Here's Everything You Should Know About the USWNT's World Cup Cocaptains

There may be 23 women on the US women's national soccer team roster for this year's Women's World Cup, but three of those players have a role that involves more than just their skills on the field. Three cocaptains have been chosen to lead the USWNT in the tournament, with those selections based on number of caps (or appearances at the international level), as well as what they can offer the team in terms of leadership.

Since 1985, there have only been 13 captains (including the team's current captains), so it's not a responsibility that's given lightly. Collectively, these cocaptains boast 255 lifetime goals, 590 caps, and — most importantly — the ability to boost morale and bring their team together. Here's everything you should know about the USWNT's three World Cup captains.


Alex Morgan

Alex Morgan, 29, may just be the most recognizable player on the US women's national team, which is no surprise, seeing as she's been a member since 2009, when she was only 20 years old and the youngest member on the team. As well as serving as a forward for Orlando Pride in the National Women's Soccer League, Morgan is a starting forward for the USWNT, where she's earned 163 caps or appearances over the years.

Morgan first wore the USWNT captain's armband in a match with China in June 2018, a move that was made by coach Jill Ellis in order "to expand leadership within the program." And it's clear that Ellis made the right choice, as Morgan sees her team as a second family and values her role within it. "We work together, travel together, and even live together," she has said. "If we didn't get along so well, both off the field and on, we wouldn't be a gold-medal-winning team." This year marks her third World Cup appearance.


Carli Lloyd

Carli Lloyd, 36, currently plays for Sky Blue in the NWSL and the US women's national soccer team as a forward, having made her first appearance for the USWST in a 2005 match against Ukraine. Since then, Lloyd has become the team's all-time leading scorer (as well as one of the greatest overall goal scorers in US history). She currently has 274 caps, more than any other player on the team.

This year marks Lloyd's fourth World Cup, as well as her second tournament as a cocaptain. However, no one will forget how Lloyd passed on her captain's armband to teammate Abby Wambach in the closing minutes of the final match against Japan. "When Abby has come on in a few of the games it's just a little crazy to switch the armband, but I wanted to make sure she put the armband on because she deserves it," Lloyd explained. If that doesn't make a team player, we don't know what does.


Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe, 33, currently plays for and captains Reign in the NSWL, and she has been a member of the USWNT since she made her debut in 2006. However, due to two separate ACL injuries, Rapinoe did not play for the senior team in 2007 and 2008 and unfortunately missed the 2007 Women's World Cup as a result. Since then, she has earned 153 caps and played in the 2011 and 2015 World Cup tournaments, so this year will mark her third World Cup appearance.

Rapinoe wore the captain's armband for the first time in 2018, in the team's first game of World Cup qualifying. "I think it has become very obvious that I'm a leader on this team and willing to shoulder things for the team and speak up for things and have a capacity off the field to have a lot on my plate," she has said. Given how long she has been a member of the team (and how outspoken she is when it comes to what she believes in), the choice makes perfect sense to us.