The NC Courage have announced the first match of the 2018 NWSL season. In a familiar matchup, the team will take on the Portland Thorns. Of course, the last time that the teams met, the Thorns beat the Courage 1-0 in the NWSL Championship game in a hard fought match. The Courage will be starting the season at home, however, and the advantage of the support of the home fans should give them an edge in the re-match. The season kicks off on March 24 with pre-season starting for the team on February 19.
Several Courage players will not be in training as they were called into the US Women’s National Team for the SheBelieves Cup. Crystal Dunn, Lynn Williams and Abby Dahlkemper have all made the preliminary roster for the tournament. Missing from that list is Sam Mewis who is nursing a minor knee injury. The tournament will take place on March 1st, 4th, and 7th with the U.S., France, Germany, and England playing in a round-robin format.
The full roster for the USWNT features:
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position; Caps/Goals
DEFENDERS (8): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 14/0), Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 1/0), Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars; 3/0), Hailie Mace (UCLA; 0/0), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 105/2), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 19/0), Taylor Smith (Washington Spirit; 8/0), Emily Sonnett (Sydney FC, AUS/Portland Thorns FC; 13/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 69/6), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 58/15), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 44/4), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 7/2), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 247/98), Allie Long (Seattle Reign FC; 33/6), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 8/0)
FORWARDS (8): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC, ENG/NC Courage; 58/23), Ashley Hatch (Melbourne City FC, AUS/Washington Spirit; 1/0), Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue FC; 1/0), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 135/81), Christen Press (Houston Dash; 97/44), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 30/8), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 130/34), Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 16/4)