USA women's soccer Olympic roster: USWNT star Alex Morgan to miss tourney for first time since 2008 (2024)

Emma Hayes and her coaching staff have named the official 18-player roster for the upcoming Summer Olympics. The roster is for Hayes' first major international tournament as USWNT manager after being hired in December. She coached her first games on the sideline in June, two wins against South Korea, after winning a league title with Chelsea FC.

This group includes several players making their first-ever Olympic roster, and some shocking omissions -- there will be no Alex Morgan at the Olympics for the first time since 2008.

First time Olympians include goalkeeper Casey Murphy, defenders Emily Fox, Naomi Girma and Jenna Nighswonger, midfielders Korbin Albert and Sam Coffey and forwards Trinity Rodman, Sophia Smith and Jaedyn Shaw. The 2024 Paris Olympics will be their first senior-level global tournament.

Washington Spirit rookies Croix Bethune and Hal Hershfelt will experience their first Olympics as alternates

"Making an Olympic roster is a huge privilege and an honor and there is no denying that it was an extremely competitive process among the players and that there were difficult choices, especially considering how hard everyone has worked over the past 10 months," said Hayes.

"Choosing an 18-player roster plus alternates involved many considerations, but I am excited for the group we have selected and I'm looking forward to building on the work from last camp as we head into the Send-Off matches and then onto France. These are great opportunities for us to continue to show the progress we are making."

Take a look at the squad who will compete for Olympic glory:

USWNT Olympic roster (club/caps)

Goalkeepers (2): Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 19), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 104)

Defenders (6): Tierna Davidson (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 58/3), Emily Fox (Arsenal FC, ENG; 49/1), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC; 32/0), Casey Krueger (Washington Spirit; 49/0), Jenna Nighswonger (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 9/2), Emily Sonnett (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 91/2)

Midfielders(5): Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA; 11/0), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC; 17/1), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 148/35), Rose Lavelle (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 100/24), Catarina Macario (Chelsea FC, ENG; 19/8)

Forwards (5): Crystal Dunn (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 147/25), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit; 38/7), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC; 14/7), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 48/19), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars; 92/34)

Alternates: Goalkeeper Jane Campbell, midfielder Hal Hershfelt, midfielder Croix Bethune and forward Lynn

Want more coverage of women's soccer? Listen below and make sure to watch Attacking Third on Golazo Network Monday and Friday for all your USWNT, NWSL and WSL women's soccer coverage.

No Alex Morgan

Morgan will not be part of the 2024 Olympic Games for the first time since 2008, ending a run of three Olympics in a row for the storied USWNT striker. Morgan was a crucial part of the gold medal winning team during the London Games when she was an emerging next-gen talent for the program, but time comes for us all, and the 34-year-old forward has had a dry spell in front of goal with her club, San Diego Wave FC, to start the 2024 NWSL regular season, despite a solid Gold Cup performance with two goals and one assist on the national team in February.

She has zero goals through eight games for her club and has been managing a lingering ankle injury throughout the first few months of Wave FC's current campaign. Morgan's omission from the roster will come as a shock to USWNT casuals, who find themselves rooting on the team during major international tournaments. There will likely be questions around veteran team leadership, but Alyssa Naeher, Crystal Dunn, and team captain Lindsey Horan all head to Paris as two-time Olympians, preparing for their third go-around at the games.

Hayes spoke on the decision to leave Morgan off the roster during a press conference after the Olympic roster was released.

"I mean, first off, I want to talk about what an amazing player and human Alex Morgan has been," Hayes said to the media.

"I've only had one opportunity to work with her in the last camp. I saw firsthand not just her qualities, but her professionalism and her record speaks for itself. Second of all, it's not easy making a decision that is only 16 outfield players, two goalkeepers on a roster of 18. So, it was a tough decision of course, especially considering Alex's history and record with this team, but I felt that I wanted to go in another direction and selected other players."

Morgan also issued a statement on her social media accounts regarding the decision.

"Today, I'm disappointed about not having the opportunity to represent our country on the Olympic stage," she posted.

"This will always be a tournament that is close to my heart and I take immense pride any time I put on the crest. In less than a month, I look forward to supporting this team and cheering them on alongside the rest of our country. LFG."

Today, I’m disappointed about not having the opportunity to represent our country on the Olympic stage. This will always be a tournament that is close to my heart and I take immense pride any time I put on the crest.

In less than a month, I look forward to supporting this team…

— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) June 26, 2024

Korbin Albert's inclusion

Albert's been in national team camps as a midfield option since November 2023 and earned her first cap in December. She featured in six games in February during the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup and her ability to carry possession and handle tournament match loads were positives in making an 18 player roster for a competition like the Olympics.

"Korbin making the team is on merit in terms of what she offers for us in the midfield positions. I think she's demonstrated in Gold Cup, that she can play a lot of games in quick succession. And she's got the ability to play all three midfield positions, though probably an eight is her best position," Hayes told media on Albert's inclusion.

Her inclusion comes with questions and scrutiny. The 20-year-old midfielder reposted and shared anti-LGBTQ videos across her personal accounts and eventually apologized after pressure from current and former players, including Megan Rapinoe.

Her social media activity also propelled Morgan and Lindsey Horan to issue a co-statement during a press conference ahead of the SheBelieves Cup addressing the situation. The two expressed disappointment in Albert's actions and reaffirmed the USWNT program as a place that is welcoming to LGBTQ players and allies to the community. They also stated that hard work and conversations were taking place among the team and that those discussions would remain internal.

While the circ*mstances occurred ahead of Hayes' arrival, Albert's status on the team led to curiosity about the locker room chemistry and the values of the team that have been part of the program for years. Coupled with a now-expired apology from her Instagram story, asks more questions about what that work actually looks like and if those discussions were just one and done.

"I think when it comes to the situation that, I came into, there's no denying, there's been a lot of work that's been going on in the background to work with Korbin," said Hayes.

"Korbin has had to learn. And my experiences with her has been someone who's, you know, she's a young person who's understood fully, the implications of a social media activity. I'm not going to go into that in great detail, because that's between Korbin and I, but the conversations we have had has been to, talk about the importance of how and what we have to be mindful of, and how we are all part of an environment, that's one that appreciates and understands the damage that that can do."

Hayes was also vocal that Albert has been a delight to coach and that the player has since struggled in her performances. Audible booing can be heard during her substitution windows or lineup announcements have been present in USWNT friendlies since April, and Hayes also said that Albert continues to work on herself and wants the fans to embrace the player.

Hayes' confirmation of Albert's declining form post-Gold Cup will keep the questions flowing, especially with the return of form for players who are back from injury with Rose Lavelle, Catarina Macario, and elevated play by Jaedyn Shaw.

USWNT recent form

The Olympic games will celebrate the opening ceremonies on July 26, though the women's football tournament is set to begin on July 25. Drawn into Group B, the USWNT will open group play against Zambia, followed by matches against Germany and Australia. The team is on the hunt for their first gold medal since 2012 after failing to reach the podium in 2016 and a bronze medal finish during the Tokyo Games.

The Stars and Stripes is in good form ahead of the Paris Games. They sustained one loss since their early exit from the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia. Former interim head coach Twila Kilgore went on an eight-game undefeated streak till a loss during the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup group stage against Mexico before winning the tournament. After winning the SheBelieves Cup Kilgore is now a full-time assistant on Hayes' staff, and the team is unbeaten in their last seven games.

USA women's soccer Olympic roster: USWNT star Alex Morgan to miss tourney for first time since 2008 (2024)
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