We’ve kinda known for a while now, but today’s roster drop from the USWNT confirms it: Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Adrianna Franch and Emily Sonnett will represent their country in France at the 2019 FIFA World Cup.
Heath has been here before, this being her third World Cup call up. She saw time as a substitute in the 2011 World Cup but since has since become an essential starter for the USWNT, racking up 147 caps, and will be critical for their success. Heath is peaking at the right time, too: after scoring 19 goals in the first 8 years of her international career, she’s since scored 9 in the last year, and frequently looks like one of the most dangerous players on the field.
Lindsey Horan will be headed to her first World Cup ever (which is strange, given her 66 caps) as one of the USWNT’s most capable deeper midfielders. As recently as 2017 she was being rolled out as a striker for her country but there seems to be a growing acceptance that she’s one of the most talented box-to-box midfielders in the country since Shannon Boxx. She will likely be doing less crashing the box for the US than she does for the Thorns but her range of passing and defensive ability ensure that she will have an impact on big games.
Emily Sonnett will also be going to her first World Cup in a relatively light defensive pool. USWNT coach Jill Ellis emphasized roster flexibility in her media availability, and Sonnett can fill in at both centerback and right fullback, the latter being the place where she’s made most of her recent 31 USWNT caps. With only a semi-regularly injured Kelley O’Hara ahead of her on the depth chart, expect Sonnett to have a big responsibility in the squad.
AD Franch will be headed to the World Cup firmly in third place among the USWNT goalkeepers, but it’s great for her to be recognized for the stellar goaltending over the past seasons that has seen her take consecutive NWSL goalkeeper of the year awards for the past two years. Despite having been in USWNT camps since 2012, she received her first, and so far only, cap for her country just earlier this year.
Meghan Klingenberg, who lost her allocated status in 2018 and hasn’t appeared for the USWNT since 2017, is one of only three players from the 2016 Olympic squad to not make it into this World Cup roster, alongside Hope Solo and Whitney Engen. She’s the only one of those players still playing professional soccer, and is going to be an essential player and leader for the Portland Thorns during the rest of the international absences.