DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 7/0), Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 0/0), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 51/9), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC; 99/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City; 129/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 13/0), Taylor Smith (NC Courage; 3/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 67/6), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 131/18), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 37/3), Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers; 6/2), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC; 30/5), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 28/5), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 123/33)
FORWARDS (5): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC; 54/22), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 128/74), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars; 90/43), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 26/5), Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 10/2)
Lavelle was injured in the last game she played for the WNT in June, when they played Norway away in June, and has been rehabbing her hamstring ever since. Lavelle only just returned to the pitch for the Boston Breakers in a 4-2 loss to the Orlando Pride, when she subbed on in the 72’ for Brooke Elby. Her recovery has been much longer than the initially anticipated four to six weeks, forcing Boston to have to adapt without their key midfield piece for the majority of 2017, as well as interrupting a very promising rookie season.
Hopefully the USWNT staff keep a very careful eye on Lavelle and take it easy as required; these friendlies against New Zealand really mean nothing for the team either in the short or long run, while Boston still has a season to finish. Ending their last handful of games on a positive tone is key for the Breakers after the injuries, retirements, and departures all racked up, leaving the bench woefully short. If Lavelle plays, she’ll most likely see time in her home town of Cincinnati, although we’ll see if they try to stretch her to a full 90 or play it safe.
USA vs New Zealand schedule:
September 15, 10 PM ET, Commerce City, ESPN2
September 19, 7:30 PM ET, Cincinnati, FS1