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A new coach means a new opportunity for Casey Short

After being one of the finals cuts from the World Cup roster, the defender made a convincing case for herself going forward.

Soccer: International Friendly Women’s Soccer-Sweden at USA Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Even the most casual United States women’s national team fans know household names like Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Carli Lloyd. But it’s likely few ever heard of Casey Short?

Chances are you aren’t familiar with the 29-year-old defender who plies her craft with the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women’s Soccer League. Short was one of the last players cut by former USWNT head coach Jill Ellis before the U.S. went to France and captured the country’s fourth World Cup title.

As the team moves into a new era under the watchful eye of newly minted head coach Vlatko Andonovski, it appears Short might be getting a fresh look under the new regime.

“Casey is in this camp because she did well this season. She’s done well not just this season, she’s done well in the league,” Andonovski said. “I think she’s an incredible defender, one of the best 1 v. 1 defenders and she has a good understanding of the game. Her tactical knowledge and understanding of the game is very good and she also has good attacking abilities.”

The defender wasted no time in making her presence felt during Thursday night’s game against Sweden at MAPFRE Stadium. Her pass out of the middle of the park just six minutes into the contest allowed forward Christen Press to get behind the defense and find the opening goal.

For an encore, Short dribbled down the near side of the pitch, advancing the ball into the final third. The defender cut into the penalty box and was fouled to earn a penalty kick for the Americans in the second half.

Her hard work didn’t go unnoticed by her new head coach.

“I was happy with her performance,” said Andonovski of Short. “Obviously coming in 90 minutes, starting the attack for one of the goals, (she) drew a penalty kick with a great interception. I thought defensively she was spot on. After all that was expected from her. that’s why she was in that position.”

After the game, Short shared on her preparation and how she aimed to be a fixture of the Stars and Stripes going forward.

“That’s been something that I’ve really tried to work hard on this season,” said Short. “I really had to take a look and see what do I need to work on and my focus was having more of an effect in the attack and cleaning up my crosses, my passing and all that. I think it’s still a work in progress for sure but I think some improvements have been made.”

The defender turned in a stellar performance Thursday and looks poised to only grow under her new head coach.

Andonovski and Short share mutual admiration. The defender is enamored with her new boss’ work ethic.

“I love him so far, I feel like I’ve already learned a lot,” said Short of her coach. “Just in defending, attacking, his attention to detail is pretty amazing.”