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.

Kansas City Current goalkeeper AD Franch allowed an own goal in her first time back in the lineup in a month.

The goal resulted from a fluky turn of events, which saw San Diego Wave striker Alex Morgan’s shot bounce off the post and then off Franch’s back and into the net. But it also marked the 11th allowed by Franch in just four appearances this season, and it contributed to her team’s 2-0 loss Sunday against the Wave.

Before Sunday, she had not played since April 15, when she allowed four goals against the Chicago Red Stars.

Since coach Matt Potter got fired, Franch has struggled to crack interim head coach Caroline Sjöblom’s lineup for the struggling Current. Instead, Cassie Miller has started in her place, recording a clean sheet in three straight games for Kansas City.

But Miller allowed three goals in a loss to Angel City last week, opening the door for Franch to return.

Before Franch was benched, she had started the season by allowing just one goal in a 1-0 loss to the North Carolina Courage. But she allowed four goals in each of her next two games, including that game against the Red Stars, before being benched for a month. She made her return Sunday but once again was not up to the form that nearly earned her NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year last season and did earn her a spot on the U.S. women’s national team roster starting in November.

“We knew that we could give them problems with that front three and our front three were unbelievable tonight,” San Diego coach Casey Stoney said. “I have to say the game plan was to defend and I thought they defended very, very well and we created and scored. Did they have more chances in terms of shots? Yeah, but we’ve had really clear openings, so that’s pleasing for us.”

In addition to Franch’s own goal Sunday – her second of the season – Franch ran into the goalpost and had to be checked out by trainers. While she did get back to her feet, her recent run of play raises some concern for both Kanas City and USWNT fans alike.

U.S. women’s national team coach Vlatko Andonovski released his 24-player roster Thursday for the squad’s October friendlies against England and Spain.

While the biggest snub was forward Midge Purce, who has appeared in 11 games for the USWNT this year, several other players could have legitimate grips about their absence from the roster.

Mia Fishel

Fishel once again was left off the latest USWNT roster, despite Alex Morgan’s knee injury opening a spot on the forward lineup.

U.S. youth national team star Alyssa Thompson joined mainstays Sophia Smith, Mallory Pugh, Megan Rapinoe, Ashley Hatch and Trinity Rodman on Andonovski’s forward list, with Fishel nowhere to be found.

While Thompson has shown tremendous upside at 17 years old, Fishel is enjoying success at the professional level, leading Mexico’s Liga MX Golden Boot race. Logging 14 goals and four assists for Tigres Femenil so far in the 2022-2023 season, Fishel has emerged as a world-class finisher at the age of 21.

“So Mia is on our depth chart and is I wouldn’t be wouldn’t be able to say where she’s at,” Andonovski told reporters following the roster drop. “We’re monitoring her form and her performances I had a conversation with only a very good conversation. She understands where she’s at.”

Fishel was selected fifth overall in the 2022 NWSL draft by the Orlando Pride but opted to sign with Tigres Femenil instead.

AD Franch

Franch is no stranger to the USWNT. She joined the squad as a backup goalkeeper at the 2019 World Cup and then again at the Tokyo Olympics. But she has not received consistent call-ups since the bronze-medal run at the Summer Games in 2021.

Andonovski has put a strong emphasis on club form throughout his tenure with the USWNT, and he has shown a strong bias toward the NWSL, which makes Franch’s absence on the October roster particularly baffling.

The Kansas City Current keeper has registered five clean sheets, averaging 3.4 saves per 90 minutes, to help her club to a 10-6-5 record.

Andonovski, however, has opted for consistency over experimentation in the back, selecting Alyssa Naeher, Casey Murphy and Aubrey Kingsbury despite the deep and growing goalkeeper pool.

“I feel like we’ve talked more about the goalkeeper sometimes than some of the other positions but it is important and we were excited about it because ultimately that’s what we want,” Andonovski said, acknowledging the well of goalkeeping talent. “We do want good competition. We want the last in each position to push each other as much as possible and get better with it.”

Carson Pickett

Carson Pickett is another player who consistently has proven herself in the NWSL yet has failed to break through on the USWNT.

The North Carolina Courage defender leads the NWSL in assists with six through 19 matches, logging a staggering 47 chances created during the 2022 campaign.

In June, the 29-year-old earned her first USWNT cap under Andonovski, playing 90 minutes in a 2-0 win against Colombia.

Pickett fits well in the USWNT’s fullback system, boasting strong defensive abilities while triggering the team’s attack from the flanks.

“Carson did very well in training for us in last week and with the management of minutes for Emily Fox that we had, we felt like Carson would be a good replacement, and I’m happy that she was able to perform well for 90 minutes,” Andonovski told ESPN of Pickett’s debut.

While it’s difficult to argue against the inclusion of Crystal Dunn or Hailie Mace on the October roster, Pickett has proven herself worthy of a follow-up to her national team debut.