Washington Spirit fans will once again get the chance to watch a large number of Spirit players on the international stage. Forwards Ashley Hatch and Trinity Rodman and midfielders Ashley Sanchez and Andi Sullivan have all been named to the USWNT roster for the She Believes Cup, while Spirit defender Gabrielle Carle was called up to the Canada National Team for the same tournament.
Carle has appeared in 35 matches for Canada and was a member of their Olympic Gold medal squad. She most recently appeared for Canada in a pair of friendlies last November against Brazil, starting and playing a total of 73 minutes in the second match as a left back.
The four other Spirits — Hatch, Sanchez, Sullivan, and Rodman — have become mainstays on the USWNT roster over the past two years and all put in strong performances in January’s friendlies against New Zealand. All four started the second match, and Hatch nabbed an early lead for the U.S with a goal in the 22nd minute. Over the course of the series, Rodman assisted three goals and Sanchez one.
The She Believes Cup, an annual round-robin tournament hosted by U.S. Soccer, takes place this month. This year’s Cup features the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Japan and promises to be a big test for all four teams as they prepare for this summer’s World Cup. All teams rank in the top 15 in FIFA’s Women’s World Rankings and will be looking to sharpen their skills and solidify their rosters before July 20.
Fans hoping to see the Spirit players facing off against each won’t have long to wait: Canada and the U.S. play the second game of the tournament on Thursday, February 16 at 7 p.m. in Orlando.
The tournament will keep the five players out of preseason training for a couple weeks, but all should return well before the NWSL season begins in late March. Still, this could be a preview of the altered roster the Spirit might face during FIFA windows this season.