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Alex Morgan responds after being left off U.S. women’s soccer Olympic roster

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Alex Morgan responds after being left off U.S. women’s soccer Olympic roster

Veteran forward Alex Morgan won’t be going to the Paris Olympics after surprisingly being left off the roster by U.S. national team coach Emma Hayes.

Morgan, a three-time Olympian and two-time Women’s World Cup winner, was the most notable absence on the 18-player list announced Wednesday by Hayes.

The roster, the youngest for the U.S. since 2008, signals a shift in the team as it looks toward the 2027 Women’s World Cup under Hayes.

The 34-year-old Morgan missed more than a month with the San Diego Wave after she injured her left ankle on April 19, but she had since returned. She also was named to the squad Hayes assembled for a pair of U.S. friendlies against South Korea earlier this month.

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“Today, I’m disappointed about not having the opportunity to represent our country on the Olympic stage. This will always be a tournament that is close to my heart and I take immense pride any time I put on the crest,” Morgan said on social media.

“In less than a month, I look forward to supporting this team and cheering them on alongside the rest of our country. LFG.”

Morgan, who has 123 goals in 224 appearances with the national team, missed the latest Wave match last weekend as an excused absence.

The Olympic roster is smaller than the 23 players who are included on teams for the Women’s World Cup and other competitions.

Hayes, who had been coaching English club Chelsea, was named the coach of the United States in November but finished the Women’s Super League season. After her arrival in May, she coached the national team’s matches against South Korea.

“Making an Olympic roster is a huge privilege and an honor and there is no denying that it was an extremely competitive process among the players and that there were difficult choices, especially considering how hard everyone has worked over the past 10 months,” Hayes said in a statement.

Versatile veteran Crystal Dunn, who in recent years has played on the back line, was included as a forward, along with Trinity Rodman, Sophia Smith, Mallory Swanson and 19-year-old Jaedyn Shaw from Frisco.

Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher was included on the squad despite a recent thigh injury that kept her out of the team’s last two matches. Naeher recently returned to play for her NWSL team, the Chicago Red Stars.

Hayes also selected goalkeeper Casey Murphy, while Jane Campbell was included among the team’s four alternates, with midfielders Hal Harshfelt and Croix Bethune, and forward Lynn Williams.

Former coach Vlatko Andonovski resigned from the U.S. team following last year’s disappointing finish at the Women’s World Cup. Twila Kilgore led the team in the interim while awaiting Hayes’ return, and now serves as an assistant coach.

Ten players who were on the World Cup roster were included on the Olympic team. The United States has won four Olympic gold medals, more than any other team, but has not won gold since the 2012 London Games. The U.S. was eliminated by Sweden in the quarterfinals at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games before earning the bronze in Tokyo.

The United States fell to No. 5 in the latest FIFA rankings, its lowest rank ever.

Morgan was also left off the roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup earlier this year, but was added to the squad when Mia Fishel tore her ACL.

The Americans will play a pair of send-off matches before leaving for France. They’ll play Mexico on July 13 at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, and then Costa Rica at Audi Fielf in Washington on July 16.

The United States opens the Olympic tournament on July 25 against Zambia in Nice.

U.S. Olympic team

Goalkeepers: Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

Defenders: Tierna Davidson (Gotham), Emily Fox (Arsenal), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave), Casey Krueger (Washington Spirit), Jenna Nighswonger (Gotham), Emily Sonnett (Gotham)

Midfielders: Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns), Lindsey Horan (Lyon), Rose Lavelle (Gotham), Catarina Macario (Chelsea)

Forwards: Crystal Dunn (Gotham), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars)

The Associated Press contributed to this post.

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