With a few more months left in 2021, Vlatko Andonovski continues to let those who played in the Tokyo Olympics be celebrated and still bring in some new faces in his USWNT roster.
There are a lot familiar faces as expected and with everything going on within the NWSL, Andonovski was keen to point out that his selection was based on the “well-being of our players”. Andonovski wants to the team to keep developing with each game while also entertaining the fans that will come out to see the team. Finally, the USWNT head coach noted that as this signals the last time Carli Lloyd will be playing in front of the home fans, he want to give Lloyd the “send-off she deserves.”
Emily Fox comes in once again
With Crystal Dunn choosing to opt out of these friendlies, Racing Louisville’s Emily Fox has been called up. Her form during the league has been deserving of another call up to the national team and she has been a bright spot for the new team to the league, despite their league position right now. Fox is definitely one for the future and if she continues to develop as quickly as she has, I wouldn’t put it past her to be on the World Cup roster in two years time. She, and those who want to see her on the team will certainly hope that is the case in 2023.
Injuries remain with key players
Alyssa Naeher, Sam Mewis and Julie Ertz will be at the training camp for these friendlies but all three are still a long way out from playing with the national team again. Those three names are probably three names that will be guaranteed starters had they been fit but instead, they will be watching from the sidelines as the likes of Andi Sullivan and Jane Campbell try to make a name for themselves with the team in their place.
Opt-outs provide opportunities for younger players
As already noted Emily Fox has been named to the team in this roster. She will be taking the place of Crystal Dunn who has opted out of these October friendlies. We can never fault a player for deciding to take some time out for their own mental health and given the importance of Dunn to the team, it looks like Andonovski has no problem giving her the time to do so. Christen Press also continues to be on sabbatical which allows the likes of Sophia Smith to be given another chance to impress. There’s no guarantee that some of these newer names will become mainstays on the team but if someone like Smith shows out like she did in the September friendlies, given her age, she could easily become another permanent fixture with the USWNT.
The full 21-player roster is listed below:
Goalkeepers (2): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Adrianna Franch (KC NSWL).
Defenders (7): Abby Dahlkemper (Houston Dash), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC) Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC), Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit).
Midfielders (5): Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyonnais), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit).
Forwards (7): Tobin Heath (Arsenal FC), Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage).