Whitney Engen has named to the 18-player roster for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (6): Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (4): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)
ALTERNATES (4): Heather O'Reilly, Ashlyn Harris, Emily Sonnett, Samantha Mewis
Engen will serve as a third center back in support of Becky Sauerbrunn and Julie Johnston.
It’s also nice to see former Breaker Alyssa Naeher make the roster after toiling in the net during some of Boston’s most tiring seasons, remaining steadfast game after game regardless of the team’s record. With her lack of caps for the national team, it’s hard not to think her performance for Boston didn’t edge her towards that #2 GK spot.
What does this mean for the Breakers? Matt Beard has already been adjusting to Engen’s absence, using Kassey Kallman and Julie King as his center back pairing. With Engen expected to be away through the end of August, and possibly afterwards depending on if the WNT earns a victory tour, it’s good to have two players who already familiar with the position and each other ready to go right away.
The USWNT will kick off their group stage on August 3 against New Zealand.