As you almost certainly already know, the United States women’s national team crashed out of the World Cup in 2023 earlier than ever before. After narrowly escaping their group thanks to a slew of subpar performances, they fell in penalty kicks to Sweden in the Round of 16. With a failure of that magnitude, there’s no doubt that U.S. Soccer already has its sights set on how to improve things ahead of the 2027 World Cup.
To avoid the pain of the past, let’s look ahead to 2027, shall we? Sure, four years is a long time and predicting almost anything that far out is a fool’s errand. But fools have fun sometimes.
Here’s a breakdown of 23 players who could be tasked with the United States’ World Cup redemption in 2027.
Given that longtime No. 1 Alyssa Naeher will be approaching 40 by the time the next World Cup comes around, there will almost certainly be a changing of the guard between the sticks for the United States.
Casey Murphy, North Carolina Courage
Age in 2027: 31
Murphy was Naeher’s back-up heading into the 2023 World Cup, and she stayed on the bench for all four of the USWNT’s games. That will not be the case in 2027. Murphy has been slowly gaining international experience since November 2021, when she debuted for the national team. She’s kept 10 clean sheets in her international career and has been a top goalkeeper for her clubs, both in France’s Division 1 Féminine (2018-2019) and the NWSL (2019-present).
This season with the North Carolina Courage, she’s anchoring a backline that’s allowed the fewest goals in the regular season. If Murphy continues on this trajectory, she’s likely to find herself as the next U.S. No. 1.
Aubrey Kingsbury, Washington Spirit
Age in 2027: 35
Kingsbury beat out Kansas City’s Adrianna Franch for the third and final goalkeeper spot on the USWNT’s 2023 roster. She only has one appearance with the senior national team, which came in April 2022, but just gained valuable experience with the team in Australia and New Zealand.
Plus, Kingsbury has been a solid option for the Washington Spirit since she became their starter in 2018: she’s been an above-average shot-stopper every year but this one, based on data from American Soccer Analysis, and this season isn’t over yet. It might be too early to call this a down year for Kingsbury, but even if it is, her most recent performances don’t suggest that she’s exhibiting a true decline.
Katie Lund, Racing Louisville
Age in 2027: 31
Lund has been one of the best shot stoppers in the NWSL for the last two seasons. Last season, she set the single-season saves record on her way to saving 0.31 goals more than expected per 96 minutes, which was nearly double that of the next-best goalkeeper in the league (Bella Bixby). She’s leading the league in that same metric in the 2023 regular season with no signs of slowing down. Though she has yet to appear in a USWNT camp, her time is likely coming in the next four years.
Aged out: Alyssa Naeher, Adrianna Franch
Missed the cut: N/A