After Vlatko Andonokski confirmed his roster on Wednesday, GOAL breaks down the best possible starting XI he could select in New Zealand
The roster has finally been assembled, 23 players with one mission: return home with yet another World Cup. Those are always the expectations for the United States women’s national team, no matter the scenario, but this tournament may just be the toughest yet for a team that is still somewhat in transition.
It’s been a grueling cycle for the U.S., one which saw Vlatko Andonovski explore plenty of new players throughout his player pool. The past few years have been about finding new solutions and new faces. Some of those processes worked out, while others certainly didn’t.
Because of that, this USWNT squad is a mix of old guard and new blood, with the likes of Megan Rapinoe, Julie Ertz and Alex Morgan being joined by young stars Sophia Smith, Trinity Rodman and Alyssa Thompson. It is very much a stacked roster, to be fair, one loaded with players young and old that can contribute and shine at this level.
Still, it isn’t the roster it could have been. Injuries to stars such as Becky Sauerbrunn, Mallory Swanson and Catarina Macario leave the U.S. somewhat shorthanded and missing several players who could have been starters. Because of that, there are some weak spots in this team, notably center-back, where Andonovski has only selected two players that primarily play the position.
The coach will have some decisions to make throughout this tournament, no doubt, as he looks to balance a somewhat unbalanced squad but, at their best, this USWNT XI basically picks itself.
GOAL has you covered with a look at the USWNT’s best XI that we should see deployed by Andonovski at the World Cup: