The USA have a glorious history at the Women's World Cup, having won two of the six tournaments played to date, a feat matched only by Germany.
However, they have failed to win the last three tournaments despite being heavily tipped, losing out last time in the final to Japan on penalties.
For the 2015 tournament in Canada—beginning on Saturday—the competition is bigger and better than ever, with 24 teams competing and great quality throughout.
However, the USWNT are still the pre-tournament favourites due to their immense strength in depth. Read on for the full roster and a closer look at the top players in Jill Ellis' side.
|USA Women's Soccer Roster|
|15||MF||Megan Rapinoe (c)|
Alex Morgan, Forward
Alex Morgan is undoubtedly the best striker Ellis has available and is the first name on most people's teamsheet given her terrific finishing ability and creativity.
However, ahead of the start of proceedings in Canada—USA's first group game is against Australia on Tuesday—it is unclear whether the 25-year-old will be fit enough to play.
She has been nursing a knee injury for some time now and missed all three of the USWNT's warm-up games.
Coach Ellis is positive about her progress, per Fox Soccer, and Morgan herself will be desperate to get back to full fitness in time for the Australia clash:
However, based on recent comments from Ellis, a starting place against the Matildas for Morgan looks highly unlikely, per Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl:
In terms of Alex, we’re building her. Realistically, she’s been off for a while. So in terms of minutes, that’s something I think we’re going to have to build through the early games to be ready. We don’t want to blow her up too early in terms of physically being ready.
Morgan was the youngest player in the U.S. team in 2011, and she has since become a devastating attacking force—scoring 28 goals and providing 21 assists for the U.S. in 2012 as she won an Olympic gold medal, per Wahl.
She is one of the best strikers in the world, and although Ellis can call on more than adequate back-up, Morgan is key to USA's World Cup hopes, and her return to full fitness cannot come soon enough.
Abby Wambach, Forward
Abby Wambach is a world footballing legend. No player in the history of the game has more international goals than her tally of 182.
Now 35 years old, Wambach is eager to finally win a World Cup after third-place finishes in 2003 and 2007, and a runners-up spot in 2011.
Wambach will likely appear both as a starter and from the bench—Morgan's injury could dictate how much she plays—with Ellis looking to reserve her for the key moments, per ESPN's Kate Fagan:
She can start; she can come in off the bench. I think there will be certain games it will benefit us to have her come in and close a game. I think there will be other games that she starts. I'm confident I know a lot about what Abby can give us.
Whatever the situation, though, Wambach's experience and quality in front of goal will be vital as the USA go for a third World Cup victory.
She is the inspiration for much of what the team do, and is clearly desperate to get a World Cup under her belt, per NBC Sports:
Wambach will need to stay in control in search of that elusive crown, but if anyone can rise to the occasion, she can.
Hope Solo, Goalkeeper
USA are a formidable attacking force, but they are equally able at the back, not least because of star goalkeeper Hope Solo.
A veteran of 170 internationals, the 33-year-old Solo has been to two previous World Cups, winning the Golden Glove for best keeper in 2011.
A similarly high level of performance is expected in Canada, and her calm at the back will be essential as the U.S. look to manoeuvre themselves to the final on Jul 5.
As well as bringing bags of experience to the side and a level of concentration necessary when keeping for a top team, she is also a fine shot-stopper, capable of stunning saves like this one, per U.S. Soccer WNT:
Much like Wambach, Solo has experienced many triumphs in her career, but at World Cups she has always left disappointed. She will hope to rectify that in 2015.