a marathon and not a sprint,” said Andonovski. “Many of these players have done very well for our Youth National Teams and in college, but the international game at the senior level is a huge jump for them and we need to find out which of these players can make that transition.”

Due to the short duration of the camp, which will consist of five days of training, players traveling from overseas would not have sufficient recovery time between travel and the start of camp. As a result, only currently domestic-based players were selected.

The roster includes 14 professional players and 10 collegiate players, including Brianna Pinto and Maycee Bell from UNC and Naomi Girma and Sophia Smith from Stanford, all of whom were born in 2000 and are age-eligible for the next FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. The USWNT has yet to cap a player born after the historic 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Girma was voted the 2019 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. The 5-foot-11 Bell was named the ACC Freshman of the Year. Pinto and Smith trained with the senior National Team in 2017 when they were 16. These are their first WNT call-ups since then. Pinto was the youngest player in the modern era to make a tournament roster for the senior Women’s National Team at the 2017 SheBelieves Cup, but did not play.

Pinto, who was named All-ACC First Team, has started all 24 games for the Tar Heels so far this season and is second on the team in scoring with 10 goals and six assists.

Two players come into National Team camp after recovering from major injuries in midfielder Kristie Mewis, who rebounded from an ACL tear to have a fine 2019 NWSL season with the Houston Dash, and Smith, who broke her leg at the end of her freshman year in 2018 but has 14 goals and eight assists this season.

Smith scored in a U.S. Youth National Team-record nine consecutive international games for the U.S. U-20 WNT in 2018 when she tallied 15 total goals. She has 23 career international goals in 27 U-20 caps.

Ten players are earning their first call-up to the senior National Team. Defenders Bell, Girma, Sarah Gorden, Malia Berkely and Kiara “Kiki” Pickett, midfielder Jordan DiBiasi, and forwards Bethany Balcer, Madison Haley, Paige Monaghan and Ally Watt.

Players with prior training camp experience with the USWNT but who have yet to be capped are goalkeeper Casey Murphy, defender Imani Dorsey (who was in for the November friendlies this year), midfielders Sarah Killion, Vanessa DiBernardo, Ashley Sanchez and Pinto, and forward Smith.

Defender Margaret “Midge” Purce was also with the team for the November friendlies and earned her first cap, starting against Costa Rica on Nov. 10.

Defender Emily Fox earned her first two WNT caps at the end of 2018, playing against Portugal in Lisbon and Scotland in Glasgow, and then her third against France in Le Havre in January of 2019. She has yet to earn a cap inside the USA. Fox was an All-ACC First-Team selection this season for the Tar Heels.

DiBernardo and Killion were key parts of the midfield for the U.S. team that won the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan. That team also featured 2019 World Cup champions Samantha Mewis, Crystal Dunn, Julie Ertz and Morgan Brian.

DiBernardo, who scored in the quarterfinal victory against North Korea in that tournament, is the daughter of Angelo DiBernardo, who won the 1978 Hermann Trophy for Indiana and played for the Men’s National Team between 1979-1985. The USWNT has never capped a player whose father played for the USMNT.

DiBernardo, midfielder Danielle Colaprico and Gorden all played major roles in helping the Chicago Red Stars finish second in the NWSL this past season and advance to its first title game in club history.

Gorden, 27, who has a five-year old son, is the only player on this training camp roster who is receiving her first National Team call-up at any age level.

Almost the entire training camp roster has experience with the USA’s Youth National Teams and 22 of the 24 players have played with the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team, 15 of them over the past two years. That total goes up to 17 over the past three years.

Thirteen players on the roster have played for the USA in a FIFA Youth Women’s World Cup: goalkeepers Jane Campbell (2012 U-17, 2014 U-20) and Casey Murphy (2016 U-20), defenders Emily Fox (2016 U-20, 2018 U-20), Girma (2016 U-17, 2018 U-20) and Pickett (2016 U-17, 2018 U-20), midfielders DiBernardo (2012 U-20), Pinto (2016 U-17, 2018 U-20), Killion (2012 U-20), Sanchez (2016 U-17, 2016 U-20, 2018 U-20) and Kristie Mewis (2008 U-17, 2010 U-20) and forwards Purce (2014 U-20), Smith (2016 U-17, 2018 U-20) and Watt (2016 U-20).

Balcer, the 2019 NWSL Rookie of the Year for Reign FC, is the first player from an NAIA College to earn a WNT call-up. She attended Spring Arbor University in her native Michigan. She was the only Reign FC player to appear in all 24 of the club’s regular season matches and scored a team-high six goals with two assists.

Of the 10 collegiate players named to the roster, nine are still alive in the NCAA Tournament, which will play its quarterfinals this coming Friday and Saturday.

Three players on the roster were named U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year in Mewis (2008), Sanchez (2016) and Smith (2017).

Haley is the daughter of five-time Super Bowl champion defensive lineman Charles Haley. Haley is third in scoring this year at Stanford – behind Catarina Macario and Smith – with 11 goals and 10 assists.

Pickett, an All-Pac 12 First-Team selection this year, has started all 22 games for the Cardinal so far this season.

Murphy started her pro career in France with Montpellier – where she was in the nets for 35 matches over 15 months – but returned to the USA this past season with Reign FC, for whom she played every minute of 19 matches this season.

Campbell, who has three WNT caps, played every minute of all 24 matches in goal this past NWSL season for the Houston Dash. She is the youngest goalkeeper to be called into the senior National Team. She trained with the U.S. team at the age of 17 in January of 2013.

As a redshirt sophomore during the 2018 college season, Berkely was a key player on Florida State’s 2018 NCAA Championship team. She was the only player to start all 27 games and has started every game this season as well when she was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year as a redshirt junior.

Sanchez trained with the full U.S. Women’s National Team during a camp in Orlando, Fla. in April of 2016 when she was 17, but this is her first senior WNT call-up since then. She has come up through the U.S. Youth WNT system, having played for the U.S. U-14, U-15, U-17, U-20 and U-23 levels. She has seven goals and 14 assists for the Bruins this season.

In 2016, Sanchez played in both the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, where she scored three goals and one assist as the team captain, and in the U-20 Women’s World Cup, where she scored one goal with two assists, becoming the first American female player to play in both the U-17 and U-20 World Cups in the same cycle.

Defender Hailie Mace’s three caps came during the fall of 2018 during the qualifying tournament for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She has been playing with Rosengård FC in the Damallsvenskan, Sweden’s top division, that finished play at the end of October. She had four goals and three assists in 16 matches this season in helping her club win the Swedish title and qualify for the 2020-21 UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Ashley Hatch’s first cap came against Switzerland in 2016 in Sandy, Utah, when she was still a student-athlete at BYU. Her second cap came in 2018 against Mexico in Jacksonville, Fla. She scored seven times for the Washington Spirit this past NWSL season to lead the team.

Kristie Mewis played in the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, where she won the Bronze Ball as the third best player in the tournament, and in the 2010 U-20 World Cup in Germany.

The Mewis siblings are one of just two pairs of sisters to have played together on the USWNT and the only sisters to have both played in a FIFA Youth World Cup together.

Monaghan, the first player from Butler University to earn a WNT call-up, scored twice for Sky Blue FC this past season. DiBiasi scored four times for the Washington Spirit.

Forward Ally Watt, who scored 16 goals with seven assists during her senior season for Texas A&M this fall, scored twice for the USA off the bench at the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.