Franch among players called into US camp for Canada matches
CHICAGO (AP) — Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch was among 23 players named to the U.S. women’s roster for a pair of exhibition matches against Canada.
Franch was named Goalkeeper of the Year for the National Women’s Soccer League after she helped lead the Portland Thorns to the league title. She was last called into training camp in January.
Thorns teammate Tobin Heath returned to the roster after sitting out a pair of games against South Korea. Heath hurt her ankle in the NWSL championship match against the North Carolina Courage.
Courage defender Taylor Smith, who injured her shoulder in the league title match, also returned to the U.S. roster after missing the past two games.
Defender Chioma Ubogagu of the Orlando Pride was called up for the first time.
The United States faces Canada at BC Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Nov. 9, before the teams meet again on Nov. 12 in San Jose, California.
Canada, which won the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics, is ranked fifth in the world. The U.S. team is ranked No. 1.
The two matches are the last for the United States this year. Next year the team will prepare for qualifying to defend its title at the 2019 World Cup.
“To play Canada in Vancouver is another excellent challenge for our team. It’s a great rivalry with some classic history and these two matches in the home-and-home series will cap an important year in our growth toward 2019,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said. “We’ve targeted and evaluated a lot of players this year and moving forward, I’m genuinely excited to keep building with the group we have now.”
The roster by position, with club affiliation:
Goalkeepers: Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride).
Defenders: Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Taylor Smith (NC Courage), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC), Chioma Ubogagu (Orlando Pride).
Midfielders: Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), Andi Sullivan (Stanford).
Forwards: Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC), Lynn Williams (NC Courage).