The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off on July 20, and we now know what the U.S. Women’s National Team roster looks like. There are plenty of familiar names on the squad like Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Julie Ertz. However, there are also some surprising names that were left off. That list of USWNT roster snubs includes striker Ashley Hatch, defender Casey Krueger, and goalkeeper Adrianna “AD” Franch.

Ashley Hatch

When the USWNT line’s up in New Zealand and Australia for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, it will be superstar Alex Morgan as the tip-of-the-spear playing striker. However, head coach Vlatko Andonovski didn’t include a single true backup on the team.

There are plenty of other players listed as forwards on the squad, including Rapinoe, Lynn Williams, and youngsters Sophia Smith, Alyssa Thompson, and Trinity Rodman. However, most of those are wingers or attacking midfielders naturally.

Morgan will obviously play the lion’s share of the minutes for the World Cup, but if she tires or picks up an injury, the USWNT won’t have a true center-forward to take her place.

Ashley Hatch has been that Morgan backup in the run-up to the tournament. She’s appeared in place of or came off the bench for the striker in 15 of the last 25 USWNT matches. The fact that she is now a USWNT snub is surprising.

If and when Morgan is not on the pitch, look for Rodman or even midfielder Ashley Sanchez to pick up the slack at the top of the formation. These two don’t bring much experience, though. They are 21 and 24, respectively, and have a combined five goals for the national side. That’s as many as the 28-year-old Hatch has in just 19 appearances.

Casey Krueger

The biggest shock of the USWNT roster release was that 38-year-old captain Becky Sauerbrunn withdrew with an injury. Sauerbrunn has appeared in three World Cups and two Olympics for the USWNT and is the clear leader of the squad.

Now, the starting center-back pairing will likely be Naomi Girma (23) and Alana Cook (26), who have 15 and 24 USWNT caps, respectively, to their names. By comparison, Sauerbrunn has 216 appearances for her country.

The rest of the defensive unit includes center-back Emily Sonnett and fullbacks/wingbacks Emily Fox, Crystal Dunn, Sofia Huerta, and Kelley O’Hara.

The USWNT roster snub here is either Tierna Davidson or her Chicago Red Stars teammate, Casey Krueger.

Davidson is the better pure CB, but she is working her way back from an ACL tear last year and isn’t at her top level right now. Krueger is playing well and is versatile, bringing the ability to play central defense or on the outside.

Both were left off for Sonnett and Huerta, the latter of whom is a pure fullback and a crossing specialist. Sonnett is 29, three years younger than Krueger, and has almost double the amount of national team appearances. However, Krueger is the better player right now, and if the team gets in a jam on defense, she would simply make the USWNT roster stronger.

The other interesting wrinkle here is that Julie Ertz is back on the team after a nearly two-year absence. She will likely start the 2023 Women’s World Cup at her now-familiar defensive midfielder spot. However, she has also played CB on many occasions for the team and could be the one to slide in if the Girma and Cook pairing doesn’t go as well as Andonovski hopes.

AD Franch

The finals USWNT roster snub ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup may be the most surprising but least impactful in the end.

Between the sticks for the U.S. will be 35-year-old veteran Alyssa Naeher. The seasoned goalkeeper played every minute of the 2019 World Cup on the way to taking home the title and is one of just three women — along with Brianna Scurry and Hope Solo — to mind the net for the USWNT in the World Cup since 1999.

Naeher is the USWNT’s No. 1 without a doubt. And the truth is, her backup likely won’t see the field during this year’s tournament. But one of those backups will be Angela Kingsbury, not AD Franch.

Franch has been Naeher’s backup for all of 2023 in the lead-up to the World Cup. Kingsbury was on the USWNT roster several times in 2022 but has only one appearance for the U.S. back in 2019.

This means that Casey Murphy is now the No. 2 keeper, and Kingsbury will slot in at No. 3. Again, this probably won’t have a huge impact but it is a bit of a shock not to see Franch in the kit this summer.