Williams named Olympic alternate; George not headed to Tokyo


United States forward Lynn Williams (6) follows a play during the second half of a SheBelieves Cup women’s soccer match against Brazil, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

(KSEE/KGPE) – In recent years, Bullard High alum Lynn Williams has emerged as one of the best women’s soccer players in the United States. She has scored 11 goals in 37 career appearances for the U.S. Women’s National Team, but she is still looking for that first appearance in a World Cup or Olympic Games.

On Wednesday, the 28-year-old forward from Fresno just missed the cut to be on next month’s 18-player U.S. Olympic roster in Tokyo, but she was named as one of four alternate players that will travel to Japan.

“We know there are some very talented players that won’t be in Japan, but these were the difficult decisions that we had to make,” U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski said in a news release. “It’s been a long process to get to this point, longer than anyone thought it would be, but we collected a lot of information on the players over the past year and a half in trainings, in their club matches, and in international games, and we’re confident that we’ve selected the team with the best chance for success in Japan.”

The five forwards that made the roster are Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Christen Press, and Megan Rapinoe. This will be the fourth Olympic Team for Lloyd and Heath. Lloyd will turn 39 on July 16, and will be the oldest-ever U.S. Women’s Soccer Olympian.

The four alternate players that will travel to Japan are goalkeeper Jane Campbell, defender Casey Krueger, midfielder Catarina Macario and forward Lynn Williams. None of them have ever been on a world championship roster at the senior level. Should a player need to be replaced leading up to or during the Olympic tournament, it would come from these four.

The U.S. will open Group G play on July 21 – two days before the Olympic Opening Ceremony- against Sweden (5:30 p.m. local / 4:30 a.m. ET) at Tokyo Stadium. The Americans will play their second match in Saitama – just about 18 miles north of Tokyo – when they face New Zealand at Saitama Stadium on July 24 (8:30 p.m. local / 7:30 a.m. ET). The USA will finish group play against Australia on July 27 (5 p.m. local / 4 a.m. ET) at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium in Kashima, on the coast of Japan about 70 miles northeast of Tokyo.

Ironically enough, on the day the news was released that she would be an alternate for the Olympics, Williams scored a couple first half goals for her club team, the North Carolina Courage, in its 2-0 win on Wednesday night.

Also Wednesday, USA basketball finalized its roster for the Tokyo Olympics, and Paul George is not on it.

The ex-Bulldog was a big part of the Team’s gold medal run in Rio in 2016, when he averaged a team fourth-best 11.3 ppg.,

He was named one of 57 finalists for the 2021 USA National Team and U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team on March 11, but if George’s Los Angeles Clippers advance to the NBA Finals, the schedule would not have allowed for much prep time for George before the Olympics begin.

The NBA Finals could last until July 22, while Team USA’s first game in Japan is scheduled for July 25 against France.

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