Ellis picks 26 to preliminary US roster for tournament

2/14/2018 12:07:39 PM

Morgan Brian and Rose Lavelle are returning to the U.S. women"s national team ahead of next month"s SheBelieves Cup after dealing with injuries last year.

Brian, in France playing for Lyon, will not take part in training camp in Orlando, Florida, but will be available for the SheBelieves Cup roster. Brian had knee and groin injuries last year, while Lavelle struggled with a hamstring problem. Both missed last month"s training camp.

The 26-player roster was announced Wednesday by coach Jill Ellis. The list will be cut to 23 for the tournament, which opens on March 1 against Germany at Columbus, Ohio.

In addition to the top-ranked U.S. team and No. 2 Germany, the tournament includes No. 3 England and No. 6 France. Matches will also be played at Orlando and Harrison, New Jersey.

The roster includes newcomer Hailie Mace, a UCLA senior. Mace had 15 goals and three assists last season for the Bruins, who played in the College Cup final.

A versatile player, Mace was played defense for the U.S. under-23 team.

""She"s just fiercely competitive and I watch her play and she"s speaking, she"s confident, and I don"t think she"ll be overwhelmed by the situation,"" Ellis said on a conference call with reporters.

Three injured players were left off the roster: defender Becky Sauerbrunn (foot), forward Tobin Heath (ankle) and Samantha Mewis (knee). Ellis also said that she would have called in goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, but she is rehabbing from a quadriceps strain.

The SheBelieves Cup will be a challenging tune-up for World Cup qualifying later this year. The United States is the defending World Cup champion.

Carli Lloyd enters the tournament needing just two goals to reach 100.

The roster with club affiliation, national team appearances and goals:

Goalkeepers: Jane Campbell (Houston), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago).

Defenders: Abby Dahlkemper (NC), Tierna Davidson (Stanford), Sofia Huerta (Chicago), Hailie Mace (UCLA), Kelley O"Hara (Utah), Casey Short (Chicago), Taylor Smith (Washington Spirit; 8/0), Emily Sonnett (Sydney, Australia)

Midfielders: Morgan Brian (Lyon, France), Julie Ertz (Chicago), Lindsey Horan (Portland), Rose Lavelle (Washington), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue), Allie Long (Seattle), Andi Sullivan (Washington)

Forwards: Crystal Dunn (Chelsea, England), Ashley Hatch (Melbourne, Australia), Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue), Alex Morgan (Orlando), Christen Press (Houston), Mallory Pugh (Washington), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle), Lynn Williams (NC)