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Four OL Reign players called into USWNT for November friendlies

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Huerta returns to team for first time since 2018, Balcer with chance to earn her first cap.

Nikita Taparia

USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovsi’s 22-player roster for the team’s upcoming friendlies in Australia was unveiled this morning, and it features four OL Reign players — Rose Lavelle, Sofia Huerta, Alana Cook, and Bethany Balcer. Overall, the roster includes 10 players from the 2020 Olympic roster, along with 12 players who have 10 or fewer caps.

“We still have a few players out with injuries, so this roster is a mixture of players with a lot of experience in World Cups and Olympics, some who have been a part of the program for a while but who are looking to make their mark in international soccer and a few who are getting a first chance with the National Team in an event like this,” said Andonovski in a USSF release. “We’ve turned the page towards 2023 World Cup qualifying and rarely do we get the chance to test young players in environments filled with adversity, so we need to take advantage of what these two games will offer us. It’s exciting to get a chance to see all these players together in our environment and give them a chance to play against one of the best teams in the world.”

Lavelle is among the most internationally experienced players on this roster, with 66 caps and 17 goals for the USWNT. She most recently appeared in the team’s October friendlies against South Korea. Huerta has earned seven caps since Sep 2017, but fell out of favor with former US head coach Jill Ellis and has not received a call-up since 2018. For these friendlies she is listed as a defender, likely indicating that it is her conversion to right back that earned her the call.

Cook has earned two prior caps for the USWNT — one in 2019 and the other in January of this year. Balcer has been called into the senior team once before by Andonovski, for a talent identification camp in Dec 2019, but no games were scheduled during that camp so she remains uncapped at the senior level.

The US will play two games against Australia during this window — the first on Fri, Nov 26 at 8 PM PT (Sat, Nov 27 at 3 PM local time) in Sydney, which will be broadcast on FS1, and the second on Tue, Nov 30 at 1:05 AM PT (8:05 PM local time) in Newcastle, which will be broadcast on ESPN. Players involved in the NWSL Championship game are expected to report to camp following that match.


U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION (CAPS/GOALS) – NOVEMBER MATCHES VS. AUSTRALIA:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Bella Bixby (Portland Thorns FC; 0), Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 7), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 0)

DEFENDERS (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign; 2/0), Abby Dahlkemper (Houston Dash; 77/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 43/1), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC; 6/0), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign; 7/0), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 197/0), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 61/0)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 106/24), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 66/17), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 12/3), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 31/4), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit; 0/0), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 20/2)

FORWARDS (6): Bethany Balcer (OL Reign; 0/0), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 2/0), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 7/2), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 10/1), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 43/13), Morgan Weaver (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0)