Trinity Rodman receives the first call-up while youth reigns


Trinity Rodman, the 2021 NWSL Rookie of the Year, accepted her first call to the USWNT roster and will help lead a group of young stars that includes the top two NWSL draft picks making their way to the Squads want to fight for the World Cup next year.

The squad of 25 players for the first training camp of the year was announced by head coach Vlatko Andonovski on Wednesday. The camp runs from January 19-28 in Austin with no friendlies on the schedule. The SheBelieves Cup takes place from February 17th to 23rd.

The team has come back younger after turnover following last summer’s Tokyo Olympics and the USWNT seeking an unprecedented third straight World Cup title in 2023.

“We wanted to see these young players and give them the opportunity,” Andonovski said when speaking to reporters. “With more older players around, the younger players wouldn’t have as many opportunities as they have gotten or will get. Now we will evaluate all these players in this camp and also make decisions for the future camps. Despite all that, these (veteran) players are by no means out of the picture.”

Nine of the 25 women are under the age of 25 and 13 players have 12 caps or fewer. There are only 10 players from the Olympic bronze medal team in the roster. Those not on the list include Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe or Crystal Dunn.

Rodman titles youth on USWNT roster

For the first time, the senior USWNT roster features Trinity Rodman, the NWSL Rookie of the Year who helped lead the Washington Spirit to the championship title. (Ira L. Black – Corbis/Getty Images)

Rodman’s incredible rise continues with her first accepted call to the USWNT senior team. She turned down invitations to play friendlies last November, days beginning after helping Washington Spirit win their maiden NWSL title.

The 19-year-old forward was the NWSL’s youngest-ever draftee, becoming No. 2 ahead of the 2021 season. She took the league by storm, winning Rookie of the Year and US Young Female Player of the Year awards. Rodman led the league with seven assists and scored seven goals in 25 games.

“She was one of the most exciting players in the league last season,” said Andonovski. “We don’t want to rush anything. We have to be patient. She’s still a young player, but we want to put her in an environment where she can get her feet a little wet. … And hopefully she can continue to grow and show what she’s been able to do in the league, what she can do internationally.”

Rodman, the daughter of retired NBA superstar Dennis Rodman, will be the youngest player at camp and the only one who has never attended camp before. She is one of seven Spirit players added to the roster.

2022 NWSL draftees in USWNT camp

The top two picks in December’s NWSL college draft will be in the USWNT camp. Defender Naomi Girma went 1st on the San Diego Wave and midfielder Jaelin Howell was 2nd on Racing Louisville.

Girma, who won an NCAA championship at Stanford, was called up to a training camp in October 2020 and received the 2020 US Soccer Young Female Player of the Year award. The 21-year-old is one of seven No. 1 picks in camp in January.

Howell, a two-time NCAA State champion at Florida State, is back at camp for the first time since the 2021 SheBelieves Cup. She won the Mac Hermann Trophy, college football’s Heisman equivalent, for a second time last week in a ceremony attended by USWNT star Crystal Dunn.

“Both have some experience, but nowhere near the experience they need to play international matches at the highest level,” Andonovski told reporters on the conference call. “But that’s part of the process.”

Rodman, Girma and goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury (née Bledsoe) are the only uncapped players in the squad. Howell, 22, and Sophia Smith, 21, won their first caps against the Netherlands on 27 November 2021, becoming the first players born after the 1999 Women’s World Cup to receive an international cap.

Naeher returns but USWNT Veterans miss camp

Alyssa Naeher will be back in goal at USWNT camp after her knee injury in Tokyo. (Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher returns to the team for the first time since suffering a knee injury in the semi-final defeat in Tokyo. She is one of the few Olympic players to join the camp.

Dunn announced that she is pregnant with her first child and is expecting in May. Captain Becky Sauerbrunn underwent an inter-camp procedure to freeze her embryos and is still recovering. In advance of the procedure, any type of training must be discontinued. Julie Ertz is still recovering from a knee injury.

Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press and Tobin Heath were also not included in the list. Catarina Macario was originally in the squad but will instead stay with Lyon for the French Cup clash against Paris Saint-Germain. A substitute is named for Macario’s seat to bring it up to 26 players.

2022 January USWNT stock list

The USWNT list by position with team affiliation.

GOALKEEPER (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

DEFENDER (9): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC), Tierna Davidson (Red Stars), Imani Dorsey (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Kelley O’Hara (Spirit), Emily Sonnett (Spirit)

MIDFELD (7): Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Jaelin Howell (Racing Louisville FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Samantha Mewis (Kansas City Current), Ashley Sanchez (Spirit), Andi Sullivan ( Spirit)

FORWARD (6): Ashley Hatch (Spirit), Mallory Pugh (Red Stars), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Trinity Rodman (Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Lynn Williams (Kansas City Current)

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