2023 SheBelieves Cup: Breaking down the USWNT roster, Megan Rapinoe’s potential milestone, who’s playing … and who isn’t


The 2023 SheBelieves Cup marks the first games of the year on home soil for the No. 1-ranked U.S. Women’s National Team, who’ll host No. 6 Canada, No. 9 Brazil and No. 11 Japan for the tournament’s eighth edition. The four-team tournament will serve as a warm up for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, set for July 20-Aug. 20 in Australia and New Zealand, where the Americans will set their sights on a historic three-peat and fifth title overall.

U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski revealed the 23-player roster on Feb. 1, headlined by a star trio of USWNT veterans in forwards Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe and defender Becky Sauerbrunn. Twenty-two of the players (all but Rapinoe) were with the U.S. team in January for its trip to New Zealand, where the American women recorded two wins in international friendlies vs. the Football Ferns. USA is looking for a fourth consecutive title at the 2023 SheBelieves Cup and its sixth title overall. The USWNT won the inaugural tournament in 2016 and repeated the feat in 2018. The U.S. women lifted the trophy again in 2020, kicking off a streak of three straight wins by the host team.

USWNT action kicks off Thursday, Feb. 16, with a matchup against Canada in Orlando, Fla., where Morgan will be recognized in a pregame ceremony honoring her historic 200th cap. The 33-year-old California native reached the milestone on Nov. 13 in a 2-1 comeback win over Germany in Harrison, N.J. Of note, Rapinoe also has a shot at joining the 200-cap club during the SheBelieves Cup. With 197 caps so far in her USWNT career, the 2019 World Cup Golden Boot winner could hit the milestone if she plays in all three of USA’s matches.

Who’s not playing in the 2023 SheBelieves Cup?

Among the most notable omissions from the U.S. roster are reigning NWSL MVP Sophia Smith, 2020 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year Sam Mewis and two-time U.S. Soccer POY Julie Ertz (2017, 2019). In a press conference Feb. 1, Andonovski addressed the players’ status and gave a positive update on the foot injury that kept Smith from playing last month in New Zealand.

“Sophia actually is looking good. She’s back on the field running,” he said. “And I think that if we rushed it a little bit, we could have got some minutes from her, but I didn’t feel like this was a situation where we rush to get her back. Our goal is not just to get her back but to stay back, and that’s why she’s not in this camp.”

Additionally, Andonovski confirmed that Mewis would not be available this summer, after she recently announced on social media that she had to undergo surgery on her knee for a second time. He also noted that “time is running out” for fellow midfielder Ertz, who gave birth to a son in August and has not indicated whether she plans to return to playing. She has not been under contract with a professional team since late 2021.

“Julie Ertz is someone that obviously we see that she hasn’t committed to any team in the league so far,” he said. “And the time is running out pretty much for her as well, and she’s someone that we’re probably not going to be able to count on in the World Cup. So these are two big names that may be or will be absent from the World Cup and this is something that we have planned for, and that’s why we’ve tried different players in this position and we’re gonna continue to try in this camp until we solidify the players that we believe will give us the best chance to be successful.”

Defender Tierna Davidson, a 2019 Women’s World Cup champion and 2020 Olympic bronze medalist, is not on the tournament roster, but she is in the final stages of recovery from an ACL injury and will participate in the first part of training camp in Orlando. Also in return-to-play protocol are Kelly O’Hara, Christen Press, and Tobin Heath, all of whom Andonovski said he expects to see back or eligible for selection for April’s camp.

RELATED: How to watch, who’s playing, and top storylines to follow at the 2023 SheBelieves Cup

Who’s playing for the U.S. in the 2023 SheBelieves Cup 

The 23-player USWNT roster for the 2023 SheBelieves Cup by position (includes current club, caps/goals):


  • Adrianna Franch (Kansas City Current; 10)
  • Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 12)
  • Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 87)


  • Alana Cook (OL Reign; 21/0)
  • Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage; 24/0)
  • Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 128/24)
  • Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC; 12/0)
  • Sofia Huerta (OL Reign; 27/0)
  • Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 212/0)
  • Emily Sonnett (OL Reign; 70/1)


  • Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, France; 123/26)
  • Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave FC; 9/2)
  • Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 86/24)
  • Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 47/7)
  • Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit; 19/3)
  • Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 39/3)


  • Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 15/5)
  • Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC; 201/120)
  • Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 22/4)
  • Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 197/63)
  • Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit; 12/2)
  • Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars; 84/28)
  • Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 49/15)

What to watch for at the 2023 SheBelieves Cup

  • Welcome to the club: Star forward Alex Morgan, who comes into the 2023 tournament with 201 matches played for the USWNT, will be honored before the opening match in Orlando for earning her historic 200th cap, which came against Germany in the final match of 2022 in Harrison, N.J.
  • Milestone alert: Should Megan Rapinoe appear in all three matches for the U.S. at the 2023 event, she’ll become the 14th player in USWNT history to reach the 200-cap milestone.
  • Coming in hot: Twenty-two of the players were with the USWNT in January for its trip to New Zealand, which featured two wins in international friendlies against the World Cup co-host Football Ferns. Rapinoe, who has recovered from a recent ankle injury, is the only new addition to the roster from the group that played in New Zealand.
  • Top scorers: Morgan is by far the leading scorer on the U.S. roster with 120 career goals, the fifth-most in U.S. history. Rapinoe has 63 career international goals, Mallory Swanson has 28, and Lindsey Horan has 26, while Crystal Dunn and Rose Lavelle each have 24.
  • The 100-cap club: Five players on the USWNT roster have 100 caps or more: Becky Sauerbrunn (212), Morgan (201), Rapinoe (197), Dunn (128) and Horan (123).
  • Newbies up their numbers: Eleven U.S. players on the roster have 27 or fewer caps, but only one has single-digit caps: Taylor Kornieck (9).
  • Been there, done that: Sixteen players on the 2023 USWNT roster were on the winning team for the 2022 SheBelieves Cup: Casey MurphyAlyssa Naeher, Alana Cook, Emily Fox, Sofia Huerta, Sauerbrunn, Emily Sonnett, Horan, Lavelle, Kristie Mewis, Ashley Sanchez, Andi Sullivan, Ashley Hatch, Midge PurceTrinity Rodman and Lynn Williams.
  • Flying the (NWSL) flag: Eight of the NWSL’s 12 clubs are represented on the roster, led by five players from OL Reign, four from the Washington Spirit and three players each from NY/NJ Gotham FC and San Diego Wave FC.

How to watch, fixtures for 2023 SheBelieves Cup

Thursday, Feb. 16 4 p.m. ET Japan vs. Brazil Exploria Stadium (Orlando, Fla.) HBO Max, Peacock (in Spanish)
Thursday, Feb. 16 7 p.m. ET USWNT vs. Canada Exploria Stadium (Orlando, Fla.) HBO Max, Peacock (in Spanish), Universo, fuboTV, DirecTV Stream
Sunday, Feb. 19 3:30 p.m. ET USWNT vs. Japan GEODIS Park (Nashville, Tenn.) HBO Max, Peacock (in Spanish), Universo, fuboTV, DirecTV Stream, TNT
Sunday, Feb. 19 6:30 p.m. ET Brazil vs. Canada GEODIS Park (Nashville, Tenn.) HBO Max, Peacock (in Spanish)
Wednesday, Feb. 22 4 p.m. ET Canada vs. Japan Toyota Stadium (Frisco, Tex.) HBO Max, Peacock (in Spanish)
Wednesday, Feb. 22 7 p.m. ET USWNT vs. Brazil Toyota Stadium (Frisco, Tex.) HBO Max, Peacock (in Spanish), Universo, fuboTV, DirecTV Stream, TNT

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2023 LPGA Drive On Championship: How to watch, who’s playing in season’s first full-field event

Jin-young Ko of South Korea and Nelly Korda on the 17th tee during the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship.
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The LPGA Tour makes its return to the Arizona desert this week at the 2023 LPGA Drive On Championship at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club. The season’s first full-field event features eight of the world’s top 10 players plus a slew of fresh faces as this year’s rookie class gets its first taste of competition as tour members.

This week’s event features 144 players (plus two Monday qualifiers) competing for the $1.75 million prize purse in a 72-hole tournament that will implement the LPGA’s new cutline policy for the first time. Beginning this week, the 36-hole cut will change from the top 70 players and ties to the top 65 and ties advancing to weekend action. The LPGA says it hopes to “establish a faster pace of play” with the change.”

Arizona last hosted the LPGA for the 2019 Bank of Hope Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club, where Jin Young Ko earned her first of four LPGA titles that season. The tour last played at Superstition Mountain in the Safeway International from 2004 to 2008, where Hall of Famers Annika Sorenstam (2004, 2005) and Lorena Ochoa (2007, 2008) each won twice, and Juli Inkster won in 2006.

The tournament marks the first of four events over the next five weeks (taking off the week of the Masters, April 7-10) and kicks off the crescendo that’s building to the LPGA’s first major of the season, The Chevron Championship, April 20-23 in its new location at The Woodlands, Texas. The 72-hole LPGA Drive On Championship features 144 players, in addition to two Monday qualifiers, who will compete for a $1.75 million purse.

How to watch the 2023 LPGA Drive On Championship

You can watch the 2023 LPGA Drive On Championship on Golf Channel, Peacock, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Check out the complete TV and streaming schedule:

  • Thursday, March 23: 9-11 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Friday, March 24: 9-11 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Saturday, March 25: 6-10 p.m. ET, live stream; 7-9 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Sunday, March 26: 6-10 p.m. ET, live stream; 7-9 p.m. ET, Golf Channel

Who’s playing in the 2023 LPGA Drive On Championship

Sitting out this week are world No. 1 Lydia Ko and No. 5 Minjee Lee, but No. 2 Nelly Korda and No. 3 Jin Young Ko are back in action following Ko’s return to the winner’s circle two weeks ago in Singapore, where she held off Korda by two strokes. Also in the field this week are:

  • No. 4 Atthaya Thitikul
  • No. 6 Lexi Thompson
  • No. 7 Brooke Henderson
  • No. 8 In Gee Chun
  • No. 9 Hyo-Joo Kim
  • No. 10 Nasa Hataoka
  • 2022 major winners Ashleigh Buhai, Jennifer Kupcho, Chun, Henderson

Rookies and Epson Tour graduates making their first starts as LPGA members include 20-year-old Lucy Li, a two-time Epson Tour winner who might be best known for playing the 2014 U.S.  Women’s Open as an 11-year-old; South Korea’s Hae Ran Ryu, who took medalist honors at LPGA Q-Series; and 18-year-old Alexa Pano, who finished tied for 21st at Q School to earn her card but might be best known from her role in the 2013 Netflix documentary, “The Short Game.”

Past winners, history of the Drive On Championship

The Drive On Championship was initially created as a series of LPGA events that marked the tour’s back-to-competition efforts following the pandemic. Each tournament used the “Drive On” slogan in support of the tour’s resilience, beginning with the first series event in July 2020 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, where Danielle Kang won by one stroke over Celine Boutier. The second event, held in October 2020, replaced the three stops originally scheduled in Asia, and was held at Reynolds Lake Oconee Great Waters Course in Greensboro, Georgia. Ally McDonald captured her career first LPGA title by one stroke over Kang.

The last two “Drive On” events were staged in Florida, at Golden Ocala Golf Club (Ocala) in March 2021 and at Crown Colony Golf Club (Fort Myers) in February 2022. Austin Ernst cruised to her third career title at the 2021 edition, beating Jennifer Kupcho by five shots. The 2022 tournament marked a fresh start for the event (no longer including results or records from the 2020 and 2021 events), where Leona Maguire became the first Irish winner on tour with her victory in 2022.

Last year at the Drive On Championship

Ireland’s Leona Maguire gifted her mom and early birthday present with her first career win at the 2022 LPGA Drive On Championship. A 27-year-old Maguire, a standout at Duke and former No. 1 amateur, carded a final-round 67 to finish at 18-under 198 and won the 54-hole event by three strokes over Lexi Thompson. She became the first woman from Ireland to win on tour, and her 198 tied her career-best 54-hole score.

More about Superstition Mountain

Superstition Mountain’s Prospector Golf Course opened in 1998 and was a combined design effort by Jack Nicklaus and his son Gary. The course plays as a par-72 and stretches to 7,225 yards in length, with the women playing it at 6,526 yards. The course was home of the LPGA Safeway International from 2004-08, and was recently selected by Golfweek as one of the “Top 100 Residential Courses.”

Of note, Superstition Mountain is a female-owned facility, originally purchased in 2009 by Susan Hladky and her husband James, who died in 2011. Hladky has made a point of opening her courses to women and college players, twice hosting U.S. Women’s Open qualifying and the site of a 2025 NCAA women’s regional tournament. She’s also given membership to eight LPGA players, who play out of the club: Carlota Ciganda, Mina Harigae, Dana Finkelstein, Jaclyn Lee, Charlotte Thomas, Caroline Inglis, Jennifer Kupcho and Brianna Do.

MORE FROM ON HER TURF: 2023 March Madness — Utah Utes engineer dramatic turnaround for third-ever Sweet 16 appearance

2023 March Madness: Utah Utes engineer dramatic turnaround for third-ever Sweet 16 appearance

Members of the Utah Utes celebrate their win over the Princeton Tigers in the second round of the NCAA Womens Basketball Tournament.
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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The No. 2-seeded Utah (27-4) women’s basketball team held off a pesky 10th-seeded Princeton squad on Sunday, winning 63-56 to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships for the first time since 2005-06 and just the third time in the program’s history.

“I’m proud of our team,” said eighth-year head coach Lynne Roberts after the second-round win at Utah’s Hunstman Center. “We set out to do this a year ago. We lost in this game at University of Texas and the goal was to be able to host (this year) so that we could have that home-court advantage and it made a difference.”

Utah’s fourth-year junior Alissa Pili backed up her recent second-team All-American honor with another 20-plus-point performance, scoring 28 on 8-for 13 shooting with 10 rebounds and going 11-for 13 on free throws. Sophomore forward Jenna Johnson added 15 points and six rebounds.

There’s been a lot of talk this weekend about how the Utes’ previous few seasons have ended – beginning with a rough 14-17 season that was cut short in 2020 due to the pandemic, followed by an abysmal 5-16 record in 2020-21. But the tide turned last year, as Utah rebounded with a 21-12 season that ended with a 78-56 loss to Texas in Austin in the second round of the NCAA tournament one year ago.

So, what changed?

“Last year, everyone was new to the NCAA tournament, so I think everyone was just experiencing it for the first time,” mused Johnson. “Losing in the second round last year, we’re definitely a lot hungrier this year, and then obviously hosting in Salt Lake, it’s fun just being in your own environment, to be around your own fans. I think it gives us an elevated level of confidence, both knowing what it’s like to play in this tournament and also getting to be at home.”

“Yeah, freshman year was kind of rough,” added third-year sophomore Kennady McQueen, who chipped in nine points Sunday. “We did experience losing a lot. … Coach Roberts, she said we are not going to have another season like that. We all stood behind her — the people that stayed — and brought in great people like starting last year with Jenna and Gi (Gianna Kneepkens) and people like that who have had a huge impact in helping us to where we are today. …

“When you get together a group of people that have the same goal in mind and will do make anything to make it happen, I think that’s where we have seen our success rate going up. This past offseason, we just kept getting better, and of course, the addition of the Alissa Pili really helped. When you bring a group of girls that have the same dream and same goal at the end of the year and doesn’t care about personal stats more than winning, I think we get the season that we have today, and it prepares us for deep run in March.”

In particular, McQueen believe it was Utah’s improvement in their defense that was crucial to the turnaround. “Everyone knows how good we are on offense, but if we can’t get stops, it doesn’t matter how good you are on offense,” she said. “So that’s just been a key the whole past off-season and all of this season — just getting better on defense.”

MORE FROM ON HER TURF: Alissa Pili revives her love of basketball with record season at Utah

Roberts credits their defensive improvement with a “philosophical mindset change,” explaining, “We worked on [defense] a lot differently, a lot more intentionally. Strategically we made some changes of how we are going to defend, and I won’t bore you with that. But there was a lot, just different things because you have to play to your strengths. You can’t be a run-and-jump pressing team if you don’t have the depth and athletes to do it. You can’t be a zone team if you are not super big. You have to figure out what fits your personnel, and so that’s what we did.”

There’s also the undeniable impact of Pili, a transfer from USC who has found her stride as a Ute, where she recently was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year.

“She kind of is the straw that stirs the drink for us right now,” Roberts said regarding the 21-year-old Alaska native. “She’s a nightmare to defend because she can shoot the three, and she’s also really athletic and mobile, so it doesn’t matter who we are playing. I think you have to gameplan for her. But then with her three-point shooting, you know, you have to pick your poison.”

But Roberts also gave plenty of kudos to Johnson, whom she describes as “phenomenal.”

“She’s 19 going on 40,” Roberts said of Johnson. “She’s the most mature, even-keeled consistent player we have. What I love about her is she is who she is. She’s confident in who she is. She knows who she is. She also is incredibly busy off the court.

“We were talking as we were getting ready to watch film, just shooting the breeze a bunch of us, we were talking about movies. And she was like, Oh, I don’t watch movies. Why not? I don’t have time. I get bored. What do you mean you don’t have time? Do you watch shows? No, I don’t ever watch TV. It is because she is doing all of these other extracurricular activities.”

As for guiding the Utes to becoming a championship program, Roberts still sees it as an uphill battle – but one that she and her players are ready for.

“I always use the analogy of pushing the boulder up the hill,” she said. “And doing things for the first time, you have to have that mindset. You have to keep pushing. It’s been incredibly fun to see the support, and I think the swell is a perfect word for it. Most importantly, our players feel it.

“This is why you play, right? And it means so much. I know I say it over and over, but this is not going to be a flash-in-the-pan [season]. This isn’t going to be a ‘Oh, remember that year they had such an incredible year?’ We are going to keep doing it.”

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