Megan Rapinoe (L) and Alex Morgan are among the 17 players on the United States Women's National Team roster for Tokyo 2020 who also were on roster for the 2019 World Cup title team. File Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo
June 23 (UPI) -- The United States Women's National Team will include many familiar faces at the Summer Games, with Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan among those named to the roster, coach Vlatko Andonovski said Wednesday.
The Tokyo 2020 roster includes 17 players from the team that won the 2019 Women's World Cup. The Americans will participate in the Summer Games from July 21 through Aug. 6 in Kashima, Yokohama, Miyagi, Saitama, Sapporo and Tokyo, Japan.
Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd and Christen Press joined Rapinoe and Morgan as the other forwards selected for the team. Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Kristie Mewis and Sam Mewis earned spots as midfielders.
Kristie, the elder Mewis sister, will make her Summer Games debut in Japan and is the only player on the team without experience in a World Cup or the Olympics.
Abby Dahlkemper, Tierna Davidson, Crystal Dunn, Kelley O'Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn and Emily Sonnett will play defense. Adrianna Franch and Alyssa Naeher were selected as goalkeepers for the 18-member squad.
"It's been a long process to get to this point, longer than anyone thought it would be, but we collected a lot of information on the players over the past year and half in trainings, in their club matches and in international games and we're confident that we've selected the team with the best chance for success in Japan," Andonovski said in a news release.
Lloyd, 38, and Heath, 33, claimed spots on their fourth Olympic team, which ties Christie Pearce Rampone's all-time record. Lloyd is the oldest player to ever suit up for the women's team. She became the oldest scorer in the history of the team with a goal 24 seconds into a 4-0 win over Japan on June 14.
Heath and Ertz are recovering from injuries, but are expected to be ready at the start of the Summer Games. Goalkeeper Jane Campbell, defender Casey Krueger, midfielder Catarina Macario and forward Lynn Williams were named as alternates for Tokyo 2020.
The women's team, the No. 1 team in the FIFA World Rankings, enters the tournament as favorites to claim the gold medal for the fifth time in seven appearances. It won the gold medal in three consecutive Summer Games before finishing fifth in its last appearance in 2016.
The Americans claimed the last two World Cup titles with title-game wins over the Netherlands and Japan, respectively.
"We've got a balanced team with many players who can play several positions and that will be valuable as we try to play six games in 17 days in heat and humidity," Andonovski said.
"Our coaching staff has confidence that any player on the roster can perform when they get their chance."
The women's team battles Mexico in July 1 and July 5 friendlies. The games will be held at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., and will air on FS1 and ESPN, respectively.
The Americans face Sweden in Group G to open the Summer Games at 4:30 a.m. EDT on July 21 at Tokyo Stadium. Their next two matches at Tokyo 2020 are against New Zealand and Australia.
Simone Biles stands on the floor after winning the gold medal in the floor exercise at the Olympic Arena of the Rio Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on August 16, 2016. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo