SAN DIEGO – The United States will start their Victory Tour on August 16th with the same roster that won the FIFA World Cup this summer. All of the 23 players should be called in, except Sydney Leroux and California native Alex Morgan who are currently injured.
Even though the roster should not change for the Victory Tour, this is only true for the two first friendlies against Costa Rica on August 16th and 19th. Head Coach Jill Ellis said that for the remainding 8 matches we should expect some changes in the roster in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games. For those 8 games, not all World Cup players will be called in and instead new players will join the team, making it less of a celebration tour.
It was still a question mark how Jill Ellis would be handling the Victory Tour, but now we know what her plans are. The main objective of this tour was to capitalize on the popularity of the World Cup Champions, and a lot of fans were going to the games expecting to watch the players that played during the tournament, so it might be a little disappointing for them. However, U.S. Soccer President stated that Jill has the freedom to pick the players that she wants to as she feels necessary. We knew that the change would be taking place sometime this year, but we didn’t know it would be in September. Jill said that the team needs to start transitioning into the new squad that will be formed for next year’s event in Rio.
There will be major changes taking place to make a new team for next year and the future. The USWNT was the oldest team in the World Cup, and regardless of whether veteran players like Abby Wambach, Christie Rampone and Shannon Box decide to retire or not, we don’t even know whether they would be a good fit for the team at this point. This issue impacts even more when it comes to Olympics, since there are only 18 players allowed in the roster compared to 23 in the World Cup.
Even though many U.S. players already announced retirement or are probably about to, there are many young talented players in the country looking for their opportunity to make an appearance with the national team. Now, it might be their time to shine.