Pugh, Davidson return to USWNT roster for SheBelieves Cup

Mallory Pugh and Tierna Davidson have returned to the United States Women's National Team roster for the 2020 SheBelieves Cup, U.S. Soccer has announced.

The United States will face England in the opening game of the competition with a new coach but 20 of the 23 players who were on the roster when the same teams met in a Women's World Cup semifinal last summer.

As was the case in Olympic qualifying earlier this year, U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski's roster for the SheBelieves Cup relies on the core of players who helped produce a fourth World Cup title last summer. But unlike Olympic qualifying, World Cup winners Pugh and Davidson are restored to the roster for the upcoming games against England, Spain and Japan.

Davidson was left off the smaller qualifying roster, limited to 20 players, as she continued to recover from an injury sustained at the end of the 2019 NWSL season. Pugh was omitted for performance reasons, although Andonovski invited the 21-year-old former NWSL No. 1 pick to continue training with the team during qualifying and said she remained an important part of the team's plans.

Pugh was traded from the NWSL's Washington Spirit to Sky Blue FC in January.

The only 2019 World Cup winners not on the SheBelieves roster are midfielders Morgan Brian and Allie Long and forward Alex Morgan. The World Cup Silver Boot winner as the tournament's second-leading scorer, Morgan continues to await the birth of her first child.

Taking their places are defenders Casey Short, midfielder Andi Sullivan and forward Lynn Williams, none of whom was part of the World Cup team. Sullivan and Williams were part of the team that completed Olympic qualifying undefeated to reach Tokyo 2020.

The SheBelieves roster also includes veteran midfielder Julie Ertz, whose next appearance will be her 100th for the national team. She will join eight players on the current roster who have reached the century mark in appearances (as has Morgan).

The U.S. will play England in Orlando on March 5, before playing Spain in Harrison, N.J., on March 8 and Japan in Frisco, Texas, on March 11.

England and Japan are among the teams that have already qualified for the Olympics.

England's roster includes 15 of 23 players who were included in manager Phil Neville's World Cup squad, including eight of 11 players who started the semifinal.

World Cup semifinal starters Karen Bardsley, Lucy Bronze and Beth Mead are injured.

Among the new faces are three players with recent U.S. college connections. North Carolina forward Alessia Russo has a year of eligibility remaining, while defender Grace Fisk (South Carolina) and goalkeeper Sandy MacIver (Clemson) concluded their eligibility last fall.

Full U.S. roster:

Goalkeepers (3): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

Defenders (8): Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O'Hara (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Orlando Pride)

Midfielders (5): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)

Forwards (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage)