The U.S. women's national team will look a lot like the squad that played in the World Cup when it takes the field for a pair of exhibition games this month that will serve as send-off matches for retiring players Julie Ertz and Megan Rapinoe.
Interim coach Twila Kilgore's first roster includes forwards Jaedyn Shaw and Mia Fishel, who have not played for the national team before. All the players who went to the World Cup are on the squad, except for Sophia Smith and Kristie Mewis, who are both nursing injuries.
Kilgore was named interim coach last month when Vlatko Andonovski stepped down following the U.S. team's elimination from the Women's World Cup. Kilgore was an assistant under Andonovski.
The U.S. will play South Africa on Sept. 21 at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati and on Sept. 24 at Chicago's Soldier Field.
The match in Cincinnati will be the final international appearance for Ertz, who earlier announced her retirement. Megan Rapinoe will play in her final match for the national team in Chicago.
The United States went into the World Cup as the two-time defending champions but the team was bounced from the tournament in the Round of 16 by Sweden. It was the Americans' earliest-ever elimination from a World Cup.
“As we continue the search for our new head coach, we felt it was best to call up all of the World Cup players who are fit to play, while also bringing in some players that we believe can help us moving forward as we start our preparations for the Olympics next year,” said U.S. Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker.
The United States has already qualified for the Paris Games.
South Africa also advanced to the Round of 16 at the World Cup but was eliminated with a 2-0 loss to the Netherlands.
“No matter who the coach is, or which players get to wear the crest, the standards remain the same and everyone wants to excel, so we’ll be looking forward to putting together two good performances against a South Africa team that showed well at the World Cup," Kilgore said in a statement.
The roster by position with club affiliation:
Goalkeepers: Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars).
Defenders: Alana Cook (OL Reign), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars), Kelley O’Hara (NJ/NY Gotham), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign).
Midfielders: Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns), Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville), Julie Ertz (unattached), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit).
Forwards: Mia Fishel (Chelsea), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave), Alyssa Thompson (Angel City), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham).
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer