Just 22 days before the United States Women’s National Team is set to kick off match against New Zealand for their opening match of the 2016 Olympics, Jill Ellis has finally confirmed who will be on that roster.
The roster is predictable to anyone who has been paying attention to the not-so-secret messages that Jill Ellis has sent with each dressing of the team.
Hope Solo will be heading to Rio for her third straight Olympics. Little doubt was cast on Ellis’ thoughts over who would wear #1 in Rio. Solo has started 12 of 14 matches in 2016. 10 clean sheets. Her last making her the first to reach the century mark.
The real story is that Solo’s Seattle Reign FC teammate, Megan Rapinoe, will join her. Rapinoe tore her ALC on December 4, 2015 on a practice field in Honolulu, Hawaii. The last competitive match Rapinoe played in was October 25, 2015 against Brazil. It will be seen if taking Rapinoe to Rio will pay off with a last spark or if it will end up with Rapinoe on the bench and Ellis out of options.
Reign FC will celebrate Solo and Rapinoe's selection to the USWNT at this weekend's Olympic Sendoff Match against the Western New York Flash. In even more surprising news, Rapinoe is expected to be on the Reign roster and available for selection in this match. What better way for her to get some competitive minutes before Rio?
The USWNT will play their final send off against Costa Rica on Saturday, July 22, at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.
2016 Rio Olympic Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Alyssa Naeher* (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo*** (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (6): Whitney Engen* (Boston Breakers), Julie Johnston* (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg* (Portland Thorns), Ali Krieger* (Washington Spirit), Kelley O'Hara** (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn** (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian* (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath*** (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan* (Portland Thorns), Carli Lloyd*** (Houston Dash), Allie Long* (Portland Thorns), Megan Rapinoe** (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (4): Crystal Dunn* (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan** (Orlando Pride), Christen Press* (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh* (UCLA)
Alternates: Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Heather O'Reilly(FC Kansas City) and Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns).
* First Olympics
** Second Olympics
*** Third Olympics