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USWNT coach Jill Ellis calls 26 players for January camp

United States women’s national team head coach Jill Ellis has called up 26 players for January camp and for a pair of friendlies against France and Spain.

This year’s January camp is pivotal because it’s the USWNT’s first tune-up for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup since learning at the tournament draw in December it would face Sweden, Thailand, and Chile in Group F.

The U.S. will begin training in Portugal to start the camp before playing France Jan. 19 in Le Havre, which is also the location of its final group stage game, a key clash against Sweden.

On Jan. 22, the USWNT will play Spain in Alicante.

Ellis’ roster is a mix of up-and-comers and veterans, though the latter is mostly concentrated in the attack with the likes of Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, Christen Press, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd, all of whom have significant international experience and won the 2015 World Cup.

The back line is a different story. Julie Ertz, Kelley O’Hara and Becky Sauerbrunn are the only returning World Cup veterans, with University of North Carolina defender Emily Fox entering camp with just two international appearances, which is tied for fewest on the roster among outfield players along with Chicago Red Stars midfielder Danielle Colaprico.

Here’s the full 26-player roster for January camp:

GOALKEEPERS (4): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) 

DEFENDERS (8): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson (Stanford), Crystal Dunn (NC Courage), Emily Fox (UNC), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars, Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC) 

MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars), Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), McCall Zerboni (NC Courage) 

FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)

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