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Ian Decker and Alejandra Martin
COLORADO (Oct. 8, 2020) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski has named Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe and forwards Ashley Hatch and Ashley Sanchez to the 27-player roster for the USA’s October training camp in Commerce City, Col., from October 18-28.
The USA will train for ten days and will be together as a team for the first time since facing Japan at the She Believes Cup on March 11, 2020.
Bledsoe was last called into camp in November of 2019 after winning both the NWSL and W-League Goalkeeper of the Year awards in 2018-2019. This is the 28-year-old’s second call into USWNT camp, and she will look to become a regular within Andonovski’s keeper corps as she looks for her first senior cap.
Between the Challenge Cup and the Fall Series, Bledsoe has played every minute for the Spirit. In nine games, Bledsoe has kept three clean sheets and was one of the reasons the Spirit finished the Challenge Cup regular season as the number two seed. In 2020, Bledsoe posted a 71-percent save rate. In the Spirit’s final game of the Fall Series, Bledsoe saved five shots, including a diving effort that saw her nominated for a second-straight Save of the Week nomination.
Hatch, who has since recovered from a foot injury that limited her participation in the Fall Series, has two caps to her name with the senior squad. A quick and technical striker, Hatch’s work-rate is unparalleled. Against Sky Blue, Hatch had 12 touches in the attacking half of the field and 10 touches in the defensive area. Not only can she contribute on offense, she is also willing to drop back and help the team defend. The Spirit’s leading goalscorer in 2019, netting seven times, Hatch scored once and provided one assist during the Challenge Cup.
Perhaps the play that epitomizes Hatch’s determination up top came in the opening match of the Challenge Cup. Against the Chicago Red Stars, Hatch caught goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher in possession, won the ball and created a goal out of nothing.
Winning the “Future Legend” award at the Challenge Cup, Sanchez flashed her creativity and flair on the ball while in Utah. The 2020 fourth overall draft pick has continued her ascension throughout the Fall Series, starting eight of the nine games she’s played for the Spirit. Sanchez had one assist and produced a total of 13 key passes in the nine games she played, an impressive figure for an offensive player in their first season of professional play.
While never capped at the senior level, Sanchez was called into camp with the senior team in April of 2016 and has represented the United States at the U-17, U-20 and U-23 levels. Her illustrious USYNT career is headlined by her Golden Ball win at the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championships.
Sanchez is also the first US player to ever play in two World Cup competitions in the same year, playing in the 2016 U-17 and U-20 competitions.
“We want to reward players who have done well for their clubs and give them a chance to step up and perform in our environment,” said Andonovski. “We have a lot of uncapped players and a few who have had the chance to earn a few caps, but we know that deepening our player pool is important as we head into 2021.”