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USWNT coach: Jaedyn Shaw is a ‘top player’ in training

(Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images for USSF)

Jaedyn Shaw did not make her on-field debut for the U.S. women’s national team in her first training camp. But that doesn’t mean the 18-year-old didn’t impress.

“Jaedyn Shaw has been excellent,” interim head coach Twila Kilgore said of Shaw. “This is somebody we are so excited about in the future.”

A forward and attacking midfielder for the NWSL’s San Diego Wave, Shaw excelled with the senior national team, even though she spent the two matches against South Africa looking on from the sidelines. She even proved to be one of the “very top players” in small-sided activities, Kilgore said.

The USWNT did not have much opportunity to train, with the international break including just a few days of dedicated practice followed by the pair of friendlies Thursday and Sunday. Still, everyone on the team is excited about what they see in Shaw, who was “very good” in the limited time available, Kilgore said.

And during the matches themselves, Shaw acquitted herself well even though she didn’t make it onto the pitch.

“It’s always a good thing when people are cheering and stuff on the sideline,” Kilgore said. “She’s making the most of her opportunities. … And I think she’s soaking in what it feels like to be on the sideline and taking in all these lessons.”

While the buzz surrounding the September training camp focused on the USWNT’s retiring stars in Julie Ertz and Megan Rapinoe, Kilgore kept one eye on the younger players, and she liked what she saw from all of them, including Shaw, Mia Fishel and Alyssa Thompson.

“Watching some of our younger, especially uncapped players, or, for instance, Alyssa Thompson, listen to what the veterans had to say on such a monumental kind of week, I just think it’s really special,” she said. “And I see Jaedyn humbly taking all of that in. I look forward to seeing how she applies that both in her NWSL environment and potentially whatever her future holds here.”