Moments ago, the United States Women’s National Team roster for the Rio Olympics was revealed. To no surprise, Meghan Klingenberg made that list.
Klingenberg has started in every single match the USWNT has participated in this year, in both friendlies and qualifiers. Klingenberg helped the USWNT lift the trophy in the first ever SheBelieves Cup in March.
Now, Klingenberg has the chance to bring a gold medal back to the United States – and back to Pittsburgh.
Klingenberg, who grew up in Gibsonia and went to Pine Richland High School, was an alternate four years ago for the 2012 Olympics in London. Now, she’ll presumably be a starter under Jill Ellis in her first Olympic games. Klingenberg normally starts on the left side at left back.
Klingenberg proved she is capable of playing in big tournaments. She, as well as Ali Krieger, Becky Sauerbrunn and Julie Johnston, started every match in the FIFA Women’s World Cup last year. Klingenberg, even with her 5’2 stature, had the game-saving clearance against Sweden which helped put the USWNT on top of their group and make it to the knockout stages.
Klingenberg isn’t just a threat on defense; Klingenberg knows how to get up in the attack, as she has played in a midfield role before. She has created chances and has three goals to her name in her 64 national team appearances.
When it comes to the defense altogether, the roster selection is positive. All six defenders were on the roster for the FIFA World Cup last year. Whether Ellis decides to start Krieger or Kelley O’Hara isn’t much of a problem for Klingenberg, who plays on the left with Sauerbrunn.
Klingenberg’s role is going to be big in Rio. In the first group stage games against New Zealand, France and Colombia, she’ll have to be aware of top players, and possibly make more than one game-saving clearance.
In her first Olympics, she’ll have the city of Pittsburgh right behind her.
The full Olympic roster is listed below.
Goalkeepers (2): Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) and Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
Defenders (6): Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), and Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
Midfielders (6): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), and Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
Forwards (4): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), and Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)
Alternates: Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), and Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride).