Top 60 USWNT Goalkeepers - April 2019

cover photo from the NWSL

The 2019 World Cup kicks off June 7th, with the United States waiting to play their first game on the 11th against Thailand. Teams must submit a preliminary roster by April 26th, featuring no more than 50 players. Alyssa Naeher, Ashlyn Harris, and Adrianna Franch are the frontrunners for the three final roster spots while dark horse candidate Jane Campbell could see her name on the preliminary roster spot.

# - listed as trailist on NWSL preseason roster
^ - recently finished collegiate eligibility

1. Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) - 31
2. Aubrey Bledsoe (Washington Spirit) - 27
3. Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride) - 33
4. Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns) - 28
5. Haley Kopmeyer (Orlando Pride) - 28
6. Katie Fraine (Vaxjo / Sweden.1) - 31
7. Britt Eckerstrom (Portland Thorns) - 25
8. Michelle Betos (Seattle Reign) - 31
9. Lindsey Harris (Klepp / Norway.1) - 25
10. Nicole Barnhart (Utah Royals) - 37

One to Watch: Audrey Bledsoe. 2018 was a busy year for Bledsoe. Despite the poor team performance, Bledsoe was named the 2018 Washington Spirit team MVP, set the NWSL record for most saves in a year, and is fresh off of winning Australia’s W-League with Sydney FC. The key to Bledsoe’s success can be found in her footwork, maintaining impeccable balance and never going to ground too early. Routinely she finds a way to displace a shot that would slip most goalkeepers almost solely because of her ability to move herself from post-to-post. For a national team that has struggled with stability in the back, Bledsoe would be a great addition as her consistency is tops in the league, rarely conceding a poor goal despite being on a 2 win team in 2018.

11. Bryane Heaberlin (FFC Frankfurt / Germany.1) - 25
12. Emily Dolan (Real Betis / Spain.1) - 24
13. Christina Dineson (Assi / Sweden.2) - 26
14. Abby Smith (Utah Royals) - 25
15. Kelsey Wys (Washington Spirit#) - 28
16. Tori Ornela (IA / Iceland.1) - 27
17. Audrey Baldwin (Free Agent) - 27
18. Megan Dorsey (Sparta Praha / Czech Republic.1) - 27
19. Jane Campbell (Houston Dash) - 24
20. Emily Armstrong (IBV / Iceland.1) - 25

One to Watch: Jane Campbell. At one time Campbell was the apparent heir to the USWNT starting spot but after a polarizing season and a half in the league, fans are starting to notice the one-step-forward-one-step-backwards trend. Unfortunately, 2019 hasn’t started off any different from last year. After a near positive opener against the Seattle Reign, her sloppy footwork forces a turnover and penalty in the dying minutes of a tied match. She makes a wonderful penalty save to put herself back on even ground. She’s still fairly young (turning 24 this past February) and has a world of talent up her sleeve, but if she can’t stop routinely shooting herself in the foot, the national team may look elsewhere for the number one position.

21. Sammy Jo Prudhomme (Washington Spirit#) - 25
22. Adelaide Gay (North Carolina FC#) - 29
23. Lauren Watson (Assi / Sweden.2) - 25
24. Jennifer Pelley (Djurgården / Sweden.2) - 25
25. Lucy Gillett (Crystal Palace / England.2) - 25
26. Katelyn Rowland (North Carolina FC) - 25
27. Jillian McVicker (IK Myran / Finland.1) - 25
28. Caitlyn Clem (UMF Selfoss / Iceland.2) - 24
29. Alex Godinez (Pachuca / Mexico.1) - 25
30. Brett Maron (Kristianstad / Sweden.1) - 32

One to Watch: Jillian McVicker. The Ohio State Buckeye has a large task in front of her: keep Myran in the topflight. After an 18-2-2 run to earn promotion from the second division, Myran brought in McVicker to bolster the squad a little more. McVicker has some Champions League experience under her belt, playing for Romania’s Olimpia Cluj back in 2017. If McVicker is able to keep Myran afloat, she may find herself moving up to a higher profile club. If not, Myran fans might only remember the first division as a passing moment.

31. Mallory Lieberman (AS Saint-Étienne / France.1) - 23
32. Lauren Clem (Uppsala / Sweden.2) - 23
33. Cassie Miller (PSV Eindhoven / Netherlands.1) - 24
34. Casey Murphy (Montpellier / France.1) - 23
35. Emily Boyd (Chicago Red Stars) - 22
36. Danielle Rice (Örebro / Sweden.1) - 23
37. Morgan Bertsch (SC Braga / Portugal.1) - 23
38. Courtney Brosnan (Le Havre / France.2) - 23
39. Alison Jahansouz (Chicago Red Stars#) - 23
40. Bella Bixby (Portland Thorns) - 23

One to Watch: Emily Boyd. Alyssa Naeher is likely to miss four or five games with Chicago due to the World Cup starting in early June, which will leave the Red Stars turning to 22 year old Emily Boyd in the mean time. Admittedly, Boyd isn’t exceptionally quick but where she lacks in agility she more than makes up for in strength and bravery. Boyd won’t takes Naeher’s starting spot for a couple more years, but these handful of games are crucial for her development and hopefully preparing for the changing of the guards in 2022, unless she impresses the front office to make the switch sooner.

41. Rachel Egyed (Hapoel Ra’Anana AFC / Israel.1) - 23
42. Megan Hinz (Chicago Red Stars#) - 23
43. Anna Buhigas (Tavagnacco / Italy.1) - 24
44. Hannah Seabert (Fortuna Hjorring / Denmark.1) - 24
45. Ella Dederick (Washington State) - 22
46. Jalen Tompkins (University of Colorado) - 22
47. Courtney Hofer (Empoli / Italy.1) - 23
48. Kate Mason (Telge United FF / Sweden.3) - 23
49. Lainey Burdett (Orlando Pride) - 22
50. Caroline Brockmeier (LSU^) - 22

One to Watch: Ella Dederick. After seeing her senior season cut short due to an ACL tear in September, Dederick has been granted a medical redshirt and will be back with the Cougars this fall. Needless to say, questions will surround Dederick’s power and agility but few are doubting her desire to finish her collegiate career on a strong note. The 2020 goalkeeper draft class will be a crowded one, even more so with Dederick joining in, but if there’s one goalkeeper up for the challenge it’s Dederick.

51. Phallon Tullis-Joyce (Stade de Reims / France.1) - 22
52. Kelsey Daugherty (North Carolina FC#) - 22
53. Cosette Morche (Houston Dash#) - 21
54. Kaelyn Johns (Dayton^) - 22
55. Devon Kerr (Houston Dash) - 22
56. Mikayla Krzeczowski (University of South Carolina) - 21
57. Samantha Leshnak (North Carolina FC#) - 22
58. Shae Yanez (Washington Spirit) - 21
59. Brooke Heinsohn (Duke) - 21
60. Kaylie Collins (USC) - 20

One to Watch: Mikayla Krzeczowski. Ask any coach and they’ll say Krzeczowski’s a little undersized for the next level. Displaying a stunning ability to react and read oncoming plays, her senior year will be held under a microscope to see how well she can cover the top third of the net. The 5’6” goalkeeper hasn’t shown much reluctance to challenge opposition in the air so far, but nevertheless the stigma of short goalkeepers is one that filters a number out of the league. If she can display a true commanding presence of the box and ability to cover the bar, she should hear her name called in the 2020 draft.