U.S. women’s national team coach Vlatko Andonovski has called in 25 players for the team’s first training camp of the year, a group that includes Washington Spirit forward Trinity Rodman.
Rodman, 19, the NWSL’s 2021 Rookie of the Year, is accepting a call-up for the first time. But she isn’t alone in terms of uncapped players, with Washington Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury also taking part in the camp. San Diego Wave defender Naomi Girma is joining the team for the second time at the camp, which will be held in Austin, Texas.
The camp will run from Jan. 19-28, and while there are no friendlies scheduled in conjunction with the gathering, Andonovski is keen to get a look at some rising stars ahead of the SheBelieves Cup, which will take place in mid-February.
“Without any matches that we need to taper for, we can get in some more intense trainings and full-field scrimmages, which is great as we need to give this group as many chances as possible to play together in a national team environment,” said Andonovski said.
“We understand that some of the players are coming off a break, so we’ll keep that in mind as we hit the ground running in 2022 for what will be a very important year for these players and our team.”
Andonovski’s roster also sees the return of several veterans, including goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, defender Kelley O’Hara, midfielder Samantha Mewis and forward Mallory Pugh. Naeher has been out since injuring her knee in the Olympic semifinal.
Rodman, the 2021 NWSL Rookie of the Year and 2021 U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year, at 19 is still age-eligible for the 2022 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup. She was called up for the Australian friendlies in November, but opted out.
The daughter of former NBA start Dennis Rodman, she has nine career U20 international goals in just seven caps and likely would have played in the 2020 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup had it not been canceled due to the pandemic.
“She was one of the most exciting players in the league this past season, and she proved that she can be impactful at the professional level in NWSL. And now with that, she earned a call-up for the national team,” Andonovski said about Rodman.
“Now, we don’t want to rush anything. We obviously have to be patient. She’s still young player, but we do want to expose her to the environment where she can get her feet wet a little bit, and get used to the environment, get used to my coaching and the players that she’s around, and hopefully she can continue growing and show that what she was able to do in the league, she can do that at the international level.”
Andonovski said a replacement for Catarina Macario — who was originally on the roster until the draw in the French Cup came out that pitted Lyon against PSG — would be announced before Thursday.
“We decided that the best for Cat would be if she stays in, in France and plays the game against Montpelier and prepares after that and plays the game against PSG in the round of 16,” Andonovski said.
“And instead of coming here, traveling overseas, a couple of trainings and then going back or travel again and play in a game. So overall to two exceptional games for Cat, good experience, high stress, intense games, it’ll be overall better for her.”
JANUARY TRAINING CAMP ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (9): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Imani Dorsey (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC), Naomi Grima (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Jaelin Howell (Racing Louisville FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Samantha Mewis (Kansas City Current), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)
FORWARDS (6): Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Lynn Williams (Kansas City Current)