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Vlatko Andonovski: Mia Fishel must ‘prove she belongs’ on USWNT

Mia Fishel takes a shot during a USWNT training session in 2020. (Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Mia Fishel is tearing up the pitch for her Mexican club Tigres Femenil, garnering international attention for her commanding run.

U.S. women’s national coach Vlatko Andonovski, however, said he needs to see more from the young forward before she gets a shot with the USWNT.

“I have not had conversations with Mia,” Andonovski told reporters Monday after releasing his September USWNT roster. “We do follow her form and her performances, but I also have to say that there are a lot of players in the NWSL that are performing as good and even better than Mia.”

Andonovski, a former NWSL coach, is high on the United States’ domestic league, frequently emphasizing the importance of club form in his USWNT roster selection process.

While Lindsey Horan and Catarina Macario compete abroad for Lyon, the majority of Andonovski’s USWNT lineup plays in the NWSL.

The reigning NWSL champion Washington Spirit hold the most USWNT roster spots for the September friendlies, with six players hailing from the club. A seventh, Emily Sonnett, featured on the roster for the Concacaf W Championship in July, but she is working her way back from a foot injury.

Fishel was selected fifth overall in the 2022 NWSL draft by the Orlando Pride, but the UCLA star instead opted to sign with Liga MX Femenil’s Tigres in January.

Logging seven goals and three assists through eight appearances this season, Fishel has showcased her attacking prowess.

Liga MX also enjoyed heightened international attention when Club América competed in the Women’s Cup and C.F. Monterrey put on a show at the Women’s International Champions Cup, both held in the United States in August.

“I tried to tell you.. this league is no joke,” Fishel tweeted after the semifinals of those tournaments. “I hope these international games show everyone where this league is going.”

While Andonovski added, “any player that is playing a high level for their club, whether NWSL or outside of the NWSL is in the picture” for selection, there is a prevailing notion that competing in the U.S. domestic league is beneficial for players striving for an international call-up.