Thorns, US team await Alex Morgan's return

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 27, 2014 at 2:31 am •  Published: May 27, 2014
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"It does get a little frustrating, but maybe there's something I need to do differently, maybe demand it more from my teammates. We're growing," Sinclair said.

The U.S. women's team resumes play with two exhibition matches against France, the first in Tampa, Florida, on June 14.

It will be the national team's first match since Jill Ellis was appointed coach for the push to the World Cup next year. Ellis was the interim coach after Tom Sermanni was surprisingly dismissed in April after an exhibition victory against China.

Ellis says she will begin bringing the team together as a group on June 8 in preparation for those matches.

Beyond that, the top-ranked United States will host the eight-team CONCACAF World Cup qualifying tournament in October. The venues and schedule have yet to be determined.

Despite the team's success on the international stage in recent years, the U.S. women haven't won a World Cup title since 1999. Japan won the 2011 World Cup in Germany, defeating the United States on a penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw. Morgan was the youngest player on that squad.

Morgan, who was on the team that won the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, figures to be a key part of the United States' World Cup hopes — if she's healthy, Ellis said.

"She's a big piece of the puzzle," Ellis said after becoming national coach.

Morgan is up for the challenge, taking to Twitter shortly after Ellis' permanent appointment.

"Coach. Check. Congrats Jill! Now, time to put all focus into World Cup Qualifiers this fall! #USWNT #WWC2015," she wrote.