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Dec. 28, 2019 — Tinkering around the edges?

Meet the new U.S. women’s soccer team. Same as the old U.S. women’s soccer team.

That is, I think, the takeaway from the release of the training roster for the team as it embarks on CONCACAF qualification for the Olympics.

As usual, the constraint for the program is numbers; the team could simply take its 23-player roster from the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but Olympic rosters are just 20 players.

We all know that Alex Morgan is unlikely to play in Tokyo because she is expecting during the late spring, meaning that, aside from paring down one goalkeeper, there could be as few as one cut from the World Cup roster to make up the Olympic roster.

Then again, there are the six players that new head coach Vlatko Andronovski has brought in. This includes known quantities such as Casey Short, Lynn Williams, and Andi Sullivan, all of whom have proven themselves in the National Women’s Soccer League.

A couple of interesting adds for the U.S. team during this training camp are Stanford’s Sophia Smith and Portland Thorns leading scorer Margaret Purce. These are younger players whose best days are ahead, but they are being given a shot at proving themselves on the world stage right away.

I’ll be interested to see the product on the pitch next month, since it will have to evolve between now and this summer because of injury, age, and unforeseen circumstances.

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