US women’s national team head coach Vlatko Andonovski explained the absence of Alyssa Thompson in the 26-player roster for the upcoming friendlies against the Republic of Ireland, revealing “we don’t want to add too much pressure on her.”
Though only 18 years old, Thompson has been turning heads with her form lately, most recently scoring in Angel City’s opening-day 2-1 loss against Gotham FC. With the FIFA Women’s World Cup on the horizon, many believe that Thompson would earn another call-up to the USWNT during their last two friendlies before the tournament starts in July.
However, the latest roster drop sees Thompson’s name absent from the squad.
“Alyssa Thompson, I mean, she’s an exciting player. If there is a person that believes in Alyssa Thompson, or a coach that believes in Alyssa Thompson, it’d probably be me,” raved Andonovski.
“Not long ago, when she was 17 years old, her first cap was against one of the best teams in the world in front of 80,000 people, and that was a decision that I made. So that speaks of how much I value Alyssa and how much I believe in her.”
Thompson was first called into the national last October against England at 17 years old. She was subsequently called to the team again in November but hasn’t appeared since.
“Part of the reason why she was in those camps was that, if that happens, that she has a good season and she does well and earns a roster spot for the World Cup, that is not her first camp with the team, but she already has an experience being in the environment, understands the dynamics in the environment, he explained.
“She’s already played in big matches, good opponents, so the transition, or coming in, it’s not as hard for her.”
Andonovski went on to say that Thompson has tons of potential and that the young winger will make a case for a roster spot” for this summer’s tournament in Australia/New Zealand, but that largely hinges on her club form with Angel City FC.
“I do want to point out one thing about Alyssa at this point: for her, the most important thing is that she enjoys the game that she plays. She enjoys her market, her club environment, because we don’t want to put too much pressure on her.”
“She’s a young player, talented player, good player, and all she needs to do is just enjoy the game that she plays, focus on what she does best and allow the people that are making the decision to make the decision for her,” he continued.
The USWNT kicks off the first of their last two friendlies before the World Cup with a showdown in Austin, Texas, against Ireland on April 8th.