Breaking Down the USWNT Roster for Brazil Friendly

John D. Halloran@JohnDHalloranContributor IINovember 8, 2013

September 1, 2012; Rochester, NY, USA; USA forward Sydney Leroux (11) celebrates her goal with teammate Alex Morgan (13) during a friendly match against Costa Rica at Sahlen's Stadium. United States won the match 8-0. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, United States Soccer and United States women’s national team head coach Tom Sermanni announced an 18-player roster for the team’s friendly on Sunday against rival Brazil.

Here’s a breakdown of the roster.

The usual suspects

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 08:  Hope Solo #1 of Team USA makes a save during the second half of the game against China at Ford Field on December 8, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. USA defeated China 2-0.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

At goalkeeper, the U.S. will have Hope Solo and usual backup Nicole Barnhart. The center of the back line will be well-kept with regulars Rachel Buehler, Christie Rampone and Becky Sauerbrunn.

In the midfield, the U.S. has Carli Lloyd, Lauren Holiday and Heather O’Reilly and, up front, Sydney Leroux, Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan are available.

European club duties take precedent for some

HARRISON, NJ - JUNE 20:  Megan Rapinoe #15 of the USA in action against Lim Seonjoo #6 and Kim Hyeri #20 of Korea Republic during their game at Red Bull Arena on June 20, 2013 in Harrison, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The Tyreso contingent of Ashlyn Harris, Whitney Engen, Ali Krieger, Meghan Klingenberg and Christen Press are unavailable because of their Champions League game on Saturday against Fortuna Hjorring.

Megan Rapinoe is missing the Brazil game for the same reason, as Olympique Lyon take on Turbine Potsdam on Sunday.

Also not available

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JACKSONVILLE, FL - FEBRUARY 09:  Defender Kelley O'Hara #5 of the United States attempts to save a ball from going out of bounds during the game against Scotland at EverBank Field on February 9, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida. The United States defeated Sc
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Tobin Heath and Kelley O’Hara are still recovering from their foot and ankle injuries, respectively. Recently called-in collegiate players Morgan Brian and Crystal Dunn were also not included as the ACC Conference Tournament is being held this weekend.

Jillian Loyden was also not included, but no mention of her exclusion was made in the U.S. Soccer roster release. It is possible, however, that she was left out to focus on the gala she is hosting in honor of her sister next weekend.

Opportunity abounds

For a number of players, the U.S.' limited roster means opportunity.

Kristie Mewis, in the absence of O’Hara, Dunn, Krieger and Klingenberg, will have a chance to further ingrain herself in the squad at outside back. However, it appears, in the wake of the Mewis-Amy Rodriguez trade that was announced on Thursday, that Mewis may be playing forward next year in the NWSL.

Stephanie Cox, who has been absent from the squad for most of the past year due to the birth of her first child, also has a chance to work her way back into a team still searching for a clear-cut depth chart at outside back.

Leigh Ann Robinson, who finished runner-up in Defender of the Year voting, also has an opportunity to state her case on the defensive side of things.

In the midfield, Yael Averbuch may get a chance to show what she can do in the center, but Sermanni could just as likely start Holiday and Lloyd there. Neither Lloyd nor Holiday is ideally suited to take over Shannon Boxx’s role as the U.S.' midfielder destroyer, but the U.S. talent pool almost dictates that Sermanni use a 4-4-2.

Other newcomers who can use the camp to state their case are Bayern Munich youngster Amber Brooks and fellow 22-year-old Erika Tymrak. Tymrak and call-up Lindsey Horan each have one cap—Tymrak earned hers in a start against Mexico in September; Horan in a substitute appearance in the Algarve Cup.

Rounding out the roster is Boston Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.

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