United States
Emma Hayes names first roster as USWNT head coach
United States

Emma Hayes names first roster as USWNT head coach

Published May. 21, 2024 12:01 p.m. ET

There's good news and there's bad news.

First, the good: Emma Hayes has named her first roster as the United States women's national team head coach, calling up 23 players for a friendly doubleheader against Korea Republic on June 1 in Commerce City, Colorado and on June 4 in St. Paul, Minn. And there are several players on it who have recently missed time with their respective clubs due to injury.

Alex Morgan, Naomi Girma, Jaedyn Shaw and Tierna Davidson are all accounted for. As is Rose Lavelle, who missed the last USWNT camp after suffering a leg injury during the Concacaf W Gold Cup. Lavelle has played in every match for NJ/NY Gotham FC since returning to the pitch on April 28.


Now, the bad: star goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher will sit this camp out. She left a Chicago Red Stars match against the Utah Royals on May 12 with a muscle strain, which is not ideal timing with two months until the Paris Olympics begin. Naeher has started seven of eight games for the Americans this year and played an integral role in helping the squad lift both the Gold Cup and SheBelieves Cup trophies. She was heroic in penalty shootouts — both against Canada — where she made three saves and converted her own attempt.

Naeher's injury is not serious, according to a U.S. Soccer official. "She'll be fine," the official told FOX Sports. But she's not on this roster, and it's currently unclear how quickly she'll return. The USWNT's first Olympics group stage match vs. Zambia is on July 25.

Abby Dahlkemper is also out while dealing with an injury. She was a stalwart defender for the U.S. during both tournaments earlier this year.

Despite the injuries, this is a huge moment for the USWNT as it turns the page to a new era. This will be Hayes' first camp in person, and the last before the final 18-player Olympic roster is selected.

"I'm really looking forward to getting started," Hayes said in a statement. "The preparations have been well underway and I can't wait to get into camp. We know it's a short turnaround and we have a lot of work to do, but I'm fully focused on making sure that the performances are at the levels that are required to compete. I want to build on the work that (former interim head coach and now assistant coach) Twila (Kilgore) has been implementing over the last six months.

"I expect complete commitment from everyone to absorb very quickly the things that I value as the most important so that we can compete this summer. I know they are a highly coachable group and I'm looking forward to challenging them."

It's been a whirlwind six months for Hayes, who was named the next USWNT coach back in November. At the time, the longtime Chelsea manager was committed to finishing out the Women's Super League season with her London club. She was engaged with the national team from afar, though, and worked closely with Kilgore when it came to training camp rosters, tactics, style of play and more.

Hayes recently told reporters that she feels "reinvigorated and re-energized" for her new role with the USWNT after leading the Blues to a seventh WSL title last Saturday. Chelsea crushed Manchester United 6-0 to clinch its fifth consecutive league trophy, which put a cherry on top of Hayes' 12-year tenure there.

Carli Lloyd on what Emma Hayes will bring to USWNT

Now she turns her full attention to the U.S. and this summer's Olympics. This roster has a mix of youngsters and veterans — only three players have 100 caps or more (Morgan, captain Lindsey Horan and Crystal Dunn).

Nineteen players were part of the team that helped the USWNT win the SheBelieves Cup in April, and 11 were on the World Cup roster last summer. Hayes has already made a few interesting tweaks, including moving Dunn, who has always been a full back for the national team, up to the forward line, making that position even more intriguing than it already is. She has also named Emily Sonnett as a defender instead of a midfielder.

There are five players who played in Europe this year, including Horan, Catarina Macario (who played for Hayes at Chelsea), Emily Fox, Korbin Albert and 16-year-old Lily Yohannes, who is looking for her first cap after getting called into the last USWNT camp.

The other 18 players hail from the NWSL, including Sam Staab and Hal Hershfelt, who received their first-ever call-ups to the senior national team.

Hayes has also added three training players — Olivia Moultrie, Croix Bethune and Kate Wiesner — who will not be on the game day rosters, but will practice with the team during camp.

"It's time to go to work," Hayes said. "I can't wait to meet the fans and it's really time to get behind the team as we get closer to putting a roster together for the Olympics."

U.S. Women's National Team Roster by Position (Club) – June Friendlies vs. Korea Republic

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage)

DEFENDERS (7): Tierna Davidson (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Fox (Arsenal FC, ENG), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Casey Krueger (Washington Spirit), Jenna Nighswonger (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Sonnett (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Sam Staab (Chicago Red Stars)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), Hal Hershfelt (Washington Spirit), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), Rose Lavelle (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Lily Yohannes (Ajax, NED)

FORWARDS (7): Crystal Dunn (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Catarina Macario (Chelsea FC, ENG), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars)

[Want great stories delivered right to your inbox? Create or log in to your FOX Sports account, follow leagues, teams and players to receive a personalized newsletter daily.]

Laken Litman covers college football, college basketball and soccer for FOX Sports. She previously wrote for Sports Illustrated, USA Today and The Indianapolis Star. She is the author of "Strong Like a Woman," published in spring 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Follow her on Twitter @LakenLitman.


Get more from United States Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more