Who are Eva Gaetino and Lily Yohannes? USWNT’s latest additions and full roster

Mallory Swanson and Catarina Macario will make their returns to the USWNT next month as part of the 23-player roster for the SheBelieves Cup, U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday. Two new names are also joining the roster and earning their first senior national team call-ups, both playing for European clubs: 21-year-old Paris Saint-Germain defender Eva Gaetino and 16-year-old Ajax midfielder Lily Yohannes.

The call-up is Swanson’s first since her patellar tendon injury sustained last April – an injury that kept her out of the 2023 Women’s World Cup. She joined the U.S. as a training player ahead of the CONCACAF W Gold Cup, but SheBelieves Cup marks her official return to the team after almost a year away.

It’s been even longer for Macario — nearly a full two years, only having recently returned to the field as a substitute for Chelsea earlier this month but immediately returning to her goalscoring ways despite the limited minutes.

Those four names are the only additions to the roster that won the Gold Cup earlier this month, but there are some notable subtractions. Becky Sauerbrunn, who was called up as an injury replacement for Alana Cook, is missing this time around, as are Rose Lavelle, Midge Purce and Lynn Williams. No reason for any of the omissions was given in U.S. Soccer’s announcement, but the latter three have been dealing with recent injuries.

Emily Sonnett and Alyssa Naeher are both back in the team, giving them a chance to improve upon last year’s “Six-Timers Club.”

USWNT SheBelieves Cup roster

Goalkeepers (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

Defenders (8): Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC), Crystal Dunn (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Tierna Davidson (NY/NJ Gotham FC), Emily Fox (Arsenal), Eva Gaetino (PSG), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Casey Krueger (Washington Spirit), Jenna Nighswonger (NY/NJ Gotham FC)

Midfielders (6): Korbin Albert (PSG), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Lyon), Olivia Moultrie (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Lily Yohannes (Ajax)

Forwards (6): Catarina Macario (Chelsea), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars)

Who is Eva Gaetino?

Despite being an expected top pick in the 2024 NWSL Draft had she declared, Gaetino spurned the NWSL in favor of signing with Paris Saint-Germain in February. Like her PSG (and now USWNT) teammate Korbin Albert, Gaetino also had a standout career at the University of Notre Dame.

“I have always dreamed about playing soccer in Europe,” she said upon her signing. “Following my trial, it was clear to me that PSG was my future home, as I found that the club’s goals and values aligned with my own.”

Gaetino’s big moment at the professional level came in PSG’s first-leg quarterfinal against Hacken, scoring the game-winner and also becoming the youngest American to score in the UEFA Women’s Champions League knockout rounds.

She also has some youth national team experience, playing with the U-23s earlier this year.

Who is Lily Yohannes?

Yohannes has not seen much time with the youth national teams beyond a couple of camps. She has, however, enjoyed a breakout season with Ajax as a teenager, inspiring dual-national angst over potentially losing her to the Netherlands that is seen more often on the U.S. men’s national team side.

Yohannes grew up in Springfield, Virginia before her family moved to the Netherlands. It wasn’t long before she was recruited into Ajax’s academy. By 15, she had signed her first professional contract. Now, she’s the youngest player to ever start at a UWCL match, and she’s the youngest to join up with the USWNT since Sophia Smith in 2017.

Johannes has been getting attention for her role in Ajax’s midfield, but her UWCL storybook run will likely come to an end soon: she’ll miss the club’s second-leg quarterfinal match against Chelsea after picking up a yellow in the first leg, which Chelsea went on to win 3-0.

Still, that means Hayes has scouted her and seen her in person, which could have had a role in this call-up.

What does this mean for the Olympic roster?

There aren’t many windows left for the technical staff — and incoming head coach Emma Hayes — to figure out who the final 18 will be that will go to France for the Olympics. The four players left off the roster, are all familiar faces to the coaching staff.

It feels a little late in the game to try to introduce two players to their first senior team camp, but the inclusion of Gaetino and Yohannes gives Kilgore and the staff a chance to see them in person at this level and have video to evaluate and send over to Hayes in London.


USWNT draws Germany, Australia for Olympics

Neither Lavelle nor Williams played in last weekend’s game for Gotham FC due to injury (lower leg for Lavelle, thigh for Williams), and Midge Purce was forced into an early substitution after taking repeated knocks in the first half. Giving them the time off might not be the worst call, allowing the trio to get back into training with their club instead.

Considering Hayes’ comments about being cautious with Macario’s return, it’s hard to imagine she’ll start for the USWNT, but if she’s able to get some of that magic she’s displayed on the field with Chelsea as a sub, that’s a very promising sign for this summer.

When is SheBelieves Cup?

This edition of U.S. Soccer’s traditional friendly tournament is different than the more expansive format of past years, thanks to the Gold Cup taking the longer window the SheBelieves Cup usually occupies.

Instead, the four teams in this year’s edition — the USWNT, Brazil, Canada and Japan — will play on two match days in double-headers.

The U.S. will play Japan on the first gameday in Atlanta, on April 6 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, followed by Canada vs. Brazil. The two winners will face off in the final on April 9 in Columbus, Ohio, with the losing teams playing in a third-place match. Strangely, even if the U.S. loses to Japan in Atlanta, they’re guaranteed the prime-time slot in Columbus. There’s also a chance the tournament winner could get decided ahead of the third and fourth-place finish.

U.S. Soccer recently announced the team’s penultimate friendly ahead of the Olympics, hosting Mexico at Red Bull Arena on July 13. Hayes will arrive for her first matches in late May, following the conclusion of Chelsea’s season, with a pair of friendlies against South Korea set for Colorado and Minnesota in June.

The USWNT also recently learned its Olympic group stage and potential path through the tournament, drawn into Group B with Germany, Australia and either Zambia or Morocco. The team will play its first match in Nice before heading to Marseille for the next two group stage games, which, as Kilgore said after the draw, is their preferred group stage path thanks to the easier travel.

(Top photos: Getty Images)

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