United States Women’s National Team Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski can’t wait to see how his inexperienced roster will handle two tough upcoming friendlies against Australia.
The USWNT will face the Matildas on Friday night US time (11 p.m. ET) in Sydney before another game on Tuesday in Newcastle.
Of the 23 players Andonovsky called up, only 10 were part of the Olympic team that won bronze in Japan last summer.
Why did Andonovsky choose this list?
“It was no coincidence,” Andonovsky said of the choice to travel to face Australia.
“We wanted to test [them] from the start. We wanted to test the players who are in this environment now against some of the best players and we wanted to test them in such adversity that we’re going to have here: long trip, jet lag after a long NWSL year against a great team, 40,000 people at the Stadium.
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“I think very quickly in the game we’ll find out who’s made for this and who isn’t.”
A new era for the USWNT
After a disappointing third place finish at the Olympics, the USWNT hosted four friendlies in September and October that forced Andonovski to select a roster made up mostly of his Olympic team.
But this month’s friendlies in Australia saw Andonovski take the opportunity to bring in several untested players as the USWNT prepares for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
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Thirteen players on the roster have 10 or fewer selections, including six uncapped players: Bethany Balcer, Bella Bixby, Imani Dorsey, Casey Murphy, Ashley Sanchez and Morgan Weaver.
Only two players on the list are 30 or older: 36-year-old defender Becky Sauerbrunn and 30-year-old midfielder Kristie Mewis.