Carli Lloyd returns to U.S. women's soccer team after two-month injury absence

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Delran native and U.S. women’s national soccer team captain Carli Lloyd has been out of action since suffering a sprained left ankle in mid-August.

Delran native Carli Lloyd will take the field for the first time since suffering an ankle injury in August when the U.S. women’s soccer team plays South Korea in a two-game friendly series later this month

Lloyd was one of 22 players summoned by head coach Jill Ellis:

Goalkeepers (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

Defenders (7): Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Taylor Smith (North Carolina Courage)

Midfielders (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign), Andi Sullivan (Stanford University)

(Rose Lavelle of the Boston Breakers will also be in camp, but will not play in the games. She has been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury since June.)

Forwards (5): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea, England), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage)

Lloyd sprained her left ankle on Aug. 16 playing for the Houston Dash. She missed the rest of the National Women’s Soccer League regular season (the Dash didn’t make the playoffs) and the U.S.’ September games against New Zealand.

The other notable inclusion is Sullivan. She has been one of the U.S’ top young prospects for a while, but has been largely out of the picture since suffering a torn ACL toward the end of 2016. Now that she is back on the field at Stanford, Ellis has brought her back to the national team.

Seven of the 22 players on the squad will be part of the National Women’s Soccer League championship game this coming Saturday: Dahlkemper, Smith, Mewis and Williams with North Carolina, and Heath, Horan and Long with Portland.

The first U.S.-South Korea game is just five days later, on Thursday, Oct. 19 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans (8 p.m., Fox Sports 1). The choice of venue did not go over particularly well with the national team’s players union because the playing surface is artificial turf.

The second is Sunday, Oct. 22 at the Courage’s home, Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. (2 p.m., ESPN). That venue has natural grass. ESPN’s broadcast will be part of a twin bill with its coverage of the final games of the MLS season, which kick off at just after 4 p.m.

Notable omissions from the roster start with Red Stars midfielder Morgan Brian. She has also been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury, and had to miss Chicago’s playoff game against the Courage this past Sunday because of it. Also left out were Portland defenders Emily Sonnett and Meghan Klingenberg, Orlando defender Ali Krieger, Chicago midfielders Vanessa DiBernardo and Danielle Colaprico, and North Carolina forward Jessica McDonald.