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San Diego Wave FC’s Morgan, Girma, Kornieck on USWNT squad for W Championship

Veteran and newcomers in mix for competitive action.

San Diego Wave FC v OL Reign - 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup
Who’s on the plane to Mexico?
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

U.S. Soccer dropped the roster for the 2022 Concacaf W Championship on Monday, and head coach Vlatko Andonovski has selected three San Diego Wave FC players, forward Alex Morgan, defender Naomi Girma and midfielder Taylor Kornieck, to the 23-player roster for the competition.

Morgan gets the recall after being out of the mix essentially since the end of the Tokyo Olympics, but as the fifth all-time leading scorer in program history with 115 goals in 190 appearances, plus her blistering start to the NWSL campaign, with 13 goals in 15 games across all competitions, it’s little surprise she’s been brought back into the fold. As the most in-form striker at the moment in the American pool who is uninjured, it was a no-brainer, in fact.

Girma has made one appearance at senior USWNT level, Apr. 12 in a friendly against Uzbekistan, but with club teammate Abby Dahlkemper injured, among others in the center back pool, she has a solid shot of getting her first competitive minutes for her country in the tournament.

Kornieck is the true newcomer to the group, and the only debutant to make the 23-player roster. The 23-year-old was a youth international previously, but her breakthrough start with Wave FC has given her a rather unexpected opportunity to get minutes for the USWNT, and that’s pretty awesome indeed.

Prior to the W Championship, the U.S. will play two friendlies against Colombia, June 25 in Commerce, Colorado and June 28 in Sandy, Utah. The W Championship will take place July 4-18 in Monterrey, Mexico. In addition to being the confederation’s championship tournament in its own right, it’s a rare “2-for-1” qualifying tournament, for both the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and the 2024 Paris Olympics. The four teams that reach the knockout stage in the W Championship will qualify for the World Cup, while the two 3rd place teams in the group stage will go into intercontinental playoffs for a World Cup berth. Meanwhile, the winner of the W Championship will get an automatic bid to the Paris Olympics, while the losing finalist and winner of the 3rd-place game will play each other at a later time in a Concacaf playoff for the second berth to the Olympics.

On extended international duty, Morgan, Girma and Kornieck will join Sofia Jakobsson (Sweden), who will be at the Euros next month. Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan (Canada) is essentially a lock to join them at the W Championship as well. That’s basically five starters gone for San Diego, who have five games scheduled between now and the end of July. Hope those gamechangers are ready to step up for Wave FC, but congrats to all who are on the plane to their respective regional tournaments.

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