Soccer, I mean Roster, Monday with Anne M. Peterson for April 22, 2019

The IX readers have spoken, here's the roster you'd select for the USWNT. Plus links to other roster predictions!

THE ROSTER EDITION!

Ok, here’s what I’ve been pleading for on Twitter for the past week. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who participated. I was truly humbled by the response! I knew people were passionate, but for you all to actually take the time to send your picks off to me was great.

As a result, I’m changing it up a little bit this week. This entire edition is devoted to the U.S. World Cup Roster, and various thoughts about it.

The reason? If the past is any indication — and fair, we only have 2015 to go on — Jill Ellis will submit her final 23-play World Cup Roster early. She went ahead and released it in 2015 on April 15! And we’re at April 22. So IT COULD DROP ANY DAY NOW.

And yes, I’m hearing it will be this week. That’s most likely because the provisional squad list deadline for FIFA is on April 26.

FIFA’s final squad list deadline is on Friday, May 24. And on Monday, May 27, those squads will be officially made public on FIFA.com.

So, here’s my personal thoughts on the roster.

Goalkeepers are fairly easy at this point, with apologies to Jane Campbell. But it’ll be Alyssa Naeher, Ashlyn Harris and Adrianna France. Wish Franch would have gotten in some more friendlies, but can’t do much about it now.

OK, so the usual suspects at defender: Becky Sauerbrunn is a given, as are Abby Dahlkemper, Kelley O’Hara and Crystal Dunn and Emily Sonnett. Tierna Davidson should be there too. Ali Krieger and Casey Short should be there too. Why Krieger? Experience on the big stage.

My midfielders are Lindsey Horan, Julie Ertz, Rose Lavelle, Sam Mewis and McCall Zerboni.

My forwards are Tobin Heath, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Christen Press, Carli Lloyd, Jess McDonald and Mallory Pugh.

As for ya’ll, here were the unanimous picks: Naeher, Franch, Sauerbrunn, Dunn Davidson, Sonnett, Horan, Ertz, Lavelle, Mewis, Rapinoe, Morgan, Heath and Press.

Krieger gets in. Wondering if this is just a result of her recent call-up and if she would have received votes if that hadn’t happened? Seriously. Who would be another player more on the bubble to get into the 23? Maybe Allie Long?

But here’s what was clear: There’s way more Krieger fans than I thought out there. Also, voters really like Zerboni.

One voter wrote: “Krieger is an outside shot and complicated, but she’s fast and confident and we have been super shaky in the back. I could also see Ertz at CB if it gets messy.”

Here were the surprises: Vote-wise only, Allie Long was on the outside looking in, but just barely. And surprisingly, Pugh wasn’t a lock. There were votes for other players, including Andi Sullivan, Dianne Colaprico and Lynn Williams, but no one came close to Long among the outsiders. Morgan Brian, who made the 2015 World Cup roster, received just one vote, which shows how relatively quickly and dramatically players can fall out of favor.

Here you go, the top and unanimous vote-getters on top. The two that squeaked in are at the bottom.

  1. Naeher

  2. Harris

  3. Franch

  4. O’Hara

  5. Dunn

  6. Short

  7. Sauerbrunn

  8. Davidson

  9. Sonnett

  10. Dahlkamper

  11. Horan

  12. Ertz

  13. Lavelle

  14. Mewis

  15. Zerboni

  16. Rapinoe

  17. Morgan

  18. Heath

  19. Press

  20. Lloyd

  21. McDonald

  22. Krieger

  23. Pugh

And with that, we’ll move on to what the media is saying.


This week in women’s soccer

Caitlin Murray weighs in with her roster picks for Yahoo!

Jonathan Tannenwald had a go at the roster, too, for the philly.com.

Here’s Avi Creditor’s prediction for Sports Illustrated.

R.J. Allen’s take for Backline Soccer.

Seth Vertelney with his roster for goal.com.

Dan Lauletta weighs in with his choices for The Equalizer here.

Meg Linehan assesses the roster for The Athletic.

Ok, so as you can see, Pugh makes everyone’s list here and the majority went with seven forwards. Midfield and defense were where things get complicated.

So the underlying question seems to be: Do you add a defender? And is that defender Ali Krieger?

Is this point where I say “Defense Wins Championships?”

Anyway this is all just for fun, obviously. Will be interesting to see if Krieger gets the nod, but honestly, I don’t see it happening.

And thus concludes this week’s edition of Soccer Monday. We will be back to the regular format next week. I hope this exercise allowed y’all to think critically about who you would choose.

As always, feel free to email me with your thoughts, criticism or links. Really, anything. I’m a good listener. apeterson@ap.org.

That said, I just wanted to add a few other links of note this week that I found interesting: CLICK THESE, because you know why.

Harjeet Johal spoke to Ciara McCormack about the Whitecaps’ scandal for The Equalizer.

The USWNT is using mindfulness and a “head first” mentality. Interesting stuff here from Forbes.

Alex Morgan makes the Time 100 most influential of 2019.

Susie Rantz writes that there’s a plan to get Seattle Reign fans to Tacoma.

England’s Toni Duggan talks about equal pay efforts with Reuters.


Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women's Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By Lindsay Gibbs, @Linzsports ThinkProgress
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal High Post Hoops
Thursdays: Golf
By Carly Grenfell, @Carlygren PGA.com
Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, @ELindsay08 NWHL Broadcaster