Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe is coming off her most productive NWSL season, where she scored 12 goals in 18 matches and was a finalist for the NWSL MVP Award. She will start the 2018 season on a strong note, as Rapinoe was one of 26 players selected by Jill Ellis for the U.S. women’s national team’s annual January training camp.
The 15-day training camp in Los Angeles will serve as an evaluation period for Ellis to choose a squad for the SheBelieves Cup in March, where the United States faces England, France, and Germany. The camp concludes on January 21 with a friendly against Denmark in San Diego. Denmark made it to the UEFA EURO Final in 2017, falling in a thrilling match to the Netherlands, and is currently ranked 12th in the world by FIFA. Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. PT and can be watched on ESPN.
Rapinoe returns to the U.S. roster after being called in for November friendlies against Canada. She started both matches and tallied an assist, and ended the year with three goals and a team-high five assists in just 648 minutes. Rapinoe also ended up second in voting for the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year, losing out to Julie Ertz.
Meanwhile, Reign FC defender Rachel Corsie is one of 23 players selected for two Scotland friendlies against Norway and Russia in January. Corsie served as team captain in the team’s October World Cup Qualifiers against Belarus and Albania, which were both victories for Scotland. The next World Cup Qualifiers come in April for Scotland, and former Reign FC star Kim Little is hoping to return from an ACL injury in time for those matches.
While Reign FC has a number of other international players still representing countries like Australia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Wales, no other national teams have announced January friendlies at this time.
Nine Seattle players remain in Australia through February for W-League play. Carson Pickett’s Brisbane Roar currently sit at the top of the league ladder with four matches remaining in the regular season. Melbourne City are in a tight race for that final playoff spot, currently tied in points with Perth Glory for fourth. City is home to Lauren Barnes, Larissa Crummer, Jess Fishlock, Rebekah Stott, Lydia Williams, and Jodie Taylor, who just player her first match for Melbourne last weekend. Fishlock has five goals, while Crummer has tallied three and Stott one.
Haley Kopmeyer’s Canberra United sit in the sixth position with five matches remaining. Kopmeyer has had a season not dissimilar to her 2017 year in Seattle. She leads the league in saves while having to compensate for a leaky backline. The team will need a few more stellar performances from their goalkeeper if they want to move up the W-League ladder.
Kristen McNabb’s Melbourne Victory sit right under Canberra. Their defense has been strong, as McNabb has been a key part of that backline, but the team has managed to score just 9 goals in 7 matches.
We’ll have a full W-League update next week, and look forward to getting back into the swing of women’s soccer to keep us going until the NWSL season kicks off in April. It feels so far away ...