Meet the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 2023 World Cup Roster

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 9, 2023; San Jose, California, USA; The US WomenÕs National Team poses after the game against Wales at PayPal Park.

The process of assembling the U.S. women’s national soccer team roster for the World Cup was both easy and hard.

Coach Vlatko Andonovski was blessed with a player pool deep enough to field two competitive lineups this summer. In that sense, he couldn’t go wrong.

Yet he had to weigh long-term injuries, players returning from substantial absences and the rise of youngbloods. More than 18 months of training camps, international games and club performances offered insight and answers, culminating with his selection of 23 players for the month-long tournament shared by Australia and New Zealand.

While veterans form the foundation of the squad – some of whom have already hoisted the World Cup trophy twice – a set of players poised to make their World Cup debuts will bolster the campaign for an unprecedented third consecutive title.

Here is a closer look at the squad.

Aubrey Kingsbury

GK, Washington Spirit

Hometown: Cincinnati

Age: 31

Caps: 1

The NWSL goalkeeper of the year in 2019 and ’21 received regular call-ups throughout 2022 and debuted vs. Uzbekistan. Early this year, she fell behind Adrianna Franch for No. 3 on the depth chart and seemingly dropped out of World Cup contention. But with Kingsbury in good form for the Spirit and Franch not playing for Kansas City, they swapped places again.

Casey Murphy

GK, North Carolina Courage

Hometown: Bridgewater Township, N.J.

Age: 27

Caps: 14

The Rutgers graduate began her pro career with Montpellier in France before returning stateside to play for OL Reign in 2019 and 2020. She was traded to North Carolina for U.S. teammate Crystal Dunn. Murphy earned her first U.S. match assignment in late 2021 and has strengthened her roster spot with several spectacular performances.

Alyssa Naeher

GK, Chicago Red Stars

Hometown: Stratford, Conn.

Age: 35

Caps: 91

A back-up to Hope Solo at the 2015 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, Naeher won the starting job at the previous two major tournaments. Four years ago in France, she conceded three goals and recorded four shutouts in seven World Cup matches. In the semifinal against England, the former Penn State all-American stopped a potential tying penalty kick in the 84th minute of the 2-1 victory.

Alana Cook

DF, OL Reign

Hometown: Far Hills, N.J.

Age: 26

Caps: 25

Goals: 1

The center back, via Stanford, began her pro career with Paris Saint-Germain before transferring to the NWSL in 2021. She has been named to the league’s Best XI twice. While Cook was a fixture in the U.S. youth national team program, she was eligible to represent England because of family ties. She accepted a 2019 invitation for training purposes only, but she debuted for the U.S. senior squad later that year.

Crystal Dunn

DF, Portland Thorns

Hometown: Rockville Centre, N.Y.

Age: 31

Caps: 132

Goals: 24

Few players in the world are as good as Dunn defending one-on-one and, with her innate offensive skills, sparking the attack with a run down the left flank. She has prospered in the NWSL as an attacker – 2015 scoring champion and MVP with the Washington Spirit – but to her frustration, she has been the U.S. left back for years. Her playing time has been gradually ramped up since she returned from maternity leave last fall.

Emily Fox

DF, North Carolina Courage

Hometown: Ashburn, Va.

Age: 25

Caps: 29

Goals: 1

The graduate of Stone Bridge High School and North Carolina overcame ACL injuries to both knees in college and an inauspicious start to her international career as a teenager to become the squad’s most versatile outside back. She is comfortable starting on the left or right side, sometimes switching during games. Drafted No. 1 overall in 2021, Fox starred for Louisville for two years before being traded this past winter.

Naomi Girma

DF, San Diego Wave

Hometown: San Jose

Age: 23

Caps: 16

Goals: 0

After winning an NCAA title at Stanford and being the top overall pick in the 2022 NWSL draft, the center back parlayed her youth national team experience into a leading role with the senior squad. She broke into the national team last year and earned starting assignments. In the NWSL, she was voted rookie of the year and named to the Best XI all-star team.

Sofia Huerta

DF, OL Reign

Hometown: Boise

Age: 30

Caps: 30

Goals: 0

The dual national began her career with Mexico in 2012-13 and even played in a match against the United States. In 2017, FIFA approved her request to represent the U.S. program. She was among the team leaders in matches played in 2022, appearing in 16 of 18. A natural attacker, Huerta was converted into a defender by former U.S. coach Jill Ellis and became a regular figure at right back.

Kelley O’Hara

DF, Gotham FC

Hometown: Fayetteville, Ga.

Age: 34

Caps: 157

Goals: 3

O’Hara was part of two World Cup championship squads and evolved into one of the sport’s top right backs. Injuries, however, sidelined her for the second half of 2022. She also missed the first two camps of 2023 before returning for the April friendlies. O’Hara’s extra-time goal won the 2021 NWSL title for the Washington Spirit, and this past winter, she signed a free agent contract with Gotham FC.

Emily Sonnett

DF, OL Reign

Hometown: Marietta, Ga.

Age: 29

Caps: 75

Goals: 1

With the ability to play outside back, center back and midfield, Sonnett remains a valuable and versatile option. Since joining the national team in 2016, the Virginia graduate has made about the same number of appearances as a sub as a starter. Her first goal came last summer in the Concacaf W Championship semifinals. A member of the Washington Spirit’s 2021 championship team, she was traded this past winter.

Savannah DeMelo

MF, Racing Louisville

Hometown: Bellflower, Calif.

Age: 25

Caps: 1

Goals: 0

Receiving a World Cup roster slot with no senior experience – and few call-ups to training camp – is uncommon. But DeMelo’s breakout season in the NWSL this year thrust her into the mix. She was voted the league’s player of the month in May and displayed the type of attacking prowess that could translate internationally. She was a member of the 2016 and ’18 U-20 World Cup squads.

Julie Ertz

MF, Angel City FC

Hometown: Mesa, Ariz.

Age: 31

Caps: 118

Goals: 20

Until her surprising call-up for the April friendlies, Ertz seemed off the national team radar after taking maternity leave in 2022 and remaining an NWSL free agent into the spring. The resumption of her career was welcomed by the U.S. staff, which covets her tenacity, physical presence and experience. She started all seven matches, at center back, at the 2015 World Cup and six of seven, in defensive midfield, in 2019.

Lindsey Horan

MF, Olympique Lyonnais (France)

Hometown: Golden, Colo.

Age: 29

Caps: 129

Goals: 27

A starter for most of seven years, Horan uses her technical skills and vision in a central role to set the tone and keep opponents off-balance. She was, however, not part of then-coach Jill Ellis’s plans in the 2019 World Cup final, despite starting the semifinal against England. Between stints in France with Paris Saint-Germain and now European champion Olympique Lyonnais, Horan logged six years in Portland.

Rose Lavelle

MF, OL Reign

Hometown: Cincinnati

Age: 28

Caps: 88

Goals: 24

Technical, clever and unpredictable, Lavelle is one of the world’s premier midfielders. An emerging figure on the 2019 World Cup squad, she rose to the forefront in the final against Netherlands with a late goal that clinched the title. FIFA awarded her the Bronze Ball as the tournament’s third-best player. The key is keeping her healthy; she has had periodic setbacks throughout her career.

Kristie Mewis

MF, Gotham FC

Hometown: Hanson, Mass.

Age: 32

Caps: 51

Goals: 7

It has been a long World Cup wait for the older sister of injured U.S. star Sam Mewis. Kristie Mewis debuted with the national team in 2013 but did not become a regular until Coach Vlatko Andonovski reintegrated her two years ago. She has provided central midfield depth and made two appearances at the 2021 Olympics. Her club career has taken her to six NWSL teams, plus stops in Australia, Japan and Germany.

Ashley Sanchez

MF, Washington Spirit

Hometown: Monrovia, Calif.

Age: 24

Caps: 25

Goals: 3

A youth national team star, Sanchez took the next step amid an impressive start to her NWSL career. She left UCLA early, became the No. 4 overall pick in the 2020 draft and helped the Spirit win the 2021 title. Her creative skills, deceptive footwork and speed have made her one of the league’s most exciting players.

Andi Sullivan

MF, Washington Spirit

Hometown: Lorton, Va.

Age: 27

Caps: 45

Goals: 3

The Spirit captain has helped fill the void in defensive midfield left by two-time World Cup veteran Julie Ertz, who paused her career to start a family. Last year, Sullivan started 15 of 18 U.S. matches and displayed the vision and leadership required in that position. The Stanford graduate was the top overall pick by Washington in the 2018 draft and started almost every match her first four seasons.

Alex Morgan

FW, San Diego Wave

Hometown: Diamond Bar, Calif.

Age: 34

Caps: 207

Goals: 121

After 13 years with the national team, two world titles and an Olympic gold medal, Morgan continues to perform at a high level and produce goals. She is up to No. 5 on the U.S. all-time list, and her goals per game is among the highest in history. Last year, she won the Golden Boot as the NWSL’s scoring champion and finished second to FC Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas for FIFA player of the year.

Megan Rapinoe

FW, OL Reign

Hometown: Redding, Calif.

Age: 38

Caps: 199

Goals: 63

Her accomplishments off the field have matched those on it, and as she enters her final World Cup, Rapinoe promises not to go quietly on either front. With her best playing days well behind her, she has settled into the role of prime sub at left wing. Expectations four years ago were tempered as well, yet she ended up winning the Golden Ball as World Cup MVP.

Trinity Rodman

FW, Washington Spirit

Hometown: Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Age: 21

Caps: 18

Goals: 4

Rodman’s raw abilities have been on display for two-plus NWSL seasons, earning her regular U.S. call-ups. Ruthless on the right flank, she has begun refining her game to become more than just a great athlete. The challenge has been to become more technical and polished in and around the penalty area. She was the 2021 NWSL rookie of the year after helping Washington win its first trophy.

Sophia Smith

FW, Portland Thorns

Hometown: Windsor, Colo.

Age: 22

Caps: 30

Goals: 12

The former Stanford star will have a hard time topping her 2022 campaign: 11 goals in 17 U.S. matches and MVP of both the NWSL’s regular season and championship game. Smith recorded 18 goals in 25 Portland matches overall, including the opening goal in the final against Kansas City. She was voted the youngest U.S. Soccer player of the year since Mia Hamm, also 22, in 1994.

Alyssa Thompson

FW, Angel City FC

Hometown: Studio City, Calif.

Age: 18

Caps: 4

Goals: 0

The first player to join the NWSL directly from high school, Thompson was the No. 1 overall draft pick last winter. She scored 11 minutes into her first league match. Already well-established in the U.S. youth system, including a role at the 2022 U-20 World Cup, the flashy winger made her senior debut last fall. In April, she replaced injured Mallory Swanson on the roster and started against Ireland.

Lynn Williams

FW, Gotham FC

Hometown: Fresno, Calif.

Age: 30

Caps: 53

Goals: 15

The quick winger enjoyed a terrific 2021 with both the North Carolina Courage and the national team, posting 12 combined goals. But a leg injury in early 2022 sidelined her for the entire NWSL season and cast doubt on her chances of making her first World Cup squad. She returned to U.S. duty early this year for two friendlies in New Zealand and played in all three SheBelieves Cup matches.