USWNT roster features Trinity Rodman's first call-up, focuses on emerging young stars

·5 min read

Trinity Rodman, the 2021 NWSL Rookie of the Year, accepted her first call-up to the USWNT roster and will help lead a group of young stars that includes the top two NWSL draft picks as they look to fight their way onto next year's World Cup squad.

The 25-player roster for the team's first training camp of the year was named on Wednesday by head coach Vlatko Andonovski. The camp runs from Jan. 19-28 in Austin without any friendlies on the schedule. The SheBelieves Cup will be held Feb. 17-23.

The team skews younger again following the turnover after the Tokyo Olympics last summer and as the USWNT goes for an unprecedented third consecutive World Cup title in 2023.

“We wanted to see these young players and we wanted to give them the opportunity,” Andonovski said on a call with reporters. “With more of the senior players being around, the younger players would not have as much opportunity as they got or they’re going to get. Now, we will evaluate all these players in this camp and we’ll start making decisions for the future camps as well. With all this being said, these (veteran) players are not out of the picture by any means.”

Nine of the 25 women are under the age of 25, and 13 players have 12 or fewer caps. There are only 10 players from the Olympic bronze medal team on the roster. Those not on the roster include Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe or Crystal Dunn.

Rodman headlines youth on USWNT roster

For the first time, the senior USWNT roster features Trinity Rodman, the NWSL Rookie of the Year who helped lead the Washington Spirit to the league title. (Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images)
For the first time, the senior USWNT roster features Trinity Rodman, the NWSL Rookie of the Year who helped lead the Washington Spirit to the league title. (Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images)

Rodman's incredible rise will continue with her first accepted call-up to the USWNT senior team. She turned down the invite for friendlies last November that started days after she helped the Washington Spirit win their first NWSL title.

The 19-year-old forward was the NWSL's youngest-ever draftee, going No. 2 ahead of the 2021 season. She took the league by storm and won Rookie of the Year and the U.S. Young Female Player of the Year award. Rodman led the league in assists with seven and had seven goals in 25 matches.

“She was one of the most exciting players in the league this past season,” Andonovski said. “We don’t want to rush anything. We’ve got to be patient. She is still a young player, but we do want to expose her to the environment where she can get her feet wet a little bit. … And hopefully she can continue growing and show what she was able to do in the league she can do at the international level.”

Rodman, the daughter of retired NBA superstar Dennis Rodman, will be the youngest player at the camp and the only one who has not attended a camp before it. She is one of seven Spirit players named to the roster.

2022 NWSL draftees in USWNT camp

The top two picks in December's NWSL college draft will be in USWNT camp. Defender Naomi Girma went No. 1 to the San Diego Wave and midfielder Jaelin Howell was taken No. 2 by Racing Louisville.

Girma, who won an NCAA championship at Stanford, was called up to an October 2020 training camp and earned the U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year award in 2020. The 21-year-old is one of seven No. 1 picks in the January camp.

Howell, a two-time NCAA champion at Florida State, is back in camp for the first time since the 2021 SheBelieves Cup. She won the Mac Hermann Trophy, college soccer's Heisman equivalent, for the second time last week in a ceremony that included USWNT star Crystal Dunn.

"Both of them have some experience, but nowhere near the experience they need to play top-level international games," Andonovski told reporters on the call. "But this is part of the process."

Rodman, Girma and goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury (née Bledsoe) are the only uncapped players on the roster. Howell, 22, and Sophia Smith, 21, earned their first caps against the Netherlands on Nov. 27, 2021, becoming the first players born after the 1999 Women's World Cup to be capped.

Naeher returns, but veteran USWNT stars to miss camp

Alyssa Naeher will be back in goal at USWNT camp after her knee injury in Tokyo. (Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Alyssa Naeher will be back in goal at USWNT camp after her knee injury in Tokyo. (Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher will return to the team for the first time since injuring her knee in the semifinal loss in Tokyo. She is one of the few Olympic players to join the camp.

Dunn announced she was pregnant with her first child and is due in May. Captain Becky Sauerbrunn underwent a procedure between camps to freeze her embryos and is still recovering. The lead-up to the procedure requires halting any type of training. Julie Ertz is still recovering from a knee injury.

Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press and Tobin Heath were also not named to the roster. Catarina Macario was originally on the roster, but will instead remain with Lyon for its French Cup match against Paris Saint-Germain. A replacement player will be named for Macario's spot to make it 26 players.

2022 January USWNT camp roster

The USWNT roster by position, with team affiliation.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

DEFENDERS (9): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC), Tierna Davidson (Red Stars), Imani Dorsey (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Kelley O’Hara (Spirit), Emily Sonnett (Spirit)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Jaelin Howell (Racing Louisville FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Samantha Mewis (Kansas City Current), Ashley Sanchez (Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Spirit)

FORWARDS (6): Ashley Hatch (Spirit), Mallory Pugh (Red Stars), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Trinity Rodman (Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Lynn Williams (Kansas City Current)

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