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Tuesday, June 11, 2019


Whew! Sports Illustrated wrapped up its photo shoot for its annual swimsuit edition just in time not to impede the start of the Women's World Cup soccer tournament.
American Football star 29-year-old Alex Morgan (photo, above) and three other members of the USA Women's National Team were photographed in the Caribbean (Saint Lucia) for the swimsuit issue.  Other members posing were Megan Rapione, Crystal Dunn, and Abby Dahlkemper.  None posed nude.

By the way, another U.S. teammate of Morgan posed for an ESPN photographer revealing much more.  Who?  Christen Press, who posed for  ESPN’s body issue in 2016 (see image end of this post).  Actually, the following players have posed over the years for ESPN’s perfect body issue: Hope Solo, Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Ali Krieger, Sydney Leroux and Natasha Kai.  Alex Morgan has twice appeared in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition (2014-2019).

It will be interesting to view just how much TV coverage the recent SI bikini coverage will air during the World Cup tournament, if any?  Bets?

OK, skimpy or lack of attire aside, let’s get to the real business at hand.  The U.S. women are defending World Cup champions from 2015.

France is the host country.

Team USA will face Thailand, Chile and Sweden in Group F at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.  First match will be TODAY June 11 (3 pm eastern time) vs. Thailand at Auguste Delaune Stadium in Reims.  The USA faces Chile on June 16 (Noon, eastern time) at Le Parc des Princes in Paris.  Sweden vs USA will take place June 20 (3 pm, eastern time) at Stade Oceane in Le Havre.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars)

DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper* (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson* (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn* (NC Courage), Ali Krieger*** (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara*** (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn*** (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett* (Portland Thorns FC)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian** (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz** (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan* (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle* (Washington Spirit), Allie Long* (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis* (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*** (Reign FC)

* First Women’s World Cup
** Second Women’s World Cup
*** Third Women’s World Cup
**** Fourth Women’s World Cup
Of the 23 players named to the roster, Carli Lloyd has the most experience in the Women’s World Cup, having played 18 matches while scoring seven goals, six at the 2015 tournament.

Lloyd is the oldest player on the roster at 36. Five players own double-figure World Cup cap numbers in Ali Krieger (13 World Cup caps), Alex Morgan (12), Megan Rapinoe (12) and Tobin Heath (10).

Crystal Dunn, Morgan Brian, Julie Ertz and Samantha Mewis were part of the U.S. team that won the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan, while Alyssa Naeher and Morgan were part of the U.S. team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile. Harris was part of the team that won the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Canada.

Sixteen players on the roster have represented the USA in a FIFA Women’s World Cup at the U-17 level, U-20 level or both.

Davidson is the youngest player on the roster at age 20.

Pugh turned 21 on April 29.

Brian was the youngest player on the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team at age 22. Just under half the roster (11 players) are in their 30s and 12 are in their 20s.

Two players make their first World Cup roster at age 31 in Long, who was a member of the 2016 Olympic Team, and McDonald, who is the top American scorer in the history of the NWSL. McDonald is also the only mother on the World Cup Team. She has a seven-year-old son. The average age of the U.S. roster is 28 years old, the same as the USA’s 2015 Women’s World Cup Team.

Six players have previously scored in a Women’s World Cup tournament, totaling 16 goals.

All 23 players on the roster play domestically in the National Women’s Soccer League. Eight of the nine NWSL clubs are represented on the roster with the Portland Thorns FC, reigning champion North Carolina Courage and the Chicago Red Stars having four players each. The Utah Royals and Orlando Pride have three players each while Reign FC and the Washington Spirit have two each. Sky Blue FC has one.

 Here's Christen Press in ESPN:

Group F Venues: Top to bottom Reims, Paris, Le Havre.

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