Vlatko Andonovski and his staff will have his work cut out for him trying to decide his USWNT roster for the Olympics.
By Michael Lewis
Let’s face it. The degree of difficulty of selecting an 18-player roster for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics is ridiculous for any national team coach.
You might want to triple that for the U.S. women’s national team. After all, the Americans are the defending Women’s World Cup champions. At France 2019, they were also to use a 23-player roster.
So, you get the hard math.
Some and disappointed talented players will be left behind.
A players’ form, fitness and versatility will be among the important factors as to whom head coach Vlatko Andonovski selects most likely the third week of June.
“There’s so much of that goes into the selection process,” he said during a Tuesday afternoon Zoom call with the media. “Obviously, we always say the performance is extremely important. It’s one of the boxes the player has to check. They have to perform well. Obviously, medically they have to be ready or healthy to perform. Then it goes [to durability. Are they able to perform six 90-minute games in 18 days?
“Then it goes versatility, then the type of the teams that we’re going to be facing. Are they are we going to be facing teams are going to play low blocks with numbers behind the ball or we going to face others playing more direct or structure or stronger teams.”
So, when will U.S. Andonovski name his roster?
It sounds like about a month before the Summer Games kickoff, after the USA plays its final Summer Series match against Nigeria in Austin, Texas June 17. The Olympics start for the USWNT against Sweden July 21.
Anndonovski laid down some clues during the conference call.
“Right now, we don’t have a specific date in mind, but it will be after this camp, a few days,” he said. “I would say after this camp is when we’re going have the final evaluation, the final report from the camp and from the games, put everything together, and announce the roster.”