As expected, Orlando Pride striker Alex Morgan and goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris are going to Brazil for the Olympics to represent the United States. Also as expected, given recent team selections by Head Coach Jill Ellis, Morgan is part of the 18-player roster while Harris will travel with the team as one of four alternates, staying ready in case injury, illness, or suspension strikes one of the other goalkeepers.
Morgan, one of six USWNT Olympic roster players with more than 100 career caps, will appear in her second Olympics. She has four career goals in the Olympic Games.
Ellis hasn’t called Harris’ number for quite some time, so her being an alternate isn’t surprising, despite her being one of the NWSL’s top keepers this season. Ellis relies almost entirely on Hope Solo, with an occasional spot start in friendlies for Alyssa Naeher of the Chicago Red Stars -- also one of the league’s top goalkeepers. Kaitlyn Savage will fill in for Harris as the Pride’s primary keeper, with Megan Dorsey backing her up.
Much of the squad was as anticipated, but the question on everyone’s mind was the availability of midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who did make the roster after working her way back from ACL surgery in December.
The USWNT opens group play on Wednesday, Aug. 3, which is before the opening ceremony even takes place, against New Zealand at 6 p.m. ET. The Group G match-up will take place in Belo Horizonte. After the opener, the U.S. will remain in the city for a meeting with France on Saturday, Aug. 6 at 4 p.m. at Mineirão Stadium. The Yanks will finish Group G play on Tuesday, Aug. 9 against Colombia at 6 p.m. ET at the Amazônia Stadium in Manaus.
Here is a complete list of Ellis’ squad:
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 FC), 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 FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC).
Forwards (4): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado).
Alternates (4): MF Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), MF Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), D Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC), GK Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride).