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A(nother) Look Back at First USWNT Caps

For the first time in more than fifteen years, the majority of the USWNT roster features uncapped players and those with fewer than 20 caps. Several players might earn their first senior international appearance against Switzerland tonight or Sunday. Here’s a look back at some of the “first caps” for the other players on the current USWNT roster.

Carli Lloyd debuted against Ukraine on July 10, 2005 (see video clip above, she comes in for Aly Wagner in the 64 minute. Lloyd is now the caps leader among active USWNT players, with 230 caps and 94 goals since 2005, and also one of the team’s co-captains.

Tobin Heath got her first cap as a teenager, playing against Finland in January 2008. Heath was part of the Olympic qualifying team that spring and also on the gold-medal winning squad in Beijing that summer, making three appearances as a subsitute. Heath has 16 goals and 124 caps.

Co-captain Becky Sauerbrunn also earned her first cap in January 2008, starting against Canada. She earned her 50th cap and 100th cap against Canada as well, and now has 115 international appearances. (We’re still waiting on her first goal, and she swears it won’t be a “pity PK.”)

Forward-turned-defender Kelley O’Hara got her first USWNT cap against Mexico in March 2010, coming on as a sub for Heather O’Reilly. She was originally an alternate for the 2011 Women’s World Cup team, but was named to the squad after Lindsay Tarpley suffered a knee injury. O’Hara scored her first international goal in the 2015 WWC semifinal versus Germany, and now boasts 87 caps.

Christen Press, a teammate of O’Hara’s at Stanford University, earned her first cap in February 2013 against Scotland. Press scored two goals in that match (highlights below) and currently has 35 goals in 76 appearances.

At just 23 years of age, Morgan Brian already has 59 caps and 4 goals to her credit. The two-time winner of the MAC Hermann trophy award debuted for the USWNT in June 2013 against South Korea (post-game comments below) and scored her first goal that fall against Mexico. She was the youngest member of the 2015 WWC-winning squad.

Crystal Dunn earned her first USWNT cap in February 2013, and scored her first international goal against Haiti in September 2015. Dunn was virtually the last player cut from the 2015 WWC roster, but claimed a spot on the Olympic roster in 2016 after earning MVP and Golden Boot honors for the 2015 NWSL season. Dunn now has 16 goals in her 41 appearances.

Lindsey Horan, the first American to forego college soccer to play professionally overseas, first appeared for the USWNT against China in the 2013 Algarve Cup. Since then she’s earned 26 caps and scored three goals.

Midfielder Allie Long earned her first cap in May 2014 against Canada and three more that summer, but did not appear against for the USWNT until April 2016 against Colombia. Long scored her first two international goals in that match, and earned a spot on the 2016 Olympic roster. She has three goals in 16 games.

Samantha Mewis enjoyed the experience of earning her first cap the same day as her sister Kristie. The pair entered the match at the same time as substitutes against Sweden in the 2014 Algarve Cup. Samantha, the younger sister, was an Olympic alternate this summer and now has 13 caps and two goals for the USWNT.

Defender Emily Sonnett debuted against Brazil last fall during the USWNT Victory Tour. Since then she’s amassed 11 caps, and earned a spot as an alternate for the 2016 Olympics. Sonnett was the #1 overall NWSL draft pick in 2016, appearing in 15 games for the Supporter Shield-winning Portland Thorns.

Alyssa Naeher, the backup keeper for the 2016 Olympic roster, earned her first cap against Argentina in December 2014. The NWSL 2014 Goalkeeper of the Year was a member of the 2015 WWC squad and edged out Ashlyn Harris for the backup spot for the 2016 Olympics. Naeher currently has 8 caps.

Back in 2002, Ashlyn Harris was the starting keeper for the u19 USWNT that won (in overtime on a golden goal) the first-ever u19 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Nearly 11 years later, Harris earned her first senior cap, starting against Sweden in the 2013 Algarve Cup. She was a member of the 2015 WWC team and an alternate for the 2016 Olympics. She currently has 9 caps.

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