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2023 Women's World Cup

How the NWSL sculpted the 2023 USWNT World Cup roster

A mass transition to a new generation of players means this USWNT group largely developed in the NWSL, a notable first

Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

A peek through the Wake Forest record books shows Aubrey Bledsoe (now Kingsbury) as the queen of Deamon Deacon goalkeeping. The Ohio native was a three-time All-American, peaking with an appearance on the second team during her senior year in 2013.

But when the curtain closed on her college careeer in the fall of 2013, there was no National Women’s Soccer League career in Kingsbury’s immediate future. The league had just kicked off earlier that year and it was unclear if it would last. Instead, she signed to play with Pali Blues, a dominant semi-pro team in California, and from there went to play in Norway.

Sky Blue FC (now NJ/NY Gotham FC) signed Kingsbury as a discovery player in 2015 where she languished as a backup before being exposed and selected in the next year’s expansion draft by the Orlando Pride. She was set to get some playing time in 2016 when Ashlyn Harris went to the Olympics, but Kingsbury broke her foot in training and missed the remainder of the season.

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