The United States, The Team Everyone Wants To Avoid

Photo: Ryan Asman

With just a matter of days until the Women’s World Cup 2023 commences we take a look at what can only be described as the team to avoid. The USWNT…

Here is a brief overview of exactly what to expect from not just one of the tournament favourites but also the current holders.

Since lifting the World Cup in 2020 The USWNT have gone on to win plenty of trophies including the SheBelieves Cup four years running but also adding a CONCACAF Women’s Championship to the trophy cabinet also. Which is why they go into the tournament as favourites to defend their title. 

The USWNT will be participating in its tenth World Cup and having won a record four tournaments (1991, 1999, 2015 and 2019), finished second in one (2011) and third in three (1995, 2003, 2007) it is looking likely that Semi-Final could be a realistic expectation.

In a group that consists of Vietnam, The Netherlands and Portugal the USA will need to be on the top of their game if they aim to reach the next rounds. Especially considering the USA have found it very difficult to score against The Netherlands in a competitive fixture meaning that wins against Portugal and Vietnam are a must for Vlatko Andonovski’s side.

Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan have been recalled to the national squad after an absence which will boost the hopes that The USWNT can claim a third consecutive World Cup especially considering Rapinoe has confirmed this is to be her last tournament, while Morgan has claimed her international career may be coming to an end also.

Photo: Ryan Asman

Another player who will be returning to the national team after a long period of absence due to injury and personal commitments will be midfielder Julie Ertz who has been tipped by many US Journalists as the catalyst to USA winning the World Cup.

Although plenty of names do return to the squad 1 massive absentee is Mallory Swanson who in 2023 was the 3rd most in-form striker before suffering an injury against Republic Of Ireland where she tore her left patella tendon, meaning she will miss the World Cup. She was replaced by 18 year old Alyssa Thompson who will be hoping to make her debut in the tournament.

Qualification for the Women’s World Cup 2023 was fairly simple for The USWNT after beating Jamaica 5-0 in their second game of CONCACAF Women’s Championship all that was needed was for Mexico to drop points and The USWNT would be heading to Australia/New Zealand and Haiti ensured the party could start with 1 game to spare because Hati beat Mexico 3-0 meaning The USWNT would have the chance to defend their title once more much to the excitement of not just the USA Fans but also for the whole of CONCACAF.

The result came three years to the day after the USA won its record-setting fourth World Cup title in 2019, defeating the Netherlands, 2-0, in the World Cup final in Lyon on July 7, 2019.

Predicted Starting 11 : (3-4-3)

GK: Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
CB: Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC)
CB: Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage)
CB: Kelley O’Hara (Gotham FC)
CM: Julie Ertz (Angel City FC)
CDM: Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyonnais)
CDM: Rose Lavelle (OL Reign)
CM: Kristie Mewis (Gotham FC)
RW: Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign)
FW: Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC)
LW: Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC)

Sophia Smith – Photo: Ryan Asman

My Predictions :

Player to Watch : MF: Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)

Top Goalscorer : FW: Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign)

Most Assists : FW: Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC)

Final Finish : Finalists (2nd Place)

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