Despite no CBA, U.S. women's soccer team ready for January camp

Although there is no collective bargaining agreement between U.S. Soccer and the women's national team players' union, that will not stop the usual January training camp from happening.

Head coach Jill Ellis named a 29-player roster on Wednesday for the camp, to be held Jan. 13-23 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. It includes the usual range of stars, led by captain and Delran native Carli Lloyd.

"The U.S. Women's National Team and U.S. Soccer will continue to operate under the collective bargaining agreement in its current form as negotiations continue into the new year," the governing body said in its press release announcing the training camp roster.

Among the highlighted names is forward Amy Rodriguez, who returns to the national team after taking 2016 off to have her second child. She hasn't been on a roster since October 2015.

Crystal Dunn and Alex Morgan - both of whom recently signed deals to play for European clubs - will also be there, though Morgan will attend only during the official FIFA international window, Jan. 16-24.

There are two debutants: midfielder Taylor Smith of the 2016 National Women's Soccer League champion Western New York Flash, and Duke University senior midfielder Christina Gibbons.

Four other players have been in camp before, but have yet to be capped: Stanford University senior goalkeeper Jane Campbell, Portland Thorns goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, Orlando Pride midfielder Kristen Edmonds and University of Wisconsin senior midfielder Rose Lavelle.

Expect the three aforementioned college players to feature prominently in the coming National Women's Soccer League draft, which will be held on Jan. 12 at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention in Los Angeles.

Stanford junior midfielder Andi Sullivan might also have been part of the camp squad had she not torn the ACL in her left knee during the NCAA College Cup last November.

Other than that, you'll see the usual array of stars: defenders Julie Johnston, Ali Krieger and Becky Sauerbrunn; midfielders Morgan Brian, Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan and Megan Rapinoe (plus Lloyd, of course); and forwards Morgan and Christen Press.

Alyssa Naeher continues to top the goalkeeper depth chart as Hope Solo's six-month suspension from the national team continues.

(As Solo's national team contract was terminated along with the suspension, it's fair to wonder if her time with the program is fully finished.)

Two big names are absent because of injury: midfield dynamo Mallory Pugh (knee) and veteran left back Meghan Klingenberg (back).

Among the less famous, but still noteworthy, names not called in: Lancaster-born Western New York Flash defender Abby Dahlkemper, Portland Thorns defender Emily Menges, Chicago Red Stars midfielder Danielle Colaprico and Sky Blue FC midfielder Sarah Killion. All but Killion were part of senior national team squads last year.

"The players have had a good break since our last games in November, and I know everyone is anxious to get back to work," U.S. coach Jill Ellis said in a statement. "January camp has always been valuable to set the tone for the upcoming year and it will be good for the players to get back on the field. For the staff, evaluation and performance remain the focal points during camp as we begin a build up to the SheBelieves Cup."

Yes, that's a confirmation that the SheBelieves Cup will happen. 

As of now, U.S. Soccer hasn't scheduled any games for the women's team in 2017, but it did confirm that the tournament is set to be played for a second time. It will once again feature the U.S., Germany, France and England - respectively the Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5 teams in FIFA's world rankings.

Dates, venues and the format for the event have not been set. A posting on the French federation's website in late December indicated that Talen Energy Stadium was to be one of the venues, but that posting was removed a few days after it went up.

I have heard rumors that the post was accurate, but there's no official confirmation yet. Take that for what it's worth.

Here's the full U.S. women's national team January camp roster:

Goalkeepers (4): Jane Campbell (Stanford), Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

Defenders (7): Jaelene Hinkle (Western New York Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns)

Midfielders (11): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Kristen Edmonds (Orlando Pride), Christina Gibbons (Duke University), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns), Rose Lavelle (University of Wisconsin), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign), Taylor Smith (Western New York Flash)

Forwards (7): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea/England), Jessica McDonald (Western New York Flash), Alex Morgan (Lyon/France), Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Lynn Williams (Western New York Flash)

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