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From snubs to injuries: The USWNT What-Might-Have-Been XI

The USWNT could literally field an exceptional World Cup starting XI based on players injured or left off the roster. We dive into the data to show exactly what’s missing from those left home.

Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The U.S. women’s national team’s World Cup roster announcement didn’t contain too many surprises. Head coach Vlatko Andonovski selected most of the players on the bubble who seemed likeliest to go. Other than three big twists in the last several days, it was more or less the lineup he had been planning for over two months.

Plenty of worthy candidates missed out for a variety of reasons, whether it was due to injury, Andonovski’s preferences for different kinds of bench assets, or two glaring snubs. One was a surprise but explainable, while the other was anticipated but no less egregious.

“As a coach, I’ve been through a lot of tough moments, a lot of tough things, and tough times,” Andonovski said on Wednesday. “And if there is something that was really tough and really hard, that is telling someone they did not make a World Cup roster. I can tell you, there is not a harder thing that you can do than tell someone they did not make a roster for the World Cup.”

Let’s take a look at these players, what the snubs produced statistically during the National Women’s Soccer League regular season this year, speculate on how they could have contributed to the USWNT this summer, and what the side might be losing without them. This is the What-Might-Have-Been XI. (Stats through June 11, the closing of Andonovski’s evaluation window.)

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