Just days after hopping on a flight to join the U.S. women’s national team in camp, Alyssa Thompson made her first start for her country.
Thompson made her third international appearance in Tuesday’s match, playing a full 90 minutes against Ireland in the 1-0 win. While she played for the USWNT in October against England and Spain, she played just 26 minutes total in the two matches.
The 18-year-old forward came to the USWNT in place of Mallory Swanson, who tore the patella tendon in her left knee Saturday against Ireland.
Her start made her the youngest player to do so since Swanson in 2016.
“We wanted to explore every possible option before we make the final decision, and one of those was Alyssa Thompson,” coach Vlatko Andonovski said.
He listed Trinity Rodman, Lynn Williams, Midge Purce and Megan Rapinone as forwards who have already had the opportunity to start for the team and receive a look from the coaching staff as deadline to decide on a World Cup roster looms.
“We felt like we needed to see Alyssa start a game and give her a chance to showcase her abilities as well,” he said.
No timeline has been given yet for Swanson’s return, including whether or not she will be available for the World Cup, but her return for the summer tournament looks unlikely.
“She has things planned right away in terms of the timeline of how everything is going to play out for her from the rehab and medical side of it,” Andonovski said of Swanson. “So she’s in a good place — as good as she can be at this moment.”