Now, all eyes are on Vlatko Andonovski.
The U.S. women’s national team completed the third of three June friendly matches on Wednesday, beating Nigeria 2-0 in their first match at the Q2 Stadium in Austin.
After defeating Portugal, Jamaica and Nigeria, Andonovsky must now select his list of 18 players to participate in the Olympics next month in Japan.
The depth and quality of USWNT will make Andonovski’s choice extremely difficult, but within a few days, we will know who will advance and who will be disappointed. Over to you Vlatko…
Follow Becky Sauerbrunn
She may work quietly and efficiently, but now is the time for us to start paying more attention to Becky Sauerbrunn. The central defender has been one of USWNT’s most indispensable players for many years, and Wednesday provided another example she brought.
The 36-year-old player’s ability to increase the ability to intercept passes is a huge weapon for the United States, turning defense into offense in the blink of an eye. On the offensive side, Sauerbrunn and her central defender partner Abby Dahlkemper (Abby Dahlkemper) can break Nigeria’s defense with a precise top and precise pass.
“This is definitely something I will continue to work on,” Sauerbrunn said of the offensive aspect of her game. “I want to have all the tools in my toolbox. If I need to type 60 yards, [diagonals] Or give some 20-yard chips to Christen Press, and then I can do all of these things. “
As Julie Eltz is likely to participate in the Olympics, the United States will rely more on the leadership and composure brought by Schauerbrunn. Time and time again, she showed that she was qualified for the task.
Read the roster tea
After three friendly matches, we can make reasonable guesses about some of Andonowski’s final roster.
After the start of the game against Jamaica, AD Franch looked like a backup goalkeeper favorite, Alyssa Naeher started two other games, and Jane Campbell did not play.
Alana Cook did not see the stadium in any game, so the promising defender now sets his sights on the 2023 World Cup. The same is true for Andy Sullivan. He did have a few minutes of playing time against Jamaica, but was bypassed in Wednesday’s game and turned to regular guard Emily Sonnet’s sixth place. Bit.
Going further, Sophia Smith underperformed in three games, and after seeing one of her main rivals, Lynn Williams, come off the bench and score in the game against Nigeria, she looked like she might be with The Olympic lineup is very different.
Carli Lloyd looks ready to participate in another international game because the 38-year-old has performed well in three games, including an assist against Nigeria. Lloyd looks like Andonowski’s best choice to support Alex Morgan at the target forward position.
“In terms of making the final decision, I think we know the players very well,” Andonowski said. “In the past year and a half, we have accumulated a lot of knowledge and data, so when the time is right, I believe we will make the right decision for this team.”
The Summer Series gives USWNT a real test
Entering the team’s three summer series against Portugal, Jamaica and Nigeria, suggesting that the USWNT will deal with it easily is not outrageous.
The average FIFA ranking of these three opponents is 39, which represents the type of team where USWNT used to be buried by seven or eight goals. This time, however, this was not the case.
Portugal led the United States all the way in the opener, and Andonowski’s team needed a late goal from Sam Mavis to win 1-0. Jamaica did not provide the exact same challenge in the 4-0 victory of the United States, but Nigeria once again provided a good test to the United States on Wednesday, allowing USWNT to experience the low setting it might see in Tokyo again.
It is also worth noting that these three games were all played in the cruel heat of Texas, and the turnover between games was very fast. These two conditions will also play a role in Japan, which means that Andonovsky’s players should not be surprised by what will happen at the beginning of the Olympics next month.