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Heath in, Lloyd out for USWNT vs. New Zealand

3:42 AM GMT+8 08/09/2017
Tobin Heath USWNT
U.S. national team coach Jill Ellis has summoned 22 players for friendlies in Commerce City, Colorado, and Cincinnati

U.S. national team coach Jill Ellis has called in 22 players for a pair friendlies against New Zealand, with Tobin Heath and Morgan Brian returning to the squad while Carli Lloyd sits out because of injury.

Heath returns to the U.S. squad for the first time since the SheBelieves Cup in March, having missed most of 2017 with a back injury. Brian also is back in the squad after injuries kept her sidelined from international duty since March, and playmaker Rose Lavelle has returned after missing the Tournament of Nations earlier this summer with a hamstring strain.

Lloyd, the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year, has been omitted as she recovers from an ankle injury.

Defender Kelly O'Hara will reach 100 caps with her next appearance, making her the 36th U.S. women's national team player to hit that milestone.

Stanford defender Tierna Davidson is the lone uncapped player on Ellis' squad.

The U.S. meets New Zealand on Sept. 15 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, before facing the same opponent Sept. 19 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.

"We are looking forward to getting to Denver and having a couple of days together prepping for our first New Zealand match," Ellis said in a news release. "With only six matches left in 2017, we want to take advantage of the time we have together and finish the year with solid performances.

"New Zealand, South Korea and Canada all present different challenges, and these games will round out one of the most competitive schedules the WNT program has played in a calendar year."

Here is the full U.S. squad:

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

DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson (Stanford), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Taylor Smith (NC Courage)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns), Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers), Allie Long (Portland Thorns), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign)

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