Julie Ertz is an Angel! — Taking a swipe at predicting the World Cup roster — Hear from Ertz herself — Must-click woso links

The IX: Soccer Monday with Annie M. Peterson, Apr. 17, 2023

From this morning, it’s official:

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It looks like Equalizer was first with the news, which wasn’t entirely unexpected. We know Ertz was going to announce her decision soon. Here’s The Equalizer’s story. Ertz may play as soon as Sunday for Angel City, so stay tuned.

Now you know why this edition of Soccer Monday was late! 🙂

I was among the reporters with the USWNT for the final two international friendlies before coach Vlatko Andonovski drops the World Cup roster.

Note the wildly unflattering photo of me on the field at CityPark, which is an amazing stadium!

I feel that we didn’t learn a whole lot from the matches because Mallory Swanson’s injury loomed so large. Ertz may or may not be positioned for a roster spot, Alyssa Thompson may or may not be a potential World Cup selection in Swanson’s average.

So now the waiting begins.

Andonovski is expected to name his roster in late June, probably around the 19th. We’ll for sure see it before the USWNT send-off match against Wales on July 9, because the squad will leave for New Zealand on a red-eye flight that night.

So who goes? I have a few ideas.

First: the goalkeepers are locked down. It’s Alyssa Naeher (1), Casey Murphy (2) and A.D. Franch (3). Three down, 20 to go!

As far as defenders go, there are a few locks, including Crystal Dunn (4), Naomi Girma (5) and Becky Sauerbrunn (6). I think Tierna Davidson (7) is in, even though she’s coming off injury, and the same with Kelley O’Hara (8). Alana Cook (9) and Emily Fox (10) are my other choices. If Andonovski goes with eight defenders, Casey Krueger looked great against Ireland and may have earned a spot.

Moving on to midfielders, the big question mark is whether Ertz (11) will be ready. Her timing was just slightly off in her matches against Ireland, which she readily admits (see her comments from the mixed zone below).

If she’s even at 80 percent, my belief is that she’s on the roster. She’ll get a chance in the group stage to get the details back and should be her old self by the knockout rounds.

So that’s one. Then there are the other obvious choices at midfielder: Rose Lavelle (12), Lindsey Horan (13) and Andi Sullivan (14). Kristie Mewis (15) and Ashley Sanchez (16) should make it, too. I think the last spot will go to Taylor Kornieck (17), but Sam Coffey is also on the radar.

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Last but not least, forwards. Mallory Swanson’s absence throws this group into uncertainty. I’m also counting Catarina Macario out at this point, too. Alex Morgan (18) and Sophia Smith (19) are the locks. Lynn Williams (20) is in, too. If she’s healthy, I believe Megan Rapinoe (21) goes. Her value is not just the on field experience in a big games, but also as a locker room leader. I’m giving another spot to Trinity Rodman (22). So, that’s leaves one more spot up top. Obviously Alyssa Thompson is a good bet (23) after her call-up against Ireland. But I’m still wishfully waiting to see if Midge Purce can impress in club play and win a spot.

I normally don’t really like roster predictions because 1.) We’re not seeing everything the coaches are at practice and behind closed doors, and 2.) Because whatever will be, will be.

I was shocked in 2015 and 2019 by some of Jill Ellis’ roster choices, but they worked out.

Also, congrats to Becky Sauerbrunn who got to celebrate her 200th cap in her hometown.


Susie Rantz with the roundup of Saturday’s games for The AP.

Sportico on the confusion surrounding the Reign.

The Athletic on OL’s denial of the Kang rumors.

The Challenge Cup will have $1 million in prize money.

Emily Hruby for Just Women’s Sports on NWSL player fatigue following the break.

Interesting story on the safeguards the NWSL has placed on Sixth Street’s team ownership.

Jere Longman on the Irish national team and its ties to the NWSL abuse scandal. (This is supposed to be a gift link, so hopefully it works.)

Ahead of midweek Challenge Cup matches, Casey Stoney is critical of the NWSL schedule, from Just Women’s Sports.

My story on Ertz from this morning.

Meg Linehan and Steph Yang for The Athletic on how Swanson, Ertz, impact the World Cup roster.

Linehan did a nice story on Macario, too.

ESPN what Australia’s victory against England may mean for the Matildas.

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Five at The IX: USWNT sampler

Finally, here are a few interviews from the UWNT. Ertz about the experience, then Alyssa Thompson and Lynn Williams talking about their opportunities and Swanson’s absence.

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By: Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon, Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal, The Next
Thursdays: Golf
By: Addie Parker, @addie_parker, The IX
Fridays: Hockey
By: @TheIceGarden, The Ice Garden
Saturdays: Gymnastics
By: Lela Moore, @runlelarun, Freelance Writer

Written by Annie Peterson