My apologies for the lack of material recently. It’s midterm season here.
Given that training camp started up this week I thought it’d be a good chance to look at training camp invites as it relates to getting onto a roster or earning a cap.
Throughout Sundhage’s tenure as coach 77 players have been invited to at least one USWNT training camp. 51 of these players have made a tournament or game day roster and 47 have earned a cap. Not bad considering the amount of heat Sundhage has gotten for sticking with the same bunch for the past year or so.
So, let’s say a player gets called into camp, how can they increase their likelihood of actually putting on a USWNT uniform? (This of course does not account for how they actually perform on the pitch.) Well, get invited to another training camp. The median amount of training camps players participate in before they get put on a roster is 2. 21 players made a roster after 2 camps, 15 after 1, 8 after 3, 3 after 4, and impressively 4 after none. The four who made it onto a roster were typically well-known players (aka Lilly) or players who had performed well in the WPS (Bock). As would be expected, the coaches probably want to see consistency before they grant a player precious playing minutes – especially if it is a big tournament year. 19 players have been called into camp only once and only one of them earned a cap (Tina Ellertson, once again a proven entity).
Once you get on a roster you have a pretty good chance of getting onto the pitch. All but 5 players who have earned a cap earned it after just one roster (the other 5 got a cap after two rosters). Of course if you are not the first or second choice goalkeeper, the task is a bit taller, just ask Ashlyn Harris who has been to 14 camps and been on 4 rosters but still has yet to earn a full National Team cap.
A bit more difficult is earning caps consistently. Of the players who have earned caps, 16 have earned 9 or less. 7 have earned less than 20. But if you can break into the rotation roughly the same amount of players (earning caps) have had less than 20 caps as have had 30 all the way up to 88 caps (who even knew there had been 88 matches in the past 4 years?!). The distribution graph is included below.
Although there has not been much to talk about personnel-wise for the USWNT for awhile, Christen Press’ long-awaited first call-up has stirred some excitement around this April training camp. How soon will she be able to break onto the USWNT? Whose place will she take? While a ridiculous last minute push onto the Olympic roster would be quite the story, it will probably take her longer than 2 camps to break onto a roster seeing as there are precious few rosters left before the Olympic roster is named. But first things first, she’s got to keep getting invited back.