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Stephanie McCaffrey and Whitney Engen called up for 2016 USWNT camp

The USWNT convenes in California for two weeks in January.

Chris Covatta/Getty Images

Before the USWNT plays Ireland in San Diego, they'll enter a two-week training camp in Carson, CA.

Head coach Jill Ellis has named a list of 26 players, to be whittled down to 18 for the Ireland friendly.

Breakers Whitney Engen and Stephanie McCaffrey have been called in, as well as recently-traded Alyssa Naeher.

McCaffrey could continue to get minutes in 2016 based on her performance in the last few USWNT friendlies, and with Amy Rodriguez now out for the Olympics as she's carrying her second child, the competition for forward positions is heating up.

Forwards called in for this camp include Crystal Dunn, Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Christen Press, and 17-year-old Mallory Pugh. (Dunn has previously been called up as a midfielder, while Lindsey Horan was listed as a forward.) Many consider Morgan, Press, and Dunn to be locks for the Olympics. That theoretically leaves one or two forward spots open, depending on the final composition of the roster. Could McCaffrey unseat mainstay Leroux, who was herself once a Breaker?

Additionally, Pugh has long been hyped as part of the next generation of national team players, and should she get repeated callups and show well over enough friendlies (just as McCaffrey has done), then competition could get very interesting.

The United States plays Republic of Ireland on January 23.