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Sport U.S. women's team roster for Tokyo far from set - coach

22:10  23 february  2021
22:10  23 february  2021 Source:   reuters.com

Tokyo 2020 says executive board members to gather over Mori's remarks

  Tokyo 2020 says executive board members to gather over Mori's remarks US-OLYMPICS-2020-MORI:Tokyo 2020 says executive board members to gather over Mori's remarksThe meeting on Friday is for the members to express their opinions on comments by Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori that women talk too much, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee said, remarks that attracted widespread criticism and calls for Mori's resignation.

By Frank Pingue

Vlatko Andonovski holding a sign: Vlatko Andonovski speaks during a news conference to announce his appointment as the new head coach of U.S. women's national soccer team in New York © Reuters/BRENDAN MCDERMID Vlatko Andonovski speaks during a news conference to announce his appointment as the new head coach of U.S. women's national soccer team in New York

(Reuters) - The roster for the Tokyo-bound U.S. women's squad seeking to reclaim the Olympics gold medal that eluded them in 2016 is far from set in stone, national team head coach Vlatko Andonovski said on Tuesday.

Olympic rosters feature 18 players instead of the usual 23 that typically travel to a tournament and Andonovski said he had yet to lock in any player.

When asked how many of the roster spots for the Tokyo Olympics remain open, Andonovski told reporters during a video call: "Right now, 18, but we are getting closer."

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  Virus delay, sexism row: Tokyo's turbulent Olympic timeline From a historic coronavirus postponement, to a sexism row prompting its top organiser to resign, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have faced many hurdles. - February 2021: Sexism furore - Yoshiro Mori, chief of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, resigns after his claims that women talk too much in meetings spark a firestorm of criticism. "When you increase the number of female executive members, if their speaking time isn't restricted to a certain extent, they have difficulty finishing, which is annoying," the gaffe-prone 83-year-old said.

The World Cup champions need a win or draw against Argentina on Wednesday in Orlando to clinch the round-robin SheBelieves Cup tournament title for a fourth time.

Despite a number of players in pre-season mode given the National Women's Soccer League's regular season does not begin until May, Andonovski was impressed with his squad's level of play in clean sheet victories over Canada and Brazil.

"They are always 100% focused, concentrated and needless to say their competitiveness, energy and hard work is always there. Enthusiasm has been great as well." said Andonovski.

"I've been very proud how they transformed all of that into the games that we played."

The U.S. team will be eager to wrap up the SheBelieves Cup in style before turning their attention to Tokyo given their quest for a fifth Olympics gold medal in 2016 ended in a shock quarter-final loss to Sweden.

While Andonovski, who was named head coach of the national team in October 2019, may be far from settling on an Olympics roster he is confident the right pieces are there.

Andonovski specifically credited the team's ability to make in-game adjustments at the SheBelieves Cup where the top-ranked team extended their unbeaten streak to 36 games.

"We got exposed in different areas and the fact that we were able to adjust some things during games and some things in training just makes me happy," said Andonovski. "So very proud of them and very happy for how things are going."

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Tokyo 2020 Olympic committee to hold special meeting over president Mori's comments .
US-OLYMPICS-2020-MORI:Tokyo 2020 Olympic committee to hold special meeting over president Mori's commentsThere are no plans to discuss Mori's resignation at the meeting but he could face a barrage of criticism over his comments, Nikkan Sports reported.

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