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Vlatko Andonovski: Midge Purce left off USWNT roster due to ‘dip in form’

(Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Midge Purce did not receive a spot on the U.S. women’s national team for the upcoming games against England and Spain, in one of the surprises from the 24-player roster.

Purce has appeared in 11 games for the USWNT this year, with two goals and one assist. She had become a steady part of the team’s forward rotation since last fall, but she was left off for the October international window due to a “dip in her form,” USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski said.

“We decided not to take Midge [Purce] in this camp, but [that] doesn’t mean Midge is off the roster,” Andonovski said. “It’s just something that we’ve looked into. And we just feel like there’s a dip in her form, which is something that happens unfortunately to a lot of players.”

Purce’s NWSL club, NJ/NY Gotham FC, is in the midst of a 12-match losing streak, the longest in NWSL regular season history. While her teammate Kristie Mewis still received a call-up to the USWNT for the next slate of friendlies, Purce will not make the European trip.

The roster snub could provide fuel for Purce, or so Andonovski hopes, he said. He pointed to Mallory Pugh and Alex Morgan, two forwards who have starred for the team after absences from the roster.

Following the 2019 World Cup, Pugh struggled to return to form, and she was left off the roster for the Olympics last summer. But she now calls the experience helped her find herself. This year, Pugh has cemented her spot in the team’s starting lineup and is in the conversation for NWSL MVP.

Similarly, Morgan has said that her eight-month removal from the USWNT after last summer’s Olympics gave her a “reset.” Morgan leads the race for the NWSL Golden Boot with 15 goals.

“Now, this is an opportunity for Midge to regroup and reset in and come back even stronger,” Andonovski said. “We’ve seen in the past the same thing, the same experience or same treatment we had with Mal [Pugh] and Mal came back and now she’s absolutely killing it.

“Alex Morgan wasn’t in for several months came back and she’s the best player in the [NWSL]. It’s nothing new that players have a dip in form. We’ve been monitoring Midge for several months now and felt like this is the time where we have to act. And hopefully, we get a good reaction from her.”