Portland Thorns forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Tobin Heath have both been named to the preliminary Women's World Cup roster, the Thorns and U.S. Soccer announced Monday.
Morgan, 25, appeared in 14 matches (13 starts) for the Thorns in 2014, netting 6 goals and 4 assists, after missing the early portion of the season recovering from an ankle injury. Joining the Thorns just prior to their season-opening 4-1 victory over the Boston Breakers on Saturday, Morgan played 75 minutes, taking 5 shots, but none of them were on goal. This will be her second appearance in the World Cup, emerging as a breakout star during the 2011 run.
Heath, 26, made 5 appearances (5 starts) for the Thorns in 2014,, after returning from France's Paris Saint-Germain mid-season. While only making limited appearances for the Thorns, Heath was a more significant contributor in the CONCACAF Women's Championships in October 2014, with 2 goals and 2 assists in 4 appearances (3 starts). Heath started and played 90 minutes against the Breakers, registering 3 shots. Heath made 4 substitute appearances in Germany in 2011.
Left of the U.S. squad are defender Rachel Van Hollebeke and midfielder Allie Long. While Long's appearances with the national team have faded in recent call-ups, Van Hollebeke was called into camp for the April 4 friendly against New Zealand, but was left off the matchday 18. While the snub will surely be frustrating for both Long and Van Hollebeke, it will greatly benefit the Thorns, as they see two of their most experienced players staying with the squad for the full season.
Morgan and Heath are expected to remain with the Thorns for their April matches against Western New York (April 18) and Chicago (April 25).
The U.S. will break for camp in early May, then play friendlies on May 10 (Ireland), May 17 (Mexico), and May 30 (South Korea), opening World Cup play against Steph Catley's Australia side on June 8 in Winnipeg.
The rosters will become official on May 25, leaving Van Hollebeke and Long a slim chance of making the cut, should another player become unavailable.
Portland Thorns Press Release-
MORGAN, HEATH NAMED TO U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER FOR 2015 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUPThorns FC duo selected to represent the United States in Canada this summer
PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Tobin Heath were named to the 23-player U.S. Women’s National Team roster for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, it was announced today. The roster will not become official until it is submitted to FIFA on May 25, which is the deadline for all teams to submit their final squads.The Women’s World Cup roster will make up the squad for the U.S. Women’s National Team’s final three matches before departing for Canada. The three-match Send-Off Series begins May 10 against Ireland at 11:30 a.m. (Pacific) at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif. The United States then faces Mexico on May 17 at 6 p.m. (Pacific) at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Both matches will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1. In the final match of the Send-Off Series, the United States takes on Korea Republic on May 30 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.; kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. (Pacific) and will be broadcast on ESPN and WatchESPN.Playing in Group D this summer at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the U.S. Women’s National Team opens group play with its first two matches at Winnipeg Stadium against Australia on June 8 at 4:30 p.m. (Pacific) and Sweden on June 12 at 5 p.m. (Pacific). The United States plays its final group match on June 16 in Vancouver at BC Place against Nigeria; kickoff is set for 5 p.m. (Pacific). The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup runs from June 6-July 5 and all 52 games will be shown live on FOX, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and on tablets and mobile devices through the FOX Sports GO app and FOXSportsGO.com.Morgan, 25, appeared in 14 matches (13 starts) for Thorns FC during the 2014 NWSL season, recording six goals and four assists. Now in her third season for Portland, Morgan started and played 75 minutes in Thorns FC’s 4-1 victory over the Boston Breakers in their 2015 NWSL home opener on April 11 at Providence Park. This is Morgan’s second appearance on a FIFA Women’s World Cup roster. The U.S. Women’s National Team forward was the youngest player on the U.S. roster at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Making her debut in Germany, Morgan appeared in five matches as a substitute and was one of two U.S. Women’s National Team players, along with Abby Wambach, to score in both the World Cup semifinal and championship match. Against France in the semifinal on July 13, Morgan scored the clinching goal in a 3-1 victory, while she scored the opening goal and tallied an assist in a dramatic penalty-kick loss against Japan in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final on July 17.Appearing in her second FIFA Women’s World Cup, Heath, 26, made five appearances (all starts) for Thorns FC during the 2014 regular season and begins her third season with Portland in 2015. Heath started and played 90 minutes, helping Thorns FC record a 4-1 win against the Boston Breakers in the team’s 2015 NWSL home opener on April 11 at Providence Park. The U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder appeared in four matches as a substitute at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, playing in the quarterfinal, semifinal and final in her first World Cup at the senior national team level.