Vlatko Andonovski has named his first USWNT roster, and the squad includes no fewer than four Washington Spirit players. Rose Lavelle, Mallory Pugh, and Andi Sullivan are joined by goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe, who has recieved her first-ever call-up after a stellar 2019 season. The United States will take on Sweden on November 7 in Columbus before heading south to Jacksonville for a November 10 match against Costa Rica.
While Andonovski is new to the job, it is not a major surprise that he would call in Lavelle and Pugh. The former is a locked-in starter, and at just 24 will be a key cog in the USWNT’s attack for years to come. Pugh is still a regular piece of the puzzle as well, and now has the chance to possibly break through as a full-time starter under a new coach.
Sullivan’s place was perhaps less sure, given her status under former coach Jill Ellis, but no less deserved. The USWNT is extraordinarily deep in central midfield, but after being arguably the best holding midfielder in the entire NWSL this season, this could be her moment to become a regular selection.
Bledsoe earned her spot with an outstanding 2019 campaign, showcasing her tremendous shot-stopping ability while also improving in terms of decision-making and organizing the players in front of her. It’s telling that Bledsoe got a call-up ahead of Casey Murphy (who was Andonovski’s starter at Reign FC) and Jane Campbell (who has received numerous call-ups over the years). While the task of making next year’s 18-player Olympic squad is daunting, Bledsoe will get the chance to make her case over the next 11 days.
The full USWNT roster is as follows:
Alyssa Naeher, Adrianna Franch, Ashlyn Harris, Aubrey Bledsoe
Emily Sonnett, Abby Dahlkemper, Becky Sauerbrunn, Casey Short, Alana Cook, Imani Dorsey