The U.S. Women's National Team will host the SheBelieves Cup next month with France, Germany and England, which will give the USWNT their best, most competitive games all year. Though the tournament is new (and has kind of a weird name) it is the most prestigious annual tournament in women's international soccer.
But what is most notable is that it would be the first "real" test for many of the youngsters USWNT coach Jill Ellis has been bringing into the fold. Ellis has been shaking up the USWNT ranks in a big way, and that means some veterans are being pushed out. Here is a look at some notable eligible players who didn't make the cut, and a look at who did.
Although Solo won't be eligible to return to the USWNT until Feb. 22, she could conceivably be added to the roster later – but don't bet on it. She got kicked off the team for calling Sweden "cowards" after the USWNT got knocked out of the Olympics. (Her suspension did come after a few other incidents, including her being arrested for an alleged assault on a family member, but the "cowards" remark was the final straw.)
In the meantime, Ellis has been expanding the goalkeeper pool and it looks like the team might be ready to move on from Solo, who will be 37 during the 2019 World Cup. Oh, and Solo did insult Ellis recently, which probably won't help Solo's case, even though she has said she wants to return to the USWNT.
This one isn't very cut-and-dry. Rapinoe was at the USWNT's training camp in January, but she was left out of the previous camp for the USWNT's final two matches of the year. While form could be an issue since Rapinoe was rushed back from a long injury for the Olympics, there is another elephant in the room: Rapinoe started to join Colin Kaepernick's protests during the national anthem, which stirred controversy.
She started her protests during her club season with the Seattle Reign, but that carried over to national team duty, when the USWNT played the Thailand and the Netherlands in the fall. It prompted a statement from U.S. Soccer that read, in part: "As part of the privilege to represent your country, we have an expectation that our players and coaches will stand and honor the flag while the national anthem is played." She hasn't been reprimanded for her protest as far as anyone knows, but many people will wonder if kneeling during the national anthem has contributed to her being left off the roster.
She hasn't been seen for the USWNT in more than a year, but she should be back soon. She had a baby – her first child with husband and fellow soccer pro Dom Dwyer – and should be back in action sometime after the SheBelieves Cup. For the January camp roster, U.S. Soccer noted that Leroux had not been cleared yet to return to the field.
She should be cleared soon, though. Amy Rodriguez, who had a baby two months before Leroux, is already back in action. Rodriguez made her return in the January camp and she will be part of the SheBelieves Cup roster. Leroux probably isn't far behind.
Getty ImagesPatrick Smith
The full roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (7): Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Sarah Killion (Sky Blue FC), Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), Brianna Pinto (CASL)
FORWARDS (6): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea Ladies FC), Alex Morgan (Olympique Lyonnais), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (UCLA), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Lynn Williams (NC Courage)
Kyle TeradaKyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The team will get together for training camp on Feb. 20 in preparation for their three matches of the SheBelieves Up:
March 1, 2017, 7 p.m. ET: USWNT vs. Germany, on FS1
March 4, 2017, 5 p.m. ET: USWNT vs. England, on FOX
March 7, 2017, 7 p.m. ET: USWNT vs. France, on FS1
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY SportsRob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports