U.S. women’s national team head coach Vlatko Andonovski revealed what he looks for in a player when planning a roster, explaining 'that's for us like putting a big puzzle together'.
The American team stands as one of the most competitive in the world, ranking number one by FIFA’s standards. With a plethora of talent to choose from, Andonovski maintained the team must remain organized and methodical to wind down the list from a projected 36.
“So when we're selecting the roster, that's for us like putting a big puzzle together. They have to perform well. But also very important for us is that they have to fit for the environment. They have to fit well into the culture. So when we're evaluating the players from the tactical standpoint, we do watch lot of NWSL games and we evaluate to analyze,” he explained on the latest episode of 90min’s Football Americana.
“I mean, we have a whole platform and process of how we evaluate every single player that is on our depth chart, that we have at 36 right now. And we also evaluate them on a weekly basis.
“We start with the idea and then with our model, with our principles, and then we look for high performers that fit into the model. How would the things that they do on the field would fit into what we want to do, or sometimes how a player that doesn't fit into the model, help us reshape the model and make us even better. So we're not really locked on, 'okay, this is the only way.'"
His explanation of the team’s model comes after the 23-player USWNT roster set to face Nigeria in two upcoming September friendlies.
Andonovski didn’t stray much from the side that won last month’s Concacaf W Championship, bringing back most players in some capacity. Emily Sonnett stands as the only player not to return, after she picked up an injury.
Though the pressure is on for the United States to continue performing as the best national team, the head coach devotes enough time selecting players who can live up to the standards.