Shock, horror…how could Jill Ellis do that to….oh wait, this isn’t last summer and Jill Ellis isn’t Jurgen Klinsmann.
On Tuesday afternoon Ellis unveiled the 23-woman roster for the 2015 Women’s World Cup, and unlike her male counterpart, there were very few surprises in the announcement at all.
Abby Wambach? Check.
Megan Rapinoe? Check.
Hope Solo’s crazy, but uber-talented goalkeeping self? Check.
All of the usual suspects are going to head to the neighbors to the North — Canada — this summer to compete in the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
Here is a look at the full 23-woman roster selected by manager Jill Ellis.
— World Soccer Talk (@worldsoccertalk) April 14, 2015
While the roster selection wasn’t all that surprising, there are some interesting combinations that could be in play during the upcoming World Cup. There are also some very interesting situations with aging players and known names that haven’t been in great form as of late.
Perhaps the biggest questions surround the aging and worn down bodies of the likes of Christie Rampone (who will be 40 years old at this tournament) and Abby Wambach. The latter of the two is trying to save herself for the national team and this World Cup, as she is taking off the club season in the NWSL.
Will those bodies hold up enough, especially in the case of Rampone, who will likely be playing against players half her age this summer.
It isn’t the only worry though, as the defensive group has a lot of players coming off of injury or already injury-prone. Ali Krieger just suffered another concussion this past weekend in NWSL play, and that has to be a worry for a backline that needs to be on its game and Krieger if healthy is a great force for this team.
Ultimately though, this team will scare most teams in the world with a front line that features the ageless (and still potent) Wambach. If not her, the USWNT will throw equally potent names like Alex Morgan and Amy Rodriguez at you. Heck, a name like Sydney Leroux can’t even sniff a start on the national team and then you get Christen Press, who is in form as of late in her own right.
This is a team that has a lot of talent, but also plenty of intrigue in how exactly they will attack the Women’s World Cup. Management of time on the field, wear and tear and all of that will be perhaps Ellis’ biggest challenge this fall with a roster that is aging and in transition.
Still, this roster gives the USWNT a big opportunity to make a run at winning the Women’s World Cup, something that hasn’t happened since the famed 1999 World Cup in the United States.