Vlatko Andonovski calls in first USWNT roster, brings in new faces

USWNT Aubrey Bledsoe
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News — Vlatko Andonovski is officially putting his mark on U.S. Soccer. After being introduced as the new USWNT coach this week, Andonovski has called in his first roster for two November friendlies.

The roster does include 17 players from this past summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup team. However, the roster also includes new faces, including goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe and defender Imani Dorsey.

Some familiar faces are also returning to the fold. Casey Short — who was recently snubbed for the NWSL Defender of the Year award — added her name to the defensive list. Also, Dorsey, who features for Sky Blue FC, could look to make her first senior national team cap. Meanwhile, Andi Sullivann — another player controversially left off the World Cup roster — is heading back to camp.

Recently, Lynn Williams helped the North Carolina Courage win their second-straight NWSL Championship. Williams has 19 appearances and four goals with the national team, but wasn’t in contention for the World Cup.

Bledsoe is possibly the most head-turning name. Andonovski is aware that goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher won the World Cup, but is also aware that age is a factor. Bledsoe has been in contention for NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year. She was in contention for the league honor the last two years. With the Washington Spirit, Bledsoe has formed into her own. In 2019, she recorded nine clean sheets and 86 saves in her 24 appearances.

Meanwhile, players like Ali Krieger, Kelley O’Hara, Crystal Dunn, Megan Rapinoe and Tierna Davidson will report to camp for early conversations with Andonovski. However, after, they will be dismissed to rehab their respective injuries.

The full roster is listed below.

From Andonovski: New players deserve chances

During his presser while being introduced as the new coach, Andonovski made it clear that World Cup players would still have to fight for roster spots. They’ll be competing against players Andonovski wants to bring in that haven’t had a shot at the national team.

“First, I want to make sure that everyone on the World Cup Team has an opportunity to work with me and give me an opportunity to see them and see what stage of their game they’re at right now,” Andonovski said. “But at the same time, I think it’s crucial that we give a chance to players that have done well for their pro teams and deserve to have a good look and a solid evaluation in the National Team environment.”

Andonovski said that he wants to expand the player pool.

“… We wanted to add players that weren’t at the World Cup because the main goal from the start is to grow the player pool,” he said.

USWNT November Camp Roster

Goalkeepers: Aubrey Bledsoe, Adrianna Franch, Ashlyn Harris, Alyssa Naeher

Defenders: Alana Cook, Abby Dahlkemper, Imani Dorsey, Becky Sauerbrunn, Casey Short, Emily Sonnett

Midfielders: Morgan Brian, Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Allie Long, Sam Mewis, Andi Sullivan

Forwards: Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd, Jessica McDonald, Christen Press, Mallory Pugh, Margaret “Midge” Purce, Lynn Williams

What’s Next? 

The U.S. Women’s National Team will host some familiar faces in their two November friendlies. First, the USWNT will host Sweden in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 7. The two sides met up earlier this summer at the World Cup, in the group stage. Then, on Nov. 10, the USWNT will host fellow CONCACAF side Costa Rica in Jacksonville, Florida.


PHOTO: Washington Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe during an NWSL match against Reign FC on May 4, 2019. Photo courtesy of Rachael McKriger/Last Word on Soccer.