Jaelene Hinkle: Defender recalled to US set-up after refusing to play last year

Jaelene Hinkle (L) in action for North Carolina Courage
Jaelene Hinkle (L) in action for North Carolina Courage

Defender Jaelene Hinkle has been recalled by the United States for the first time after refusing to play for her country on religious grounds.

The 25-year-old refused to play for the US last year because her Christian faith prevented her from wearing a shirt honouring LGBT pride month.

She was selected for games against Sweden and Norway in June 2017 when the shirt numbers were rainbow coloured.

After her recall, she said:external-link "God is good! Honoured. Excited. Ready."

Hinkle has been named in head coach Jill Ellis' 23-player training squad for the 2018 Tournament of Nations.

The US - who are ranked number one in the world by Fifa - will begin their campaign against Japan on Thursday, 26 July before matches against Brazil and Australia.

Jaelene Hinkle Tweets
Jaelene Hinkle posts on Twitter after her recall to the US set-up

The North Carolina Courage defender only revealed last month the reasons why she refused to play for her country, saying she was "very disappointed" to give up "a little girl's dream".

"I gave myself three days to just seek and pray and determine what [God] was asking me to do in this situation," she said.

"I felt convicted in my spirit that it wasn't my job to wear it."