Delran-born U.S. women's soccer team captain Carli Lloyd will miss the coming games against New Zealand because of a sprained ankle she suffered in mid-August.
Lloyd was injured while playing for her club team, the National Women's Soccer League's Houston Dash, on Aug. 13. Dash manager Omar Morales told the Houston Chronicle this week that Lloyd is "50-50" to return to the field before the regular season concludes at the end of September.
As for who is on the roster, the headlines start with a trio of playmakers who've been dealing with long-term injuries. Rose Lavelle is back for the first time since hurting a hamstring in the U.S.' June 11 game at Norway; Megan Rapinoe has recovered from the surgery she underwent five weeks ago to repair a torn meniscus in her left knee; and Tobin Heath has finally overcome a back injury that sidelined her since March.
Don't be surprised if Heath doesn't play, as she only just returned to practice for the Portland Thorns.
Rapinoe returned to the field this past Saturday for the Seattle Reign, and U.S. Soccer said she "has recovered sufficiently to be available for selection."
Lavelle also returned to action Saturday. She'll be in a big spotlight for the second game of the New Zealand set, as it's in her home town of Cincinnati on Sept. 19 (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1). More than 25,000 tickets have been sold for the women's national team's first visit there since 2008.
The first game will be Sept. 15 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., just outside Denver (10 p.m., ESPN2). That will be a homecoming for midfielders Lindsey Horan and Mallory Pugh.
Other notable returns are goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, who suffered a quadriceps injury in late May; and midfielder Morgan Brian, who has missed the last few national team games because of a series of knocks. Brian just got traded from Lloyd's Dash to the Chicago Red Stars and made her debut for her new club Saturday.
A new addition is defender Tierna Davidson, a Stanford sophomore who has been a regular with the U.S. under-20 team. She got her first call-up to the senior squad this past January.
Mexican-American midfielder Sofia Huerta, of the Red Stars, has been invited again to train with the squad. She is waiting for FIFA to approve change-of-nationality paperwork that will allow her to play for the U.S.
Notable omissions include Thorns defenders Emily Sonnett and Meghan Klingenberg, Orlando Pride defender Ali Krieger, Red Stars midfielders Vanessa DiBernardo and Danielle Colaprico, and North Carolina Courage forward Jessica McDonald.
The full squad:
Goalkeepers (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars),
Defenders (7): Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), Tierna Davidson (Stanford University), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Taylor Smith (North Carolina Courage)
Midfielders (7): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns), Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers), Allie Long (Portland Thorns), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign)
Forwards (5): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea, England), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage)