Several prominent U.S. women’s national team veterans were left off coach Vlatko Andonovski’s January training camp roster as the squad focuses on preparing its younger players for World Cup qualifying this summer.
Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Christen Press and Tobin Heath were not named Wednesday to the 25-player roster for the camp opening next week in Austin, Texas.
Instead, Andonovski is focusing on emerging talent, including forward Trinity Rodman, defender Naomi Girma, and midfielder Jaelin Howell. Thirteen players on the roster have 12 or fewer appearances with the national team.
Andonovski’s evaluation of the young players started following the Tokyo Olympics, where the U.S. earned the bronze medal. “We wanted to see these young players and we wanted to give them the opportunity,” Andonovski said.
“With more of the senior players being around, the younger players would not have as much opportunity as they got or they’re going to get. Now, we will evaluate all these players in this camp and we’ll start making decisions for the future camps as well. With all this being said, these (veteran) players are not out of the picture by any means.”