Carli Lloyd will play in her fourth Olympic Games at age 39 after she was one of 18 players named Wednesday to the United States women’s soccer team for the Tokyo Games.
Lloyd, who will turn 39 a week before the Games open, is one of 11 players who return from the team that represented the United States at the 2016 Rio Games. She is also one of two — joining Tobin Heath — who will play in her fourth Olympics.
The team announced by the U.S. coach, Vlatko Andonovski, included few surprises. Mainstays like Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn, Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis also made the team. So did Julie Ertz, the midfielder who is recovering from a knee injury but was seen as a lock to make the team if she was fit.
Ertz’s inclusion — especially on a smaller roster where each place is vital in a condensed tournament — suggests that she is healthy enough to contribute, despite not having played in months.
Heath, too, had been an injury concern. She has not played for the United States in 2021, but Andonovski had said recently that she was being reintroduced to training, a sign that her recovery, too, would make her available for the Games.
Lloyd’s inclusion was, perhaps, not much of a question after all. She has been a fixture on the roster for more than a decade and her leadership, her drive to start and her ability to bring world-class talent off the bench, made her an obvious choice in the end.
The full U.S. roster:
Goalkeepers: Adrianna Franch, Alyssa Naeher
Defenders: Abby Dahlkemper, Tierna Davidson, Crystal Dunn, Kelley O’Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn, Emily Sonnett
Midfielders: Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Kristie Mewis, Samantha Mewis
Forwards: Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Christen Press, Megan Rapinoe
Seventeen members of the 18-player Olympic roster also were on the team that won the World Cup in France in 2019. Sonnett, Davidson and Kristie Mewis — all first-time Olympians — were most likely the last names on the list, but their versatility and ability to play multiple positions could make them valuable additions.
Olympic roster rules allow for changes before and during the tournament, so Andonovski also named four alternates who will train with the team before it departs: goalkeeper Jane Campbell, defender Casey Krueger, midfielder Catarina Macario and forward Lynn Williams.
The U.S. team will play two send-off matches against Mexico on July 1 and 5 in East Hartford, Conn.
The United States will open the Olympic tournament against Sweden on July 21 — two days before the opening ceremony — and then finish the group stage against New Zealand (July 24) and Australia (July 27).
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