Breaking down the USWNT Concacaf W Gold Cup Roster

The U.S. women's national team has its roster set for the first-ever installment of the Concacaf W Gold Cup. How does it fare? We break down the choices by Twila Kilgore

China v United States
China v United States / Brad Smith/ISI Photos/USSF/GettyImages
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The U.S. women's national team is gearing up for the first-ever installment of the Concacaf W Gold Cup. The confederation announced the brand new tournament in December 2020, giving teams throughout Concacaf another chance to showcase its women's national teams.

The U.S. goes into the tournament as the favorite. In the history of the Concacaf W Qualifiers, the U.S. has won nine of the 11 tournaments. Canada won the other two. The U.S. is looking to be the first winner of the brand new tournament.

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Twila Kilgore remains the interim head coach of the U.S., as the team awaits the arrival of Emma Hayes. The Chelsea manager will join the national team in May, after the Women's Premier League season in England comes to a close.

Kilgore named a 23-player roster for the tournament, which will also include four South American teams from CONMEBOL: Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Colombia.

The full roster is listed below.


U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB) – 2024 CONCACAF W GOLD CUP

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

Defenders (8): Alana Cook (Seattle Reign FC), Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC), Tierna Davidson (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Crystal Dunn (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Fox (Arsenal FC, ENG), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Casey Krueger (Washington Spirit), Jenna Nighswonger (NY/NJ Gotham FC)

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

Forwards (6): Mia Fishel (Chelsea FC, ENG), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC)


Jane Campbell and Casey Murphy will battle for starting job.

The days of Alyssa Naeher as the clear-cut No. 1 goalkeeper for the U.S. is long gone. Naeher had an abysmal season for club last year with the Chicago Red Stars, but with the national team she's a different goalkeeper. However, this is an Olympic year, and the next generation is rising up. Younger goalkeepers grace this roster, particularly Casey Murphy.

Murphy has been getting consistent starts with the U.S. Naeher does provide a veteran presence, but in an official Concacaf tournament, the U.S. will want to take this seriously — no matter who the competition is. In fact, the U.S. could very well see a handful of teams in the Concacaf W Gold Cup in the Olympics, like Canada or Brazil.

Last year, though, Cambell completely crushed the goalkeeper category. She led the league with 91 saves and picked up eight shutouts. Murphy did one-up Campbell in the shut out category, though, notching nine clean sheets, which tied Kailen Sheridan of the San Diego Wave for the most in the league.

The U.S. is in a group with Argentina, Mexico and the winner of one of the preliminary matches, and will have either Guyana or the Dominican Republic (they face off on Feb. 17). Mexico has struggled mightly in recent years, so expect some rotation in net for the first three games.

https://twitter.com/USWNT/status/1755277734798905351

Will Abby Dahlkemper show off a return to form?

The road has not been easy for Abby Dahlkemper in the last handful of years. A nagging back injury kept her out for a long spell, making her big return to the pitch last NWSL season with the San Diego Wave, later in the season.

For Dahlkemper, any minutes are a confidence boost. She's a player that is finding her form after a long absence. For her to get a start or two in the group stage, and potentially in the knockout rounds, could be a massive boost for the national team. There is no Becky Sauerbrunn on this roster, so Dahlkemper is the veteran face of the center backs, along with Naomi Girma.

Casey Krueger, Tierna Davidson and Alana Cook also starring in those positions. Cook has been primarily starting alongside Girma, but with a group stage that leaves room for rotation, look for Kilgore to try out some different formations and pairings.

As for other defenders, Crystal Dunn and Jenna Nighswonger are listed as attacking players for Gotham FC, but are nailed down as defenders for the Concacaf W Gold Cup. Emily Fox has impressed early on with her spell in England, featuring for Arsenal FC.

Likely a starting lineup for the U.S. against either Guyana/Dominican Republic could look like this: Dunn-Girma-Dahlkemper or Cook-Fox.

Will Korbin Albert get some time to shine?

The midfield for the U.S. has six players, and the formation usually runs three in the middle. Lindsey Horan, the U.S. captain, will likely start, alongside Rose Lavelle. However, the third spot is up for grabs.

Korbin Albert is one of four players on the roster that hones her craft in Europe. Albert features for Paris Saint-Germain in France. The Notre Dame alum made her debut for the U.S. on Dec. 5, 2023, against China. In the Division 1 Féminine season, Albert has featured in 14 matches, and scored once in the 2023-24 UEFA Women's Champions League campaign, featuring in eight matches.

With a loaded roster like the U.S. women's national team has, it's a tough task to break through and find a starting role. However, this tournament was made for Albert to get some time in the spotlight and show off her skills.

Albert and Olivia Moultrie, the teenage phenom for the Portland Thorns, will likely be subs off the bench, but if they can make an impact with their minutes, look for them to start in the group stage. Sam Coffey is in the midfield mix, as well, coming off another strong season with Portland, along with Emily Sonnett having a breakout season in midfield with the Reign.

Trinity Rodman, this is your time.

Trinity Rodman, Midge Purce, Mia Fishel, Jaedyn Shaw, Sophia Smith and Lynn Williams are the forwards for the U.S. in the Concacaf W Gold Cup. Notably left off the roster was Alex Morgan, along with Washington Spirit forward Ashley Hatch.

There are some seriously talented players that make up the six forwards. Finding the right combination will be a big task for Kilgore, as these players have not played alongside each other for a long time. Rodman, Smith and Purce have linked up the longest.

If Kilgore elects to start Purce and Williams, Gotham FC fans will get a peak into their future, after acquiring a handful of U.S. internationals this offseason — although, to be fair, both were on last year's championship-winning team.

Either way, it's hard to imagine that 21-year-old Rodman is one of the veterans on the roster, with 28 appearances. Rodman is a lethal goal scorer in the NWSL, and will likely give the Guyana or Dominican Republic goalkeeper an incredibly hard evening.

In fact, all of these forwards will give their Concacaf W Gold Cup opponents plenty of trouble. However, my eyes are on Rodman, who is looking to have a big 'senior season' with the Washington Spirit, after winning the championship in her rookie season, and failing to make the playoffs in 2022 and 2023.

USWNT Matches at the Concacaf W Gold Cup

Tuesday, Feb. 20: USWNT vs. Guyana OR the Dominican Republic | 7:15 PT / 10:15 ET | Dignity Health Sports Park; Los Angeles, California

Friday, Feb. 23: USWNT vs. Argentina | 7:15 PT / 10:15 ET | Dignity Health Sports Park; Los Angeles, California

Monday, Feb. 26: USWNT vs. México | 7:15 PT / 10:15 ET | Dignity Health Sports Park; Los Angeles, California

Quarterfinals: March 2-3 | BMO Stadium; Los Angeles, California
Semifinals: March 6 | Snapdragon Stadium; San Diego, California
Final: March 10 | Snapdragon Stadium; San Diego, California

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