Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan get one more major tournament together with the U.S. national team.
The Tokyo Olympic soccer roster of 18 players — the oldest in U.S. history since women’s soccer debuted at the 1996 Atlanta Games — was announced Wednesday, and it includes the three stalwart forwards.
They’re joined by goalies Adrianna Franch and Alyssa Naeher, defenders Abby Dahlkemper, Tierna Davidson. Crystal Dunn, Kelley O’Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn and Emily Sonnett, midfielders Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Kristie Mewis and Samantha Mewis and fellow forwards Tobin Heath and Christen Press.
Seventeen of the 18 players were on the 2019 World Cup champion team (all but Kristie Mewis).
The average age will be 30.8 years old come kickoff in Japan (against Sweden on July 21). In Rio, the average was 27.8.
Rapinoe, 35, makes the team two years after winning the Golden Ball at the World Cup. The U.S. is trying to become the first nation to follow a World Cup title with Olympic gold, five years after failing to do so, getting eliminated in the quarterfinals in Rio (after which since-departed goalie Hope Solo called opponent Sweden “a bunch of cowards” for defensive play.)
“We have very high standards for the team, which is championship or total failure, so we felt like total failures,” Rapinoe said this spring of 2016. “It definitely left, I wouldn’t say a bad taste. I think it left a fire under people to never let that happen again.”
ON HER TURF: Meet the U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team
Rapinoe will be joined in Tokyo by fiancée Sue Bird, who on Monday became the oldest player named to a U.S. Olympic basketball team at 40.
Lloyd, who turns 39 on July 16, is set to become the oldest U.S. Olympic soccer player in history. Christie Pearce Rampone, who was 37 in 2012, currently holds the record.
Lloyd predicted back in 2015 that the Tokyo Games would ideally be the end point of her national team career.
Since, she started every match at the Rio Olympics as a captain. Then she was primarily a reserve at the 2019 World Cup, calling into question whether she could make it back, especially with five fewer players on the Olympic roster than at the World Cup. And even more so with a one-year Olympic postponement.
Lloyd netted all three U.S. goals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold-medal games.
Morgan, 31, is the fifth player to make a U.S. Olympic soccer team coming back from childbirth.
Defender Joy Fawcett played every minute of the 1995, 1999 and 2003 World Cups and the 1996 and 2000 Olympics as a mom. Carla Overbeck became a mom before making her second Olympic team in 2000, though she did not play in any matches in Australia. Kate Markgraf played in the 2008 Olympics as a mom, and Rampone did so in 2008 and 2012.
The Mewises are the first American sisters to play on an Olympic or World Cup team.
Lloyd and Heath are set to tie Rampone’s U.S. record of competing in four Olympic soccer tournaments. Ertz and Heath are coming back from knee injuries.
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