Given the talented players that the United States are blessed with heading into this summer’s FIL World Cup, it was a given that someone was going to be left off the team with world-class ability, but not enough to make the 18-woman squad.
The one obvious player, to me, was Syracuse graduate Alyssa Murray. Murray, a 2014 graduate of Syracuse, was part of the Orange’s lightning-quick attack unit, using her physicality to win draws, withstand sometimes unfair checks, and find those key places to score.
Murray, the No. 7 overall pick in last spring’s UWLX draft for the Philadelphia Force, was indeed one of the memorable players in the inaugural league season. She scored 13 goals and three assists while appearing in nine of the Force’s 10 games.
But as good as Murray worked with the attack players on the U.S. side, head coach Ricky Fried went in a different direction, keeping Alex Aust and Brooke Griffin of Maryland, and Syracuse’s Michelle Tumolo and Kayla Treanor as attackers.
Fried also made another eyebrow-raising move in the goal cage. He chose Gussie Johns rather than Liz Hogan for the backup position to starter Devon Wills.
Now, there are more selections up ahead. Two of the players who were cut today are going to be back as alternates, and will be up for selection for the World Games in Poland later this summer.
But I get the feeling that, if FIL was to mandate a roster size equal to the men (25 players), it would benefit the Americans more than anyone else, given how difficult it is to assemble the last couple of World Cup sides.