U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) head coach Vlatko Andonovski has named his 24-player roster for the January’s training camp and friendlies in New Zealand. The trip will include two matches against the Football Ferns.
The USA have played the Football Ferns 19 times but never in New Zealand.
According to U.S. Soccer, the scheduled friendlies will be the USWNT’s first matches played in New Zealand. The Lady Yanks have played 715 games in their tenured history.
Andonovski called in three players with Colorado connections: veterans Lindsey Horan and Mallory Pugh-Swanson, along with rising newcomer Taylor Kornieck.
Kornieck played for the Pac-12 University of Colorado Buffaloes. She is currently a starter with the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) San Diego Waves FC.
Horan is a product of metro Denver’s Rush Soccer Club, while Pugh-Swanson is an alumni of South Denver’s Real Colorado Soccer Club. Horan is under contract with Olympique Lyonnais Féminin.
Frequent roster member and Real Colorado alum, Sophia Smith is recovering from a foot injury. Smith is the 2022 season NWSL MVP. The accomplished forward plays with the NWSL Portland Thorns.
During a conference call with media, Andonovski commented that “something that has been bothering her for a longer time.” Andonovski felt that the start of the new year was the best time to address her injury, let it heal and come back into form without undue pressure from competitive training and play.
As a result, she did not receive a call-up, however, Smith is rehabilitating independently, and so, under full guidance from his staff.
During the recent break from professional and national team play, Pugh married her long-time boy friend, MLB All-Star, Dansby Swanson.In December, Swanson inked a $177 million dollar contract with the Chicago Cubs. His newlywed wife also plays for the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars.
Pugh-Swanson, Horan and Kornieck will train with their teammates in New Zealand for six days. They will then face FIFA’s 24th ranked Ferns at Sky Stadium in Wellington / Te Whanganui-a-Tara. The friendlies are set for January 19 and 21, local dates, January 17 and 20 in the Unite States.
“We’ve been thinking about and planning for the World Cup for a long time, but when the calendar turns to the World Cup year, for sure it brings some renewed focus and energy as the tournament starts in less than 200 days,” said Andonovski.
During the Men’s World Cup Tournament in Qatar, Andonovski was called in to support the Men’s National Team as both a scout and advisor to USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter and U.S.Soccer’s sporting director, Earnie Stewart.
US Soccer Tech Director, Barry Pauwels told me that Andonovski will join him as part of a team of advance scouts for #USMNT while also helping to identifying methods to be shared in the Pro License course.— Glenn Crooks (@GlennCrooks) November 14, 2022
Pauwels is the lead instructor & he'll be my guest @SiriusXMFC this week. https://t.co/SsJxOPoNpc
For Andonovski, this camp and a follow up gathering in mid-February ahead of the 2023 version of SheBelieves Cup tourney is critical. The USWNT is on a very deliberate track to ready themselves for their participation in the July 20-August 20 Women’s World Cup.
“To get to bring the team to New Zealand in January and play in our World Cup venues has so many benefits so we are going to make sure we maximize our time together, make this trip as productive as possible and enjoy a unique experience as many of our players have never been to New Zealand before.”
The international contest will take place in 10 stadiums across nine host cities, five in Australia and four in New Zealand. The USWNT will open ‘Group E’ play against Vietnam on July 22 at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau. Next the Yanks will face-off with the Netherlands on July 27th. Their third match will be against the ‘Group A’ Playoff Winner on August 1st that includes Cameroon, Thailand and Portugal tackling one another first.
USWNT Roster by Position and Affiliation. (Club; Caps/Goals) – January Training Camp New Zealand:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Kansas City Current; 10), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 11), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 86)
DEFENDERS (8): Alana Cook (OL Reign; 19/0), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 126/24), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC; 22/0), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC; 10/0), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign; 25/0), Hailie Mace (Kansas City Current; 8/0), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 211/0), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 69/1)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC; 4/0), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 122/26), Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave FC; 7/1), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 84/22), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 46/7), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit; 17/3), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 37/3)
FORWARDS (6): Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 14/4), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC; 200/119), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 20/4), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit; 10/2), Mallory Pugh-Swanson (Chicago Red Stars; 82/25), Lynn Williams (Kansas City Current; 47/14)