USWNT veterans take temporary back seat
No Christen Press, Alex Morgan, Julie Ertz, Megan Rapinoe, or Tobin Heath. Don’t panic. For many of the veterans, their time is far from over with the national team. But the USWNT is transitioning to a younger squad and head coach Vlatko Andonovski has already begun testing the mettle of the team’s youngsters.
Thursday’s SheBelieves Cup match against the Czech Republic saw a lot of new faces in the starting lineup anchored by a sprinkling of veterans.
Sophia Smith’s twinkle toes footwork was on display as she drew out one defender after another stunning them with her skill before blowing by them with her speed. The Catarina Macario/Rose Lavelle link-up play was nearly textbook perfect. And Trinity Rodman, who made her USWNT debut as a sub off the bench, almost scored immediately upon entering the game.
These young women are well-rounded players full of fresh ideas and endless energy. Their contributions are a welcome infusion into an already strong unit.
Of course, there’s still a need for the veterans of the team. Besides being gifted athletes themselves, their experience, discipline, and game awareness will be critical as they help the young players get their footing at the senior level.
Despite a wildly dominant performance by the Americans, Thursday’s match ended in a 0-0 draw. The USWNT should never be tying the 24th ranked team in the world and the result was certainly disappointing, yet the game was exciting to watch with many positive takeaways and a celebration of Becky Sauerbrunn’s 200th cap for the USWNT to top it all off.
The USWNT will be fascinating to follow over the next year as Andonovski begins to shape the team for the 2023 World Cup. A new era of USWNT superstars is underway and it has yet to disappoint.