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USWNT boss Andonovski urges Morgan, Rapinoe & other vets to step up after SheBelieves Cup omission

21:56 EAT 03/02/2022
Megan Rapinoe Alex Morgan USWNT GFX
The U.S. boss had a harsh message for some of his biggest stars after they were omitted from the roster

U.S. women's national team head coach Vlatko Andonovski has urged veteran stars like Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe to step up their performances after they were omitted from the roster for the 2022 SheBelieves Cup.

Andonovski named his squad for the upcoming tournament on Thursday, prioritizing a number of less experienced players as he continues to evaluate his player pool ahead of the 2023 World Cup.

The U.S. boss showed sentimentality would not enter his thought process heading toward next summer's World Cup, grouping his veteran stars in with long-retired USWNT legends Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy.

What was said?

Andonovski was asked on a conference call about the omission of Morgan, Rapinoe, Christen Press and Tobin Heath, to which he responded: "All these players are very good players. We all know that. They've done so much for this team, and they've won everything possible.

"But right now in these camps, I felt like I want to give a chance to players like Sophie Smith and Mal Pugh and Catarina Macario, Ashley Hatch.

"In any of these camps, like SheBelieves for example, we call in any of the senior players then we're not going to be able to see the younger ones, or dial in as deep as we want with the younger ones.

“It doesn't mean that all these players that have done well in the past, they're just going to come back here in the next camp because they've done well a year ago, or two years ago.

"There's a reason why Mia Hamm is not in camp still. We're not calling Mia Hamm or Julie Foudy in camp right? So the same goes here. They need to perform. They need to play in their markets. They need to play well in their markets, and show that they can still contribute and be valuable for the national team.”

Who will the USWNT face?

The USWNT will take on Czech Republic, New Zealand and Iceland in the four-team tournament, which kicks off on February 17.

Andonovski's team will face the Czechs on February 17 at Dignity Health Sports Park near Los Angeles to kick off the tournament, and will play New Zealand on February 20 at the same venue. The U.S. will conclude the tournament on February 23 against Iceland at Toyota Stadium near Dallas.

USWNT SheBelieves Cup roster (club; caps/goals)

GOALKEEPERS (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit; 0), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 2), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 78)

DEFENDERS (8): Alana Cook (OL Reign; 4/0), Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC; 77/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 45/1), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC; 8/0), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign; 9/0), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit; 148/2), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 63/0), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 199/0)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Gautrat (Chicago Red Stars; 87/8), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA; 108/25), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 68/18), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA; 12/3), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 33/4), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit; 2/0), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 22/2)

FORWARDS (5): Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 4/2), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars; 67/18), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 9/2), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 10/1), Lynn Williams (Kansas City Current; 45/14)

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