USWNT Women's World Cup roster updates
The GIST: In their first game without injured star forward Mal Swanson, the No. 1 USWNT beat No. 22 Ireland 1–0 last night to sweep the two-game friendly series. With 99 days to go until the Women’s World Cup (WWC), here’s who stood out and who’s on the bubble ahead of the upcoming roster drop. *gulps*
The standouts: After a two-year absence, defensive midfielder Julie Ertz made the most of her surprise call up, shifting the energy in Saturday’s friendly and helping create offensive pressure that ultimately resulted in a U.S. goal. Impressive, but it’s still TBD if she’s fit enough for a full 90 minutes.
- That said, it was the team’s back line that wreaked havoc these last two matches, highlighted by defenders Emily Fox and Alana Cook both scoring their first-ever international goals. Maybe the best offense really is a good defense?
The question marks: Forward Alyssa Thompson was tasked with filling the cleats of the aforementioned Swanson, who’ll miss the WWC after sustaining a knee injury in that first friendly. While 18-year-old Thompson, the youngest player to start a national team match since 2016, played with maturity last night, inexperience may keep her home this summer.
- And then there’s Catarina Macario. The young midfielder is a generational talent, but she’s still recovering from an ACL injury. She didn’t compete in these friendlies, so she’ll have to show out with her club team, Lyon, to earn a spot on the roster.
- One thing is for sure, no one envies head coach Vlatko Andonovski’s job right now. Can’t we just send everyone Down Under?