Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By CAITLIN MURRAY
U.S. Women’s National Team coach Tom Sermanni has called up 28 players for a camp next week – but superstar striker Alex Morgan won’t be there, due to an injury of growing concern.
Morgan’s left ankle injury initially happened during training in October, but she returned to play as a sub in a Nov. 10 friendly against Brazil. Morgan is now suffering a “stress reaction” and will wear a protective boot for several weeks, according to U.S. Soccer.
“It’s an injury that’s a bit more serious than we thought, so we’ll take the appropriate action to make sure she’s completely healed before getting her back on the field,” Sermanni said in a press release. “It’s just an injury that takes time to heal. We’re putting no time frame on her whatsoever. What’s most important is that when she’s ready to go, she’s healthy and able to perform at her highest level.”
The six-day camp starting Jan. 8 will be the team’s only one before facing Canada for a friendly Jan. 31 in Frisco, Texas to be aired live on Fox Sports 1.
The training marks the return of goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, who had missed the squad’s December camp due to a minor knee surgery. Megan Rapinoe and Morgan Brian also return after missing the previous camp due to scheduling conflicts with their clubs.
“Our two-week December training camp was extremely productive and valuable, and the week in January will help sharpen our players up after the holiday break,” Sermanni said. “Fortunately, we had quite a few players who performed well in 2013 and we head into 2014 with a lot of options all over the field. We’re looking forward to getting a quality start to a year that will end with World Cup qualifying.”
GOALKEEPERS (5): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns FC), Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina), Whitney Engen (Tyresö), Meghan Klingenberg (Tyresö), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Yael Averbuch (Washington Spirit), Morgan Brian (Virginia), Amber Brooks (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Julie Johnston (Santa Clara), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Lyon), Erika Tymrak (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Sarah Hagen (Bayern Munich), Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)
What do you think of the camp roster? How worrying is Alex Morgan’s lingering ankle injury? Excited to see Ashlyn Harris, Megan Rapinoe and Morgan Brian return?
Share your thoughts below.