Sunday, April 14, 2024

USWNT squad for SheBelieves Cup: Mallory Swanson and Catarina Macario return to the USA roster after injury

Fresh off a 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup victory, U.S. women’s national team interim head coach Twila Kilgore has named a 23-player roster for the upcoming SheBelieves Cup. Kilgore will coach her final two matches as interim before joining the next USWNT manager Emma Hayes’ staff as an assistant. The tournament is set to begin on April 6 in Atlanta, Georgia, and conclude on April 9 in Colombus, Ohio. The USWNT will host Brazil, Canada, and Japan in the annual event. 

Squad rotation and evaluation is still a theme ahead of the Olympics. There are 19 players returning from the Gold Cup roster but new names and returning faces are included across the SheBelieves Cup camp list. Forwards Catarina Macario and Mallory Swanson have returned after lengthy injury absences, and 16-year-old Ajax midfielder Lily Yohannes and 21-year-old Paris Saint-Germain defender Eva Gaetino have earned their first senior team call-ups.

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USWNT 2024 SheBelieves Cup Roster

Goalkeepers (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

Defender (8): Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC), Crystal Dunn (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Tierna Davidson (NY/NJ Gotham FC), Emily Fox (Arsenal FC), Eva Gaetino (Paris Saint-Germain), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Casey Krueger (Washington Spirit), Jenna Nighswonger (NY/NJ Gotham FC)

Midfielders (6): Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), Olivia Moultrie (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Lily Yohannes (AFC Ajax)

Forwards (6): Catarina Macario (Chelsea FC), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars)

Swanson and Macario return from injury

Swanson spent time as a training camp player during the Gold Cup but did not participate in the tournament. The 25-year-old makes her return to the full roster for the first time since sustaining a torn patellar tendon during a friendly against Ireland in April 2023. The attacker is coming off two club matches with the Chicago Red Stars and was the 2023 SheBelieves Cup MVP. 

“Mal we had the advantage of seeing in the last camp as a training player. She was performing at a very high, very strong, level. Didn’t quite have the fitness underneath her to do more, and I think it was the right thing to bring her in as a training player,” Kilgore told the media on Swanson’s return.

‘She was then able to go back into her club environment where she’s excelled and been able to pick up more minutes and things like that. She’s in a very good spot and we’re very excited to have her back, not just as a player, but for what she brings in. Who she is as a person to the environment.” 

Macario’s return comes after a long rehab from an ACL injury sustained in June 2022. She last played for the USWNT during the 2022 SheBelieves Cup where she earned MVP honors. The 24-year-old Macario recently returned to the pitch with Chelsea FC in England where she plays for Hayes. 

She featured off the bench and scored in each of her first two games and provided assists during Chelsea’s first-leg UWCL quarterfinal win over Ajax and a recent victory against Aston Villa. Macario’s minutes have been limited, but her efforts have earned her call-up for Hayes and Kilgore.

“Her minutes have been increasing over there at Chelsea. We’ve been watching closely but what’s been most impressive about her as she’s come back is just the quality of her impact on the game regardless of the amount of minutes that she’s been playing,” Kilgore elaborated. 

“So we’re really excited to get her reintegrated into our team. I’ve also met with her in person over the last couple months, I know this is something that is near and dear to her, and she’s just really excited to get back in our environment. We welcome them both with open arms and are very excited.”

Injuries keep some players out as a precaution

Rose Lavelle and Lynn Williams are two members of the Gold Cup roster not part of the SheBelieves Cup camp. Midge Purce and Casey Krueger also picked up knocks in their previous club games. Krueger is a member of the recent roster and expected to compete, while Kilgore noted that they are awaiting an update from NJ/NY Gotham FC on Purce, who could be allowed as a replacement player if healthy.

Kilgore further explained in her press conference that Lavelle’s minutes were also limited during Gold Cup as a precaution and that her omission from SheBelieves Cup is “mostly a preventative measure in terms of where she’s at … because we do anticipate that she would be available later for selections.”

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