When U.S. women’s national team unveiled its final 23-player roster for the 2023 World Cup on Wednesday, some players saw their dreams realized while others had theirs dashed.
Among the players who missed out on a spot were Ashley Hatch, Tierna Davidson and AD Franch, all of whom have attended multiple USWNT camps this year.
“There is no harder thing that you can do than tell someone that they did not make the roster for a World Cup,” USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski said after the roster reveal.
While the USWNT went with seven forwards and six midfielders for the SheBelieves Cup in February, Andonovski opted to flip those numbers for the World Cup, which leaves Hatch on the outside looking in. The flexibility of the forward corps — namely Sophia Smith, Lynn Williams, Trinity Rodman and Alyssa Thompson’s ability to play in the No. 9 slot — played into his decision, he said.
“They’re all playing in a really good form and we’re comfortable with their abilities and what they can provide on the field,” he said. “We’re not worried about having someone step in and do well if needed.”
Chicago Red Stars defender Davidson also “missed it by a little bit,” Andonovski said. After tearing her ACL in March 2022, Davidson participated in the February camp and then made her return during the USWNT’s April friendlies against Ireland. But Andonovski felt as though there “were other players that fit better in the needs that we may have” for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
“She’s an incredible player and I have no doubt that she will be back on this team soon and in contention for the roster spot for the next big tournament,” he said.
Also missing the roster is goalkeeper AD Franch, who had been called up at the end of 2022 following a standout NWSL season. She’s had a rough stretch in 2023, however, and was swapped out for Aubrey Kingsbury.