The Vlatko Andonovski era has begun.
“Mostly, this is a great opportunity for me to get to know the players, get to know the system, and start building relationships,” said Andonovski via USSF press release. “If there is one goal that I want to accomplish in this first camp is to change the focus from the World Cup and the Victory Tour. It was a tremendous summer for this team, but now the approach is different. We have new goals and the most important thing is to shift the mentality and start moving forward because Olympic qualifying is just around the corner.”
DEFENDERS (6): Alana Cook (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 0/0), Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 52/0), Imani Dorsey (Sky Blue FC; 0/0), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 169/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 30/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 38/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 86/7), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 93/19), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 77/12), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 36/10), Allie Long (Reign FC; 50/8), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 59/14), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 13/0)
FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 160/32), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 286/118), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 13/2), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 128/49), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 60/18), Margaret Purce (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 19/4)
Kelley O’Hara, Ali Krieger, Crystal Dunn, Tierna Davidson, and Megan Rapinoe are all unavailable due to injury. Alex Morgan is also unavailable as she recently announced she is pregnant with her fisrt child. According to USSF, O’Hara, Krieger, Dunn, Davidson, and Rapinoe will still be in camp for the first few days to meet with Andonovski in a team setting, but will then depart and continue their individual rehabs.
Getting their first camps are Aubrey Bledsoe, Alana Cook, and Imani Dorsey. All three have been developing their skills for their clubs and are exciting young (or in Bledsoe’s case young for a goalkeeper) players who could be provide some really nice depth for the USWNT pool. They’ve all had some experience at the U-23 level but it’s nice to see Andonovski immediately test them at the next level. Alana Cook in particular is an interesting callup because she demonstrates that Andonovski is paying attention to players outside NWSL, and knows that she’s someone who could fall through the cracks the of the US system and elect to play for England, since her father is British.
It’s a little disappointing to see Dorsey listed as a defender here; that’s where she’s been asked to perform recently for Sky Blue, but it’s pretty obvious she’s much more comfortable and often more productive when allowed to play in her natural attacking position. But at least he’s giving her a look, and there’s nothing to say she’ll get locked in at defender. And who knows, under the right guidance we might have another Kelley O’Hara situation on our hands. Optimism!
Who are you excited to see on this roster? What do you want to see from Andonovski’s first coaching test on the field?
USA vs Sweden
November 7, 7:30 PM ET
MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
USA vs Costa Rica
November 10, 8 PM ET
TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, Florida