USWNT roster for matches against Australia provides glimpse into team future

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Table: Axios Visuals

The USWNT roster for a pair of friendlies against Australia this month offers a glimpse of the future.

By the numbers: Just 10 of the 22 players headed to Australia were on the Tokyo 2020 team. The other 12 all have 10 or fewer caps.

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  • The most notable absences are Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, left off to give younger players more experience, plus Carli Lloyd, who retired last month.

  • Other big names missing: Alyssa Naeher, Crystal Dunn, Kelley O'Hara, Julie Ertz, Christen Press, Tobin Heath and Sam Mewis, absent for reasons ranging from injuries to opt outs.

The big picture: While plenty of veterans will play in the 2023 World Cup, the young squad headed to Australia is a reminder that the USWNT is nearing a state of transition.

  • One generation will soon depart, while another takes its place — a reality for all national teams.

  • Yes, but: Few groups accomplished more on the field — or fought for more off of it — than the generation currently leading the USWNT.

The bottom line: As the equal pay saga continues, it's worth remembering that many of the players fighting for a better future may only get to enjoy it from the sidelines.

This story is part of a special report on the state of U.S. women's soccer. It appeared first in Axios Sports. (Sign up here.)

Go deeper:

  1. Next few months could be most important in U.S. women's soccer history

  2. More Americans can name USWNT player than USMNT player

  3. Cindy Parlow Cone: “We’re on the same side” as USWNT on equal pay

  4. USWNT and USMNT fighting for equal pay in CBA negotiations

  5. Two NWSL teams searching for new head coaches after abuse allegations

  6. Player empowerment is key to the future of U.S. women's pro soccer

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