Three Utah Royals named to roster for World Cup qualifying tournament

Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune Christen Press, a member of the U.S. women's soccer team and newest addition to the Royals FC greets fans at the Carnival Real at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, Saturday, June 23, 2018.

The U.S. women’s national team has named a 20-player roster for the upcoming CONCACAF championship, which serves as qualifying for next year’s World Cup in France.

This will be the fourth qualifying tournament for Carli Lloyd, who scored a hat trick in the team’s victory over Japan in the 2015 World Cup final. She is among 11 players on the current roster who were on the team that won the title.

Three of the players selected — defenders Kelley O’Hara and Becky Sauerbrunn and forward Christen Press — are members of the Utah Royals.

The top three finishers in next month’s tournament earn the confederation’s berths at the 2019 World Cup. A fourth team will go to a playoff against Argentina for a spot.

The United States opens the tournament on Oct. 4 against Mexico in North Carolina. The championship match is set for Oct. 17 in Frisco, Texas.

The roster includes 21-year-old UCLA defender Hailie Mace, who has two national team appearances and is the only college player included by coach Jill Ellis for qualifying.

“We feel really good about the process that has gotten us to this point, and the final selection of this group,” Ellis said in a statement Wednesday. “We’ve had a couple of injuries recently, but the depth of our pool is excellent, and I have confidence that each of the 20 players will perform at their highest level when called upon in these games. Our group is prepared and highly motivated to earn the right to be a part of France 2019.”

The roster, including club affiliation:

Goalkeepers: Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars).

Defenders: Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), Crystal Dunn (NC Courage), Hailie Mace (UCLA), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns).

Midfielders: Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage).

Forwards: Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Utah Royals), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign).