The future of the U.S. team, regardless of what happens in Mexico, remains a bit of an incomplete picture. Morgan, who scored twice on Monday, and Megan Rapinoe both received their first call-ups to the team since October for the Concacaf event. But Morgan, 33, is already defending her position from rising stars like Catarino Macario, who is currently out with a knee injury. And young forwards like Mallory Pugh, Sophia Smith and Trinity Rodman all play the same position as Rapinoe, who turned 37 on Tuesday.
“It’s not easy being a forward in the United States right now,” Andonovski said when he announced his roster for the Concacaf championship. “Obviously, it’s great, but it’s not easy because the competition is getting bigger and bigger.”
Similar battles are playing out across the field in every position, in every roster decision, as the United States transitions from a roster that led it to two straight World Cup titles to one that might carry it to a third against regional rivals like Canada, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, and European contenders like Sweden, Germany, Spain, the Netherland and England — among others — who are contending the European championship this month.
The Americans’ remaining group-stage schedule includes games against Jamaica (on Thursday) and host Mexico (on Monday). Canada leads Group B, which features Trinidad Tobago, Costa Rica and Panama. The final is July 18.
To get there, Andonovski will rely on a blend of the experience, the talent and the generations at his disposal: Of the 23 players on the U.S. roster, seven are in their 30s but eight are 25 or younger. And for now, he has been making no promises to anyone.
“It doesn’t mean that all these players that have done well in the past are just going to come back here in the next camp because they’ve done well a year ago or two years ago,” Andonovski said in February, when an earlier roster also omitted several accomplished veterans.