CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (July 18, 2018) — Jill Ellis has her preliminary roster ready for the Tournament of Nations.
After a month-long break from international action, Ellis and the U.S. Women’s National Team will be back at the end of the month for the Tournament of Nations. The tournament features Brazil, Japan and Australia in a three-match contest for each side.
USWNT Releases 25-Player Preliminary Roster for Tournament of Nations
The event will run from July 26 to Aug. 2. Matches will be played in Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park, East Hartford, CT, at Pratt & Whitney Stadium and Bridgeview, IL, at Toyota Park.
Ellis called in 25-players to make up her preliminary roster.
“This is again an opportunity to host and play against some of the world’s best teams,” said Ellis. “We will see different styles and scenarios, which for sure will benefit us down the line, but ultimately our players love to compete and they are driven to win medals.”
“Outside of our injured players, the core of our team has been together since January and even with just a few days of prep, this group will be excited and ready to get back on the field together against Japan.”
Jaelene Hinkle Makes Controversial Return
Notably included on the roster was defender Jaelene Hinkle.
The North Carolina Courage defender has been left out of the national team since she elected to not wear a rainbow numbered jersey during June 2017 friendlies against Sweden and Norway.
This past June, Hinkle admitted to her decision against the Pride Month jerseys, which issues support to the LGBTQ+ community, to The 700 Club.
“I just felt so convicted in my spirit that it wasn’t my job to wear this jersey,” Hinkle said, citing religion as her reason for not attending. “I knew in my spirit I was doing the right thing and I knew that I was being obedient… If I never get a national team call-up again, that just is part of His plan.”
“She is high on her faith, and in my honest option that’s absolutely incredible,” McDonald said. “If she’s for God, then that’s fine, that’s great if that’s what keeps her going in her life and keeps positivity in her life, then let that be.”
“She’s got a good heart, and she battled through the game. It’s not an easy thing for her,” Riley said. “I give her a lot of credit to be perfectly honest. Whatever her beliefs are, whatever she believes in, that’s her. It doesn’t affect the team. It doesn’t seem to affect anybody on the team.”
However, the reception to Hinkle’s interview – and her recent national team call-up – has provided a spark of anger – and debate – in the U.S. Soccer community.
God is good! ☺️
Honored. Excited. Ready. https://t.co/3afoOVqTWd
— Jaelene Hinkle (@JaeHinkle_15) July 18, 2018
Sofia Huerta’s Gamble Goes Down
Notably left off the roster is midfielder/forward – and sometimes defender for the national team – Sofia Huerta. The midfielder left the Chicago Red Stars during the middle of the season to feature for the Houston Dash.
According to The Equalizer, Huerta’s decision to leave was due to her wanting to feature as an outside back to get a more serious look at with the national team. However, Vera Pauw has put Huerta in the midfield position, which has proven positive for both the player and the club.
However, Ellis wasn’t having it, despite Huerta’s goals for Houston.
— DashStats (@DashStats) June 23, 2018
McCall Zerboni Back for Another Round
While Huerta isn’t impressing Ellis’ high-standards, McCall Zerboni is. The North Carolina Courage midfielder impressed during U.S. Women’s National Team friendlies against China in June, which led Ellis to call her up once more.
Back in June, Ellis said that Zerboni – despite her age of 31 – was in a mix to be part of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers roster – and even the final tournament roster.
“McCall is going to be in the hunt, in the mix,” Ellis said. “I think it’s a very deep position for us, but I like the way she reads the game, controls the game. She has a great energy. She’s new to the team, her leadership qualities are within her. Focusing on her play, she can mix it up. I actually liked it when I pushed her down more central, in the six role. She’s a person that’s going to be in the mix.”
The full roster of players is listed below.
— NC Courage (@TheNCCourage) May 6, 2018
Full Roster: United States
Goalkeepers: Adrianna Franch, Ashlyn Harris, Alyssa Naeher
Defenders: Abby Dahlkemper, Tierna Davidson, Jaelene Hinkle, Merritt Mathias, Becky Sauerbrunn, Casey Short, Emily Sonnett
Midfielders: Morgan Brian, Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Carli Lloyd, Samantha Mewis, Allie Long, McCall Zerboni
Forwards: Crystal Dunn, Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan, Kealia Ohai, Christen Press, Megan Rapinoe and Amy Rodriguez
I’m looking forward to watching the @USSoccer_WNT retake the field to face some tough competition from around the world. Best of luck to Jill and our squad as they prepare for the Tournament of Nations! #ToN2018 https://t.co/h3D0SSDLW0
— Carlos Cordeiro (@CACSoccer) July 18, 2018
The Other Rosters
Goalkeepers: Sakiko Ikeda, Ayaka Yamashita, Chika Hiro
Defenders: Aya Sameshima, Saori Ariyoshi, Rumi Utsugi, Shiori Miyake, Risa Shimizu, Aimi Kunitake, Nana Ichise
Midfielders: Emi Nakajima, Moeno Sakaguchi, Nikaru Naomoto, Rika Masuya, Rin Sumida, Yuka Momiki, Yui Hasegawa, Narumi Miura
Forwards: Nahomi Kawasumi, Yuika Sugasawa, Mana Iwabuchi, Kumi Yokoyama, Mina Tanaka
Goalkeepers: Mackenzie Arnold, Lydia Williams
Defenders: Ellie Carpenter, Steph Catley, Alanna Kennedy, Clare Polkinghorne
Midfielders: Tameka Butt, Alex Chidiac, Caitlin Foord, Katrina Gorry, Elise Kellond-Knight, Chloe Logarzo, Amy Sayer, Emily van Egmond
Forwards: Larissa Crummer, Lisa De Vanna, Mary Fowler, Emily Gielnik, Samantha Kerr, Hayley Raso, Kyah Simon
“From left to right, Jaelene Hinkle stands with Mallory Pugh, and Lindsey Horan of the U.S. Women’s National Team. Hinkle’s inclusion to the Tournament of Nations roster has sparked debate.” (Photo credit: John Babiak)