Jill Ellis has released the United States roster for the upcoming Tournament of Nations.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 15/0), Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 1/0), Abby Smith (Boston Breakers; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 4/0), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 49/8), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 98/1), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC; 96/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City; 126/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 10/0), Taylor Smith (NC Courage; 0/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash; 66/6), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash; 239/97), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC; 27/5), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 25/4), Margaret Purce (Boston Breakers; 0/0), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 121/31)
FORWARDS (7): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC; 52/22), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 35/3), Sydney Leroux (FC Kansas City; 75/35), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 125/73), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars; 87/42), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 23/4), Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 8/2)
Two Boston Breakers have made the roster: goalkeeper Abby Smith and forward Margaret Purce.
This is Purce’s first callup for the full senior team, making her the first player from Harvard to do so. She most recently played for the U23s in their Open Nordic Tournament in Sweden in early June, alongside other NWSL rookies like Jane Campbell and Christina Gibbons. Purce has one goal in 575 minutes for Boston so far this season; Matt Beard has switched her in and out of a starting position, often using her as a sub who can get in behind when defenses are starting to get tired. Purce has also definitely looked like a rookie at times, needing to work on her vision and timing, so whether she gets capped or not, being in senior WNT camp around seasoned forwards will probably be good for her. Purce is listed as a midfielder in the roster, but this is likely due more to restrictions on the number of players in each position than it is an indication of where Ellis will play her if she gets any time on the pitch.
Abby Smith was previously called into USWNT camp for June friendlies against Sweden and Norway but did not get capped. That may be related to a flare-up of her knee, which required a platelet rich plasma injection and a couple of weeks out. Smith missed four games for Boston, only recently returning to the starting XI in their July 15 1-1 tie at Seattle. With three games scheduled over eight days and three keepers in camp, perhaps Ellis will give Smith a shot, although there’s no obviously “easy” team in this tournament who could help Smith transition into the international game. Australia, Brazil, and Japan would all be fine first tests for a new keeper, requiring good communication with a coherent back line. Naeher, Smith, and Campbell have all been stepping up for their teams over the course of the season, although Smith seems more in the right age group to be setting up the small pool of GKs behind Naeher and Ashlyn Harris.
With the last game of the tournament finishing late on August 3, it’s unlikely Purce and Smith will be back for Boston’s home game against FC Kansas City on the 4th.
The Tournament of Nations kicks off on July 27 at 10 PM ET as the United States takes on Australia at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. The game will air live on ESPN.