Preparations for an important 2022 are officially underway as the U.S. Women’s National Team has kicked off the new year with its annual January Camp. The training camp, held this year in Austin, Texas, will run from January 19-28. While there are no official matches associated with the camp, the 10-day event serves as an important launching point for the year ahead, with the focus now squarely on the newly dubbed Concacaf W Championship. The eight-team tournament will take place in July and qualify four countries to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and one directly to the 2024 Olympics, with the second and third place finishers earning berths to a playoff to determine Concacaf’s second and final Olympic berth.
Dive into the roster and learn more about the USWNT’s year ahead with Five Things to Know about January Camp.
USWNT RETURNS TO AUSTIN
The USWNT returns to Austin just seven months after playing the first-ever match at Q2 Stadium, christening the home of Major League Soccer’s Austin FC with a 2-0 win over Nigeria to close out the 2021 Summer Series. The June 16 match – which featured the first-ever goal at the venue courtesy of a Christen Press strike in first-half stoppage time followed by an insurance tally in the waning moments of the match from Lynn Williams – was played in front of a sellout crowd of 20,500 fans. It also marked the first-ever trip to Austin for the USWNT and the first U.S. Soccer international match of any sort in the city.
This year’s January Camp is the second event for the USWNT in Austin. The USA held its 2021 January Camp in Orlando, Fla. in preparation for two friendlies against Colombia at Exploria Stadium and spent the 2020 January Camp in Tampa, Fla. before kicking off Olympic Qualifying at the end of the month in Houston, Texas.
TWENTY-SIX STRONG TO START 2022
USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski has called in 26 players for January Camp as he and his coaching staff continue to evaluate performances and add depth to the player pool. Seventeen of the 26 players on this roster were a part of the USA’s trip to Australia in November where the USA closed out its 2021 campaign with a 3-0 victory over the Matildas in Sydney on Nov. 27 and a 1-1 draw in Newcastle on Nov. 30. Of the nine players on this roster who did not participate in the November matches, five are World Cup winners, as Alyssa Naeher, Kelley O’Hara, Morgan Gautrat, Samantha Mewis and Mallory Pugh return to camp. Goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury (formerly Bledsoe), defender Naomi Girma, midfielder Jaelin Howell and forward Trinity Rodman round out the new additions from the November roster.
Defender Imani Dorsey, who earned her first cap in the Nov. 30 game against Australia was originally named to the January Camp roster but was later ruled out due to injury.
U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM – JANUARY TRAINING CAMP ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (8): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Gautrat (Chicago Red Stars), 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 (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)
FORWARDS (7): Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Lynn Williams (Kansas City Current), Morgan Weaver (Portland Thorns FC)
FRESH FACES SET TO COMPETE
Ten players on this roster were members of the 2020 Olympic Team, with O’Hara – a three-time Olympian and two-time World Cup champion — the most-capped player in this camp with 148 international appearances. However, half this roster remains relatively new on the international scene as thirteen players have ten caps or fewer for the senior team. Goalkeeper Casey Murphy, midfielder Ashley Sanchez and forward Morgan Weaver all earned their first caps in November while three players on this roster – Girma, Kingsbury and Rodman – are uncapped.
Rodman, the 2021 NWSL Rookie of the Year, is the youngest player on this roster at 19-years-old and is the only player in her first camp with the senior WNT. Girma and forward Sophia Smith are the next youngest players on this roster at 21 years old, followed by 22-year-olds Jaelin Howell and Sanchez.
Girma is one of eight NWSL No. 1 draft picks called into this camp, joining Emily Fox (2021), Smith (2020), Tierna Davidson (2019), Andi Sullivan (2018), Rose Lavelle (2017), Emily Sonnett (2016) and Gautrat (2015).
Five more players on this roster – Davidson (23), Fox (23), Pugh (23), Alana Cook (24) and Weaver (24) – are also under the age of 25.
WE’VE GOT SPIRIT(S)
Following the conclusion of January Camp, the players are scheduled to report to their respective clubs as the NWSL gets set to kick off preseason training camps for its historic 10th season.
Nine of the now 12 teams in the NWSL are represented on the January Camp roster, led far and away by the 2021 champions Washington Spirit, who have seven players on this roster in Kingsbury, the 2021 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year, Rodman, the 2021 NWSL Rookie of the Year, forward Ashley Hatch, the 2021 NWSL Golden Boot Winner, midfielders Sanchez and Andi Sullivan and defenders O’Hara and Emily Sonnett.
The Chicago Red Stars have four players on this roster in Davidson, Gautrat, Naeher and Pugh while OL Reign and Portland Thorns FC have three players each.
THE YEAR AHEAD
While no official games will be played this month, the U.S. players and fans alike will not have to wait long for official competitions to resume as the USWNT will play its first matches of the year in February at the 2022 SheBelieves Cup, Presented by Visa. The USA will open the tournament on Feb. 17 against the Czech Republic (8 p.m. PT on ESPN / TUDN) at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. The second match day also takes place in Carson and features the USWNT taking on 2023 World Cup co-hosts New Zealand at Noon PT on ABC. From there the teams will travel to Frisco, Texas where the USA will play its final match against Iceland (8 p.m. CT on ESPN) with its eyes on lifting the SheBelieves Cup trophy for a third consecutive year.
Following the SheBelieves Cup, the USA is scheduled to play two friendlies in April and two in June, leading into the Concacaf W Championship in July.
COURTESY US SOCCER