USWNT announces Women's World Cup tune-up friendly against Wales in nod to new NWSL expansion team
- Competition for starting XI
- Left-wing position undetermined
- San Jose to host
WHAT HAPPENED? The USWNT is trying to make the most of the small window of time left before the World Cup by scheduling the friendly against the Welsh, as head coach Vlatko Andonovski faces several difficult line-up decisions, including who to choose as an XI replacement for injured Mallory Swanson. Plus, key contributor Julie Ertz will get another opportunity to regain comfort with the squad after almost two years away.
Putting the match in San Jose does not seem accidental. Last week, the NWSL announced it would expand into the Bay Area, and the yet-to-be-named team could play in the Silicon Valley city.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Despite Swanson's injury against Ireland, the USWNT will boast an exciting group of forwards as they try to win a third consecutive World Cup. There's a chance that a highly touted youngster such as Trinity Rodman or Alyssa Thompson could receive big minutes in what could be a passing of the torch to a new generation of American superstars.
WHAT THEY SAID?: “When the 2023 World Cup roster comes together for the first time in San Jose, it will signify a lot of hard work by coaches, players and staff over the past few years to get to that point, so we’re really looking forward to having an exciting, productive camp and playing one last match to fine tune some things before we leave for New Zealand,” said Andonovski. “For everyone involved, the opportunity to be a part of a World Cup doesn’t come along very often so we are going to make sure to appreciate and take advantage of every moment we have together.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR THE USWNT? Having completed their two friendlies against Ireland, members of the squad will return to their clubs hoping to cement their cases for regular action in the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.