Carli Lloyd will get a shot to impress new U.S. women’s soccer team coach Vlatko Andonovski right away, as she was included on the first national team roster of Andonovski’s tenure.
Lloyd is one of 24 players on Andonovski’s squad for two coming friendlies: Nov. 7 vs. Sweden in Columbus (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1 and TUDN) and Nov. 10 vs. Costa Rica in Jacksonville (8 p.m., ESPN2 and TUDN).
The 37-year-old Delran native is also among the World Cup veterans who might not make it to next year’s Olympics in Tokyo, depending on how big an overhaul Andonovski aims for. Olympic rosters have just 18 players, far fewer than the World Cup’s 23.
A few weeks before Andonovski was hired, Lloyd told ESPN that she hoped Jill Ellis’ successor would be someone who “values me, respects me, wants me [as] a part of the Olympic plans," and added, “There’s no question my abilities are there.”
Seventeen of the 24 players summoned were in France this summer. Of the six absentees, Alex Morgan is pregnant and the rest are injured: defenders Kelley O’Hara, Ali Krieger, Crystal Dunn and Tierna Davidson, and forward Megan Rapinoe.
“Mostly, this is a great opportunity for me to get to know the players, get to know the system, and start building relationships," Andonovski said in a statement issued by the U.S. Soccer Federation. "It was a tremendous summer for this team, but now the approach is different. We have new goals, and the most important thing is to shift the mentality and start moving forward because Olympic qualifying is just around the corner.”
As Andonovski starts to shape the team to his liking, there will naturally be a focus on newcomers. Three players on the squad are in their first U.S. training camp: goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe (Washington Spirit), defender Alanna Cook (Paris Saint-Germain), and forward Imani Dorsey (Sky Blue FC).
Bledsoe, 28, recorded 9 shutouts in 24 games this year. Cook, 22, is an American-English dual national centerback who played college soccer at Stanford and turned down the NWSL for a far more lucrative offer in France. Dorsey, 23, was the 2018 NWSL Rookie of the Year. All three players have spent time with the U.S. under-23 team.
Returning to the American squad are left back Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), midfielder Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit), and forwards Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage) and Margaret “Midge” Purce (Portland Thorns).
Short was the last player cut from the World Cup squad, and used that as fuel to lead the Red Stars to their first NWSL final. Sullivan has been a marquee prospect for years, and has a big chance now to step up. Williams has 26 goals and 10 assists over the last two years for the back-to-back NWSL champions, but has been inconsistent with the national team. Purce was rewarded for leading the Thorns’ attack while their World Cup stars were gone; the former outside back moved up top this year and scored 8 goals.
“I want to make sure that everyone on the World Cup team has an opportunity to work with me and give me an opportunity to see them and see what stage of their game they’re at right now,” Andonovski said. “But at the same time, I think it’s crucial that we give a chance to players that have done well for their pro teams and deserve to have a good look and a solid evaluation in the national team environment. ... The main goal from the start is to grow the player pool.”
Here’s the squad:
Goalkeepers (4): Aubrey Bledsoe (Washington Spirit), Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
Defenders (6): Alana Cook (Paris Saint-Germain, France), Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), Imani Dorsey (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns)
Midfielders (7): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Allie Long (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)
Forwards (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage), Christen Press (Utah Royals), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Margaret Purce (Portland Thorns), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage)
Union’s Aaronson, McKenzie going to U.S. men’s team camp
U.S. men’s coach Gregg Berhalter invited 20 MLS players whose seasons are over to a training camp in Bradenton, Fla., from Nov. 2-9. Union centerback Mark McKenzie and midfielder Brenden Aaronson are among them, as is Wyndmoor native Daniel Lovitz of the Montreal Impact.
Aaronson, who just turned 19, attended his first senior U.S. camp in mid-October. McKenzie got his first senior camp invitation last winter, and has been a regular with the under-23 team after captaining the under-20s at this year’s World Cup. Lovitz has frequently been a reserve outside back during Berhalter’s tenure.
The full national team will arrive Nov. 10, ahead of Concacaf Nations League games against Canada in Orlando on Nov. 15 and against Cuba in the Cayman Islands on Nov. 19. Berhalter will announce his squad for the games on Nov. 6.
Here’s the list of players attending the early training camp:
Goalkeepers (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Matt Turner (New England Revolution)
Defenders (7): Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Chase Gasper (Minnesota United), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union), Walker Zimmerman (Los Angeles FC)
Midfielders (5): Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union), Sebastian Lletget (Los Angeles Galaxy), Djordje Mihailović (Chicago Fire), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes)
Forwards (5): Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake), Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew)