I imagine there are few things that make a coach happier than a striker who can’t seem to miss the back of the net in a World Cup year. For USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski, Mallory Swanson is that gift.
With 6 goals in four games to kick off 2023 and 3 goals in this SheBelieves Cup alone, Swanson is giving USWNT fans something to be excited about.
A front line that once featured the likes of Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press, and Alex Morgan has since seen a dramatic shift in preference for the younger generation of strikers such as Sophia Smith, Mallory Swanson, Trinity Rodman, etc. The best part? They’ve taken up the mantle and run with it.
On a team that still has some rust spots that’ll need consistent douses of vinegar before the World Cup, the young talent on the USWNT front line has made it clear they’ve come to play and inspire. And if they have to, they’ll score more goals than the back line gives up to get the USWNT to the finish line.
Mallory Swanson takes every chance given
With Sophia Smith out nursing an injury, February has been Mallory Swanson’s time to shine.
Swanson is fast, she’s technically crisp, she’s dynamic in her movements, and she’s doing exactly what a striker is paid to do … score goals. Beyond that, she’s still young but has a leg up on the latest USWNT additions when it comes to experience on the big stages.
Every striker experiences goal droughts as well as moments when they’re red hot. Most notably, Swanson was left off the 2021 Olympic roster after a spell of injuries, inconsistent play, and suffocating expectations put a damper on her obvious talent.
In 2023 however, Mallory Swanson has found the player she wants to be. She plays with joy and she plays with consistency. And when she scores, you turn to the person next to you and say “of course it’s her again, because who else?”