Welcome to a three part series where we take a look at three different players on the USWNT Player pool bubble – or just the outside of it.. We’ll take you through the reasons they may or may not be included in the 2019 USWNT January camp.
Player Name: Kealia Ohai
Current Team: Houston Dash
Chance of Getting A Call Up: 6/10
Why a call up is due:
After missing most of last season injured, Ohai played a critical role for the Houston offense this season. She finished the year with five goals and four assists, but even when she wasn’t putting the ball in the net, she was helping create scoring chances for players like Rachel Daly. She has also proven her leadership capabilities this year following Carli Lloyd’s departure from the Houston Dash and stayed healthy after returning from her season-ending injury from last year. She’s a creative player that could expand scoring opportunities for the United States. She had a successful youth career with the U.S., which included helping the U-20 team qualify for the U-20 Women’s World Cup. However, despite her youth success, Ohai has only had a handful of opportunities with the senior national team. Still, she has tried to make the best of her chances to impress Jill Ellis.
Why it may not happen:
She hasn’t scored for the U.S. since October 2016 and only has three caps. After getting called up to the preliminary roster for this summer’s Tournament of Nations and the SheBelieves Cup in March, she was cut from the final rosters for both tournaments. Additionally, scoring hasn’t been the problem for the United States. With offensive weapons like Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Mallory Pugh that are consistently producing, Jill Ellis doesn’t have a lot of incentive to experiment. Unfortunately for Ohai, the competition level might be too high for her to earn a spot in France.