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USWNT roster notes: Mia Fishel’s status, NWSL playoff impact and more

USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski provided the rationale behind his roster picks Thursday. (Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

When coach Vlatko Andonovski and the U.S. women’s soccer team announced the 24-player roster for the October friendlies against England and Spain, the headlines were dominated with news of Alex Morgan’s knee injury, young stars making their debuts, Crystal Dunn’s return and the controversy going on in Spain.

Those were key stories for a reason, but if you’re looking for more, here is everything else Andonovski said in his press conference Thursday.

On scheduling the matches with England and Spain:

“We talked about the teams we wanted to play. But I personally was in England during the Euros and was able to experience the Euros, the atmosphere, the games, and I was able to see the teams. And after that I knew that’s what I wanted for our team. I wanted to play England, I wanted to play Germany. I wanted to play Spain.”

On the timing of the games:

“I wanted to play them as soon as possible, in order to give us enough time to fix what might come up as areas of growth and areas of improvement. So the timing of playing these opponents is perfect for us because I still believe we’ll have enough time to go over and iron up anything that may come up as a flaw.”

On the sellout crowd at Wembley:

“I’m extremely excited. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about it and that I’m not looking forward to it. It’s going to be the first time for me to be in front of a crowd of 90,000 people, and it will be a learning opportunity for myself, too.”

On leaving Mia Fishel off the roster:

“Mia is on our depth chart, and I’m unable to say where she’s at. We’re monitoring her form and her performances. I had a very good conversation with her, and she understands where she is at.”

On the growth of women’s soccer he witnessed during the Euros:

“The country turned into a soccer country in a moment. Everywhere you turned, everywhere you went, whether it was a hotel lobby, a restaurant, on the street, anywhere, that is what they were talking about.

“But it wasn’t just the country of England. It was also fans coming from around the world and Europe. It was exciting for me, and it was fulfilling too, as someone who has been directly involved in this game for the last 15 years or so. To see the level that this game has accomplished is also exciting for the future.”

On the schedule crunch with the NWSL playoffs:

“Obviously, every time we put together a roster, most of the players are coming from the NWSL. So regardless of who we call, those teams the players are coming from are going to be impacted by the call.

“We can’t look into details on how every team is scheduled. We have to prepare for the World Cup, and at the same time, we look into players’ health and safety, because that is something that we will not jeopardize.”

On selecting the goalkeepers for the roster:

“We joke that the goalkeepers coach is maybe the toughest job on the staff, because the goalkeepers are (so close to one another). We have some terrific goalkeepers in our pool.”