- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Forward Christen Press, who was traded to the Houston Dash in the offseason but has not joined the National Women’s Soccer League club, was left off the U.S. national team roster in advance of two exhibition matches against Mexico next month.

Press was dealt to Houston from the Chicago Red Stars on the same day as the NWSL draft, part of a three-way trade that sent fellow U.S. teammate Carli Lloyd to Sky Blue and Australian Sam Kerr to Chicago.

But the Houston Chronicle reported last week that the Dash were told Press would not join her new team this season. Press has not commented publicly on the matter.

“At this point Christen is in the process of securing a club team. We’ve had several conversations and she understands our expectations are that a consistent training and match environment for a professional is an important factor for selection into Women’s National Team rosters,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said in a statement. “Since the SheBelieves Cup, our professional players returned to pre-season training with their clubs and have had multiple scrimmages in preparation for the opening weekend. I am certain that once Christen transitions to a new team, she will embrace being back on the pitch and will help her team be successful.”

Interim NWSL Commissioner Amanda Duffy said in a preseason conference call Thursday that she believed the matter would be settled soon. The women’s league opens its sixth season this weekend.

The matches against Mexico are scheduled for April 5 in Jacksonville, Florida, and April 8 in Houston. Both teams are preparing for World Cup qualifying this fall.

The United States, ranked No. 1 in the world, is the defending World Cup champion.

The roster marks the return of defender Becky Sauerbrunn, who didn’t take part in the recent SheBelieves Cup or January training camp because of a stress reaction in her left foot.

But still missing is midfielder Tobin Heath, still returning to form after offseason surgery on her right ankle. Also left off the roster is defender Julie Ertz, who aggravated a knee injury during the SheBelievesCup.

The U.S. women’s roster with club affiliation:

Goalkeepers: Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars).

Defenders: Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson (Stanford), Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars); Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns).

Midfielders: Morgan Brian (Lyon), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue), Allie Long (Seattle Reign), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)

Forwards: Crystal Dunn (NC Courage), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit); Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign), Lynn Williams (NC Courage).

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