The moment an international squad hits an email inbox or social media timeline, there's a mad dash to see who has made the cut. The U.S. women's national team is no different. When Twila Kilgore's Gold Cup squad dropped on Wednesday, fans all over the U.S. raced to read who was involved.
Trinity Rodman and Sophia Smith were there, of course. So too was Rose Lavelle. Oh, Alyssa Naeher was back to fight for a goalkeeping spot and, would you look at that, a returning Mal Swanson's name was included as a training player as she pushes toward full fitness.
The squad, in truth, contained most of the usual suspects. But it's one missing name that remains a major talking point.
That name, of course, is Alex Morgan. The USWNT legend was once again left out of the squad, as she was in December, too. The forward positions were loaded with young talent. Players like Smith, Rodman, Jaedyn Shaw and Mia Fishel were all there, as were veterans like Midge Purce and Lynn Williams. There was no Morgan, though, and this time around it didn't quite feel like a surprise.
Just a few months away from the Olympics, the 34-year-old striker remains out in the cold. It isn't a one-time thing, a chance for Kilgore, and Emma Hayes, to assess different options ahead of this summer's tournament. No, right now, it feels like Morgan has a legitimate fight on her hands. It seems that she'll have to overcome the odds if she wants one last tournament run with the USWNT.