Vlatko Andonovski names his first squad for final U.S. matches of the year

Three days after being confirmed as the new U.S. women's national team coach, Vlatko Andonovski announced his first roster, a 24-player squad for a training camp for the USA's final two matches of the year: Sweden on Thursday in Columbus, Ohio, and Costa Rica three days later in Jacksonville, Florida.

The bulk of the squad consists of 2019 Women's World Cup holdovers -- 17 in all -- but the seven other players include three first-time call-ups:

-- Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe, named to the NWSL Best XI with Washington;
-- Defender Alana Cook, who plays for Paris St. Germain and has been courted by England; and
-- Defender Imani Dorsey, the 2018 NWSL Rookie of the Year in 2018 with Sky Blue FC.

Portland Timbers forward Midge Purce was with the USA in 2018 but is uncapped.

Casey Short, Andi Sullivan and Lynn Williams, who all have 10 or more caps, are the three other call-ups who didn't go to France this summer.

Five players from the 2019 World Cup team will attend the beginning of the camp but won't play due to injuries: defenders Kelley O'Hara, Ali Krieger, Crystal Dunn and Tierna Davidson and forward Megan Rapinoe. Alex Morgan recently announced that she was pregnant with her first child.

Andonovski said the focus is to get to know everyone and begin to switch the focus to next year when there will be Olympic qualifying and the Tokyo Olympics.

"This first camp is short with two good games at the end, so after just being hired officially a few days ago, I personally don't have a lot of time to prepare for the camp or implement any major changes," he said. "Mostly, this is a great opportunity for me to get to know the players, get to know the system, and start building relationships."

Andonovski plans to have an ID camp for other players in December.

U.S. Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (4): Aubrey Bledsoe (Washington Spirit; 0/0), Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns; 3/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 23/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 56/0)
DEFENDERS (6): Alana Cook (Paris SG/FRA; 0/0), Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 52/0), Imani Dorsey (Sky Blue FC; 0/0), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals; 169/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 30/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns; 38/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 86/7), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 93/19), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns; 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; 160/32), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 286/118), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 13/2), Christen Press (Utah Royals; 128/49), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 60/18), Margaret Purce (Portland Thorns; 0/0), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 19/4)

Photo: Diego Diaz/Icon Sportswire.

11 comments about "Vlatko Andonovski names his first squad for final U.S. matches of the year".
  1. Ric Fonseca, November 1, 2019 at 4:22 p.m.

    Just who is this fellow Vlatko???  And as some would be wont to say, what is his pedigree to assume the WNT top honcho gig?

  2. Wooden Ships replied, November 1, 2019 at 4:36 p.m.

    There has been at least one SA article on his background as a player and coach. The day after he was hired maybe. SiriusXM FC did a rather extensive interview with him yesterday I believe. He was a front runner before Jill stepped down.

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, November 1, 2019 at 6:26 p.m.

    He played indoor for years with success as a "defender" which is misleading as they play like midfielders. He then transistioned to coaching indoors and was a very successful indoor coach. He started coaching women's teams at the same time.

    His players like him and he knows a lot of the national team pool. He is a "comfortable" choice. Comfortable just means that he was hired to maintain the status quo because he is dependable. He isn't hired to shake things up.

    The bright side of this is that his background is indoor. Why do I see that as good news? Because indoor is very like futsal. Ball skills in tight spaces. He probably sees the outdoor game through indoor eyes. I know that playing indoors made me appreciate a lot smaller spaces, and that all I ever needed to beat any marker was 1 step and they were out of the play.

    If he is thinking the way I suspect, then he could bring a lot more Latino influence on our style of play. Not because he is Latino, but because the Latin style of play is related to developing players with futsal. Most pickup is small sided too or else played like a small sided game but with more numbers.  


  4. Ric Fonseca, November 1, 2019 at 9:48 p.m.

    Bob, you say he is Latino, therefore, he will change the US WNT style of play?  Where is he from, just by reading his name, tells me hes from Europe, the Eastern side perhaps?  Then again he perhaps grew up in South America?  As for his indoor expertise as you and WS indicate or suggest, I sincerely am doubtful that he will change the entire outdoor needs of the WNT, but we'll soon see, won't we?

  5. Bob Ashpole replied, November 1, 2019 at 10:04 p.m.

    I guess I implied that he is Latino when I said that "not because he is Latino". I should have worded it better.


  6. Wooden Ships replied, November 2, 2019 at 7:48 a.m.

    From Macedonia. 

  7. frank schoon, November 1, 2019 at 10:12 p.m.

    Indoor soccer is played much different in Europe, especially in Holland. In Holland it is all about technique, no tackling allowed , no boards to smash into , but out of bounds lines, all of which forces thinking, more controll and a more technical game as compared to what I call a more wild American run and gun  indoor game. 


  8. Ric Fonseca replied, November 2, 2019 at 2:04 p.m.

    Frank, if I may, until futsal came along, most indoor games were played on boarded over-ice arenas such as the Los Angeles Lazers that played on the LA Kings Ice arena.  'BOARDING" was allowed but without the energy or force of a hockey player.  And as you know, playying futsal, usually on a basketball court - unless a futsal court IS constructed - does allow for a kick-in as opposed to a traditional throw-in, and the concept of the "typical indoor game" came about because as you know in certain parts of the country it is just not feasible at all to play a regular outdoor game, and BTW, this is the very reason that Mr. Naismith invented basketball, a sport to be played during the winter months with all the bells and whistles we now have with the sport of BB.  Anyhow just saying, though it will be very interesting to see how the new WNT coach approaches his indoor experience and applies it to the outdoor game.  BTW, who was in the interview committee that finally selected the new coach?

  9. Nick Gabris, November 2, 2019 at 11:41 a.m.

    As long as VA sees the talent of the player for what it is and utilizes her in the position she is supposed to be, I am willing to give him that opportunity. Ellis was a very frustrating coach to me, yes the team won, but I believe that it was because of the players abilities and not of JE tactics which a lot of us fans questioned during the run up to the WC. I will give her credit for listening to some of her critics on these issues and accomplishments.  

  10. Bob Ashpole replied, November 2, 2019 at 2:49 p.m.

    Yes the players won the world cup, but Jill Ellis is a brilliant coach and placed the players in the best possible position to win the tournament. That is the coaches job.

     I personally was hoping that Ellis would change the style of play to one less dependent on the physical advantages of the team. But by March it became apparent that she wasn't going to do that. I can understand why. I also think I understand her coaching decisions, which I consider brilliant. But then, I am not a mind reader and she doesn't confide in me.

    In particular I wanted the team to use Dutch Style Principles of Play, with which Cruyff is the most widely associated name. She deviates from some of the Dutch principles but others are applied. I cannot imagine why fans "question her tactics" or what specific "tactics" fans question. You won't see much criticism of Ellis on this forum.

  11. Bob Ashpole replied, November 2, 2019 at 3:09 p.m.

    I don't think players and coaches would say this phrase "utilizes her in the position she is supposed to be". Maybe in recreational socer. Competitive coaches assign players to positions that make the strongest team, and often that is not the player's strongest position. When I played competively, I usually started at left wing, but when other starters were missing, I started at RB, LB, LM, and RW, wherever the coach had a hole to fill. Ironically, my best position was RM, but I never played there for that team. Why? Because I was almost as good with my left as I was with my right foot, and there is never enough left-footed players.

    Where a competitively players starts is always dependent on who else is available to play. 

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications