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Vlatko Andonovski: Sam Coffey addition brings balance to USWNT roster

Sam Coffey. (Photo by Erin Chang/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Portland Thorns rookie midfielder Sam Coffey brings balance to the USWNT roster for the knockout stage of the Concacaf W Championship, coach Vlatko Andonovski said Wednesday.

Coffey has joined the USWNT roster to replace an injured Ashley Hatch, who strained a muscle in her left leg against Jamaica on July 7.

The decision to bring in Coffey, a defensive mid, to replace Hatch, who plays at the No. 9, adds midfield depth to what had been a forward-heavy roster.

“We did go a little bit unbalance,” said Andonovski, adding that it was all part of a “plan in mind” that the coaching staff had for the Concacaf W Championship. “When Ashley got injured, we felt it was a good moment to balance the team again.”

The team also wanted to stick to the players who were present at the pre-tournament camp. The camp roster included the 23 players on the initial Concacaf roster, plus three additional players: Coffey, midfielder Jaelin Howell and defender Carson Pickett.

As for the chemistry among the midfield group, Andi Sullivan said Wednesday she feels as though any combination of players would work well together on the pitch.

“I think the midfielders all feel really confident together,” she said. “It’s really cool how all the midfielders work really well together. That’s really special. All of us combine really well together, we communicate really well together. That’s definitely a huge strength of ours.”

The USWNT next will face Costa Rica in the semifinals of the W Championship on at 7 p.m. ET Thursday.