USWNT October roster: A youthful shift and the Colombia challenge

Trinity Rodman celebrates with Alex Morgan.
Trinity Rodman celebrates with Alex Morgan during a friendly between the USWNT and South Africa at Soldier Field in September 2023. (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Interim coach Twila Kilgore named her USWNT roster for October, and some choices are making waves amongst the fan base.

A player dearly missed during the 2023 Women’s World Cup was Becky Sauerbrunn. But will her return be the edge that the backline needs?

In addition to Sauerbrunn, multiple names excite USWNT fans for the possibilities that lie ahead. It all goes on display in two friendlies against the Colombia women’s national team.

Youth of the nation

The 18-year-old Olivia Moultrie has become a pioneer for the younger generation. Receiving her first national team call-up this month comes after three groundbreaking seasons with the Portland Thorns. In 2021, she became the then-youngest player to sign a contract in the NWSL.

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Two other names fresh to the national team are Mia Fishel and M.A. Vignola. Both received their first international cap last month against South Africa. By making this month’s roster, it looks as though Kilgore holds both in high regard.

Alyssa Thompson, Jaedyn Shaw, and Naomi Girma round out the names at the forefront of the team’s generational shift.

Picking up the pieces

The October roster illustrates the USWNT’s attempt to shift with the rest of the world’s average age of players.

The USWNT’s lack of youth during the recent WWC blunder is one possible weakness. It might also be one of the reasons why interim coach Kilgore did not change too much from the September camp lineup. It’s a simple adjustment that needs more exploration.

In the last several years, the change of guard has begun with this team, leaving fans wanting more. The future is bright, and these players getting the opportunity to shine only increases their potential for longevity within the national team squad.

This October call-up will hope to bring clarity on how the team will look leading into the final stretch of their Olympic preparations.

A worthy adversary

Looking at the two matches against Colombia, we know that the South American side will come ready to challenge. The team could even stun the USWNT.

Colombia will not be a walk in the park. The team made it to the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals, falling short to second-place finishers England, and already qualified for the 2024 Olympics.

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The tactics Colombia utilizes will give the USWNT a different experience than the USWNT might expect this early on in their Olympic prep. Being an up-and-coming football program, Colombia has the means to compete against one of the best programs in the world.

Typically lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Colombia’s shape will test the Americans as they too often switch from their 4-3-3 to this formation to build off their attacking front.

October schedule

The USWNT will play Colombia on October 26 in Sandy, Utah, then move to San Diego, California, for the second match on October 29. In the US, the games will air on Warner Bros. Discovery platforms in English and NBCUniversal outlets in Spanish.

Meanwhile, the Pan American Games run from October 20 to November 5 — featuring the US U-19 women’s youth national team.

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