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What the U.S. Women’s World Cup roster means for the 2024 Paris Olympics

Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan

Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan made the U.S. Women’s World Cup roster, but getting on the 2024 Olympic team will be tougher.


A place on the U.S. women’s World Cup soccer team likely leads to an Olympic roster spot, though the Olympic team size is expected to be smaller for Paris than in Tokyo.

Coach Vlatko Andonovski’s 23-player roster for the World Cup that starts next month in Australia and New Zealand is headlined by forwards Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan and defender Kelley O’Hara, all members of the last three Olympic teams.

About a year from now, the U.S. will name a roster of 18 players for the Paris Olympics. It’s expected that up to four alternates can also be named, but with more restrictions than in Tokyo.

At the last Olympics, alternates essentially became full-fledged team members to add flexibility amid the pandemic, though each team still had to pick 18 out of the 22 for each match. For Paris, it’s expected that the rule will revert to alternates in the traditional sense of being on call in case of injury.

For Tokyo, the original roster of 18 players (two goalies, six defenders, five midfielders, five forwards) included 17 from the 2019 World Cup roster (the outlier being midfielder Kristie Mewis). That’s an impressive holdover count given the two years separating the tournaments -- rather than the usual one -- and because the U.S. changed head coaches during that time, from Jill Ellis to Andonovski.

For Paris, the turnaround from World Cup to the Olympics goes back to one year. Andonovski may still be the head coach.

With all of that in mind, get ready to see a 2024 Olympic roster that looks very similar to this 2023 World Cup roster that was just named:

Goalkeepers: Aubrey Kingsbury, Casey Murphy, Alyssa Naeher

Defenders: Alana Cook, Crystal Dunn, Emily Fox, Naomi Girma, Sofia Huerta, Kelley O’Hara, Emily Sonnett

Midfielders: Savannah DeMelo, Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Kristie Mewis, Ashley Sanchez, Andi Sullivan

Forwards: Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Trinity Rodman, Sophia Smith, Alyssa Thompson, Lynn Williams

If she makes the 2024 team, Rapinoe will break the record for oldest U.S. Olympic soccer player set by Carli Lloyd, who was 39 in Tokyo. Rapinoe, Morgan and O’Hara can join a group of three U.S. soccer players who played in four Olympics (Lloyd, Tobin Heath and Christie Pearce Rampone).

Players not on the World Cup roster who could be in the Olympic picture are defender Becky Sauerbrunn (a three-time Olympian) and attackers Mallory Swanson (a Rio Olympian) and Catarina Macario (a Tokyo Olympian), all recovering from injuries.