The long run of the U.S. team, no matter what happens in Mexico, stays a little bit of an incomplete picture. Morgan, who scored twice on Monday, and Megan Rapinoe each received their first call-ups to the team since October for the Concacaf event. But Morgan, 33, is already defending her position from rising stars like Catarino Macario, who’s currently out with a knee injury. And young forwards like Mallory Pugh, Sophia Smith and Trinity Rodman all play the identical position as Rapinoe, who turned 37 on Tuesday.
“It’s challenging being a forward in the USA straight away,” Andonovski said when he announced his roster for the Concacaf championship. “Obviously, it’s great, nevertheless it’s challenging since the competition is getting greater and larger.”
Similar battles are playing out across the sector in every position, in every roster decision, as the USA transitions from a roster that led it to 2 straight World Cup titles to at least one which may carry it to a 3rd against regional rivals like Canada, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, and European contenders like Sweden, Germany, Spain, the Netherland and England — amongst others — who’re contending the European championship this month.
The Americans’ remaining group-stage schedule includes games against Jamaica (on Thursday) and host Mexico (on Monday). Canada leads Group B, which features Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica and Panama. The ultimate is July 18.
To get there, Andonovski will depend on a mix of the experience, the talent and the generations at his disposal: Of the 23 players on the U.S. roster, seven are of their 30s but eight are 25 or younger. And for now, he has been making no guarantees to anyone.
“It doesn’t mean that each one these players which have done well prior to now are only going to return back here in the following camp because they’ve done well a 12 months ago or two years ago,” Andonovski said in February, when an earlier roster also omitted several achieved veterans.