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Women’s soccer Olympic squad to tune up against Mexico at Rentschler Field – The Collinsville Press
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U.S. Soccer

Women’s soccer Olympic squad to tune up against Mexico at Rentschler Field

U.S. forward Megan Rapino, right, and the 2020 U.S. women’s soccer team will play two games against Mexico in East Hartford to prepare for the Summer Olympics beginning later this month in Japan.

The American women’s soccer team that will play in this month’s Olympic tournament has been announced and the 18-player squad will get in two tuneup games against Mexico at Rentschler Field in East Hartford on Thursday and Sunday, July 5.

Eleven players who were on the USA’s roster for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil make a return, while 17 players who were members of the USA’s 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship team were named to the roster for Tokyo.

“It’s been a long process to get to this point, longer than anyone thought it would be, but we collected a lot of information on the players over the past year and half in trainings, in their club matches and in international games and we’re confident that we’ve selected the team with the best chance for success in Japan,” said Vlatko Andonovski, the U.S. women’s national team head coach.

The U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team will come together will play Mexico in a pair of games in their WNT Send-Off Series. Game 1 is Thursday (July 1) beginning at 7:30 p.m. on FS1 and TUDN while game two is Monday, July 5 at 5 p.m. on ESPN and TUDN.

Two players – forwards Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath – make their fourth Olympic team, tying former captain and 2021 National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee Christie Pearce Rampone for the most in U.S. women’s soccer history. Lloyd, who will turn 39 on July 16 just before the Olympics begin, is the oldest-ever U.S. women’s soccer Olympian, nearly two years older than Rampone when she played in the 2012 Olympics.

Prior to the naming of this roster, 12 women’s national team players had previously made three Olympic Teams. Add to that list defenders Becky Sauerbrunn and Kelley O’Hara as well as forwards Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, who all played in the 2012 and 2016 Games.

Defender Crystal Dunn, midfielders Lindsey Horan and Julie Ertz, forward Christen Press and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, the native from Stratford, Conn., make their second Olympic teams and will be working for their first Olympic medals.

The first-time Olympians are defenders Abby Dahlkemper, Tierna Davidson and Emily Sonnett, midfielders Samantha Mewis, Kristie Mewis and Rose Lavelle and goalkeeper Adrianna Franch.

Kristie Mewis, the older sister of Samantha by 592 days, is the only player on the roster who was not on the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team.

The naming of both Mewis sisters marks the first time that sisters have represented the USA on a world championship roster at the senior level. Both Samantha and Kristie played for the USA at the 2008 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, in which the USA advanced to the final, and at the 2010 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany.

Heath and Ertz are still recovering from injuries but are expected to be fit and ready for selection once the Olympic women’s soccer tournament commences on July 21.

Unlike the World Cup, when the roster is frozen once the first match is played, during the Olympics teams can make a roster change due to an injury at any time leading up to and during the tournament. There will be five substitutions allowed per team during Olympic matches, plus the possibility of one concussion substitution.

Andonovski also named four alternate players that will travel to Japan in goalkeeper Jane Campbell, defender Casey Krueger, midfielder Catarina Macario and forward Lynn Williams. Should a player need to be replaced leading up to or during the tournament, it would come from these four.

said Andonovski. “We have a very experienced roster that has been through adversity at the highest levels, so it’s no surprise those players have distinguished themselves. They’ve embraced the challenges and have shown tremendous flexibility and determination over the past 15 months to get us to where we are today,” said Andonovski.

The U.S. will open Group G play on July 21 – two days before the Olympic Opening Ceremony– against Sweden (5:30 p.m. local / 4:30 a.m. ET) at Tokyo Stadium.

Tokyo Olympics Schedule — U.S. Women’s National Team

 Date  Opponent  Venue  Kickoff
 July 21  Sweden  Tokyo, Japan (Tokyo Stadium) 5:30 p.m. local
4:30 a.m. ET
 July 24  New Zealand  Saitama, Japan (Saitama Stadium) 8:30 p.m. local
7:30 a.m. ET
 July 27  Australia  Kashima, Japan (Ibaraki Kashima Stadium) 5 p.m. local
4 a.m. ET

The U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team advanced to the gold medal game of every Olympic women’s soccer tournament that had been contested until 2016, when the Americans were knocked out in penalty kicks in the quarterfinal round by Sweden. The USA won the inaugural gold medal in 1996 in Atlanta, won silver in 2000 in Sydney and then won three straight golds after standing atop the podium in Athens, Greece in 2004, Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.

“We’ve got a balanced team with many players who can play several positions and that will be valuable as we try to play six games in 17 days in heat and humidity,” said Andonovski. “So now we have to focus on getting our entire roster ready to go and fine-tuning a few things during our Send-Off series (against Mexico in East Hartford).”

In accordance with the local health authorities, and in cooperation with Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field as well as the U.S. Soccer medical team, tickets for both matches will available at near full capacity.

Tickets are on sale through ussoccer.com. Tickets will not be sold at the Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field ticket office except for the day of the event.]

Once the USA and Mexico arrive in Connecticut, all the players and staffs will operate inside highly controlled environments for the duration of the two-game series. Everyone entering the controlled environment will be tested for COVID-19 before traveling, upon arrival and periodically thereafter. The teams will not begin full team training until the results of all arrival tests are confirmed.

2020 U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team roster by position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (6): Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City/ENG), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage)
FORWARDS (5): Tobin Heath (Unattached), Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Unattached), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign)

Since 2009, the Collinsville Press has been providing award-winning coverage of sports and news in the Farmington Valley and across Connecticut.

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