Five U.S. players to watch

Tobin Heath: The Portland Thorns midfielder doesn't like doing fashion shoots, and doesn't get as much attention as some of the other players on the U.S. team, but she is, arguably, the most skillful player on the roster. She is known for her eye-popping ball-juggling, fancy dribbling, nutmegs and backheel passes. The 31-year-old New Jersey native helped lead the University of North Carolina to three NCAA titles, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and played in the 2011 and 2015 World Cups. Enjoys tennis, surfing and skateboarding, and is deeply spiritual.

Carli Lloyd: At 36, the oldest player on the U.S. roster. She won the Golden Boot (top scorer) and Golden Ball (most outstanding player) at the 2015 Women's World Cup, and this will be her fourth — and almost certainly her last — World Cup. She scored a hat trick in the 5-2 win over Japan in the 2015 World Cup final, becoming the first woman ever to do so in a final and the second player male or female. All three goals were scored in the span of 16 minutes. Lloyd was voted FIFA World Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016. She scored the gold-medal-winning goals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Olympics in London. Lloyd plays for Sky Blue FC and has endorsement deals with Nike and Visa.

Alex Morgan: The most marketed American female player since Mia Hamm, Morgan is the face of the defending champions and was the squad's top scorer in 2018, with 18 goals in 20 games, including a hat-trick against Japan. The 29-year-old Orlando Pride forward has endorsements with Coca-Cola, Secret, and Nike. She wrote a series of children's books about girls' soccer, has appeared on FIFA video games, and has 5.8 million followers on Instagram. She also has been in the forefront of the battle for gender equality in the sport.

Megan Rapinoe (pictured): She isn't the biggest player on the U.S. roster, but she always gets noticed — and not just for her platinum-blonde hair. She is brave on and off the field and the team's fiercest social justice warrior. The 33-year-old has slammed soccer leadership for its treatment of women, was the first openly gay woman to pose for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, and has said she will not visit the White House should the U.S. team win the World Cup. She says she loves her country, but calls herself "a walking protest" of the Trump administration.

Alyssa Naeher: Has the unenviable task of succeeding Hope Solo in goal. Solo, fired from the team for her off-the-pitch headlines and critical comments, was one of the best women's goalkeepers ever, winning one WWC and two Olympic gold medals. While Naeher has looked solid, she never has been battle-tested on the biggest stage in the world. She is known for her calm demeanor. "I've kind of found over the years that it's best to just keep that even mind-set, not too high and not too low," she said. "There's obviously a lot of defensive strategies and changes leading into a game, and within a game. The more that I can kind of just stay in the moment and kind of take it all in, the better position I'll put myself in."

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