Can the USWNT beat England in October? I don’t know. A look at the latest USWNT roster for the October friendlies leaves me with doubts.
There’s nothing particularly alarming about the roster. In fact, it features some of the world’s best young talent in players like Sophia Smith and Trinity Rodman. But you’ll find one USWNT staple glaringly missing from the squad.
Alex Morgan will not make the trip overseas due to a knee injury. Though the timing of the injury allows her ample time to heal prior to the World Cup, her absence leaves a gaping hole in the front line that is not easily filled.
Up-and-coming 17-year-old star Alyssa Thompson has been given the chance to fill that hole and make her mark. It will be her first call-up to the senior national team.
USWNT youth will be put to the test
The average age of the USWNT is steadily decreasing, and these youngsters are about to be thrown into a lion’s den full of experienced, confident Lionesses with home-court advantage.
The reappearance of Crystal Dunn on the roster is certainly some cause for celebration. The World Cup winning defender has been absent for the past year while pregnant and giving birth to her son. She’s making a remarkably quick return to international play just four months after her son’s arrival.
While it’s comforting to see a familiar face with a history of success with the USWNT, the extent to which Dunn will be able to contribute during this European tour remains to be seen.
Though I’m apprehensive of the USWNT’s ability to evenly match much less overpower England’s current squad, this will be a valuable opportunity to continue building depth on a national team already spoiled for choice with talent.
Barring future injuries, many of the veteran standouts will be wearing the red, white and blue at the 2023 World Cup. The question is which fresh-faced, fit youngsters will rally for victory with them. October is where we figure that out.