Head coach Vlatko Andonoski has named the 18 players representing the United States soccer women’s national team (USWNT) in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. For the first time, a Kansan will be a women’s soccer Olympian.
Portland Thorns FC goalkeeper and Salina, Kansas native Adrianna Franch has been called up to back up presumptive starter Alyssa Naeher as USWNT, Team USA, looks to regain the gold medal.
Franch has made five international appearances for the United States and was a member of the 2019 World Cup champion squad in France.
The former Salina South Cougar got her first start with the USWNT in 2019 in the SheBelieves Cup in a 2-2 draw against England.
“It’s been a long process to get to this point, longer than anyone thought it would be, but we collected a lot of information on the players over the past year and half in trainings, in their club matches and in international games and we’re confident that we’ve selected the team with the best chance for success in Japan,” Andonovski said.
Goalkeepers: Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
Defenders: Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City/ENG), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit)
Midfielders: Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage)
Forwards: Tobin Heath (Unattached), Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Unattached), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign)
Of the 18 players selected, 15 come from the National Women’s Soccer League in the United States.
Franch is joined by Portland teammates Crystall Dunn, Becky Sauerbrunn and Lindsey Horan.
The USWNT has played in the gold medal game of every Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament until 2016 when they were defeated in the quarterfinal round by Sweden in a penalty kick shootout.
The Stars and Stripes will make up part of Group G with Sweden, Australia and New Zealand.
July 21 – vs Sweden – Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – 3:30 a.m. Central Time
July 24 – vs New Zealand – Saitama Stadium, Saitama, Japan – 6:30 a.m. Central Time
July 27 – vs Australia – Ibaraki Kashima Stadium, Kashima, Japan – 3:00 a.m. Central Time
“Our coaching staff has confidence that any player on the roster can perform when they get their chance,” Andonovski said. “We have a few players coming back from injuries, but that gave some other players a chance to get some minutes, which was a positive, so now we have to focus on getting our entire roster ready to go and fine-tuning a few things during our Send-Off Series.”