ORLANDO, Fla. - Just under a month from the start of the women’s football tournament at the 2020 Summer Olympics, international call-ups are set for the Orlando Pride with four players tabbed to represent their country in Tokyo.
Forwards Alex Morgan and Marta have been named to the 18-player rosters for the U.S. and Brazil, respectively, while defender Ali Riley returns to New Zealand. In addition, goalkeeper Erin McLeod has been dubbed as one of four alternate players for her home nation of Canada.
Morgan, 31, joins the U.S. WNT for her third Olympic Games, after winning the gold in 2012 and representing the red, white and blue in 2016. The forward has racked up career highlights at the Olympic games, particularly during her first outing in 2012. In that tournament, Morgan’s 123th minute, extra time goal over Canada pushed the U.S. to the final where the team would go on to win gold against Japan. The California native finished the tournament with three goals and a team-high four assists, with two of those on game-winners. Morgan added two more goals to her Olympic resume in 2016, a year the U.S. bowed out in the quarterfinals.
In Toyko, Morgan and the U.S. WNT will look to become the first team to win a Women’s World Cup and an Olympic gold medal in consecutive tournaments. The U.S. WNT has been drawn into Group G with Sweden, Australia and Riley’s New Zealand team and kicks off play on July 21 against Sweden at 4:30 a.m. ET.
Marta, 35, has been named to Brazil’s roster for the fifth time in her storied career, first called up in 2004. After scoring her first-ever Olympic goal on Aug. 20, 2004, the icon has gone on to total 10 goals and five assists over her four previous tournament appearances. Under the guidance of Pia Sundhage, who has coached her teams to the finals in each of the last three Olympics, Marta and Brazil will be looking to win its first gold. In 2004 and 2008, Marta helped lead her nation to its first two medals, winning silver in both Athens and Beijing.
Marta and Brazil open play in the Olympics on July 21, facing China PR in a 5 a.m. ET kickoff. Brazil will compete in Group F alongside China, Zambia and the Netherlands.
Riley is also no stranger to the Olympics, now named to her fourth-ever roster. The captain for the Football Ferns, Riley has been a stalwart on the backline for her country. Since earning her first call-up in 2008, the 33-year-old has played every minute of each of her three previous Olympic tournaments. In 2012, Riley helped lead the Ferns to two pieces of history - earning the country’s first Olympic victory and later advancing to the knockout round for the first time in the nation’s tenure.
New Zealand, also drawn into Group G with the United States, begins its Olympic tournament on July 21 with a 7:30 a.m. ET kickoff against Australia.
Named an alternate for Canada, McLeod has the opportunity to earn her third Olympic appearance. The 38-year-old first joined the Olympic squad in 2008, earning another call-up in 2012 and unfortunately missed out on the 2016 Rio Games due to injury. Canada’s top choice ‘keeper in both of those games, McLeod helped lead the CanWNT to a historic first medal, shutting out France 1-0 to win bronze.
Canada has been drawn into Group E, which includes host Japan, Great Britain and Chile. Canada kicks off the tournament on July 21 against Japan with a 6:30 a.m. ET kickoff.
All four players will be available for selection for Saturday's match at Houston. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. ET with streaming available on Paramount+ (US) and Twitch (international).