Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe headline USWNT SheBelieves Cup roster

San Diego Wave forward Alex Morgan, OL Reign forward Megan Rapinoe and Portland Thorns defender Becky Sauerbrunn highlight the 23-player U.S. women's national team roster for the SheBelieves Cup.

The competition includes Brazil, Japan, and Olympic champions Canada in the four-team competition. All three teams qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, and are ranked in the top 11 in the world.

The U.S. will face Canada on Feb. 16 in Orlando, and then take on Japan three days later in Nashville. The U.S. will finish out the tournament with a match against Brazil in Frisco, Texas.

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"All three of these matches are great opportunities for the players and coaches as we enter the final stretch to choose the World Cup roster," USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski said.

"To get to play three top teams, all who are in the World Cup, over seven days, will test our team mentally and physically, and that's exactly what we need at this point in our preparations. We still have a few players in the pool recovering from injuries, but we are confident that they will be ready for selection for our April matches."

Rapinoe, who has recovered from an ankle injury, is the only addition to the roster from the group that played two matches in New Zealand earlier this year. She enters the competition with a chance to hit 200 caps during the tournament. She is currently on 197.

Defender Tierna Davidson, a 2019 Women's World Cup champion and 2020 Olympic bronze medalist, is in the final stages of her recovery from an ACL injury and will participate in the first part of the training camp in Orlando but will not be on the tournament roster.

Reigning NWSL MVP Sophia Smith is the most notable omission from the roster. A U.S. Soccer spokesperson said Smith has recovered from a foot injury that prevented her from taking part in the New Zealand matches, but hasn't regained enough fitness to participate.

"[Smith] actually is looking good. She's back on the field running," Andonovski told media during a news conference.

"And I think that if we rushed it a little bit, we could have got some minutes from her, but I didn't feel like this was a situation where we rush to get her back. Our goal is not just to get her back but to stay back and that's why she's not in this camp.

"It takes about five to six weeks in team training before she starts playing games, so we expect to see her back or eligible for selection for April camp. That goes same for for Soph and a couple other players as well, like Kelley O'Hara and Christen [Press], Tobin [Heath]. They're all in return to play protocol."

Andonovski also confirmed that the team has known for some time that midfielder Sam Mewis, who announced this week that she was forced to undergo surgery on her knee for a second time, would not be available for the World Cup this summer.

The USWNT coach added that they were similarly not expecting fellow midfielder Julie Ertz, who has been without a team since late 2021, to be part of the roster.

"Julie Ertz is someone that obviously we see that she hasn't committed to any team in the league so far," he said. "And the time is running out pretty much for her as well and she's someone that we're probably not going to be able to count on in the World Cup.

"So these are two big names that that may be or will be absent from the World Cup and this is something that we have planned for and that's why we've tried different players in this position and we're gonna continue to try in this camp until we solidify the players that we believe will give us the best chance to be successful."

The U.S. is attempting to win the tournament for the fourth straight time, and sixth time overall, having prevailed in 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

U.S. women's national team roster by position (Club; Caps/Goals) -- 2023 SheBelieves Cup:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Kansas City Current; 10), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 12), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 87)

DEFENDERS (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign; 21/0), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage; 24/0), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 128/24), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC; 12/0), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign; 27/0), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 212/0), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign; 70/1)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 123/26), Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave FC; 9/2), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 86/24), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 47/7), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit; 19/3), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 39/3)

FORWARDS (7): Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 15/5), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC; 201/120), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 22/4), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 197/63), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit; 12/2), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars; 84/28), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 49/15)