When the United States Women’s National Team takes the field on Wednesday, they will be lining up with a team that has caused fits for each of its opponents thus far in the 2021 SheBelieves Cup. Argentina, ranked 31st in the world, has held their own and showed some things even in losses to Brazil and Canada. When they play on Wednesday night, despite being eliminated from contention for the SheBelieves Cup title, they have the players that can pose a new test for the USWNT.
La Albiceleste has played shorthanded thus far, the result of 4 players initially being ruled out of their opening match against Brazil due COVID-19 protocols. Two of those players, Adriana Sachs and Eliana Stabile, exited the protocol and were able to play last night against Canada. Two other players remain off the roster, and it is unclear if either will be ruled eligible to play against the United States.
The 21-woman roster for Argentina:
Goalkeepers (2): Solana Pereyra (Real Unión Tenerife), Laurina Oliveros (Boca Juniors)
Defenders (6): Agustina Barroso (Palmeiras), Marina Delgado (UAI Urquiza), Aldana Cometti (Levante), Romina Núñez (UAI Urquiza), Eliana Stabile (Boca Juniors), Adriana Sachs (Boca Juniors)
Midfielders (7): Vanesa Santana (Sporting Huelva), Dalila Ippólito (Juventus), Sophia Braun (Gonzaga Bulldogs), Miriam Mayorga (Boca Juniors), Lorena Benítez (Boca Juniors), Valentina Cámara (Femarguín), Daiana Falfán (UAI Urquiza)
Forwards (6): Yael Oviedo (Santa Fe), Clarisa Huber (Boca Juniors), Soledad Jaimes (Changchun Dazhong Zhuoyue), Yamila Rodríguez (Boca Juniors), Milagros Menéndez (Granada), Mariana Larroquette (Kansas City NWSL)
The thing that Argentina does well is work hard. They are able to grind the game’s tempo down and make it sloppy. With the United States not playing well through their first two matches, Argentina has the chance to catch them flat-footed. They like to be aggressive on the ball and try to funnel the ball to players like Mariana Larroquette or Clarisa Huber. They will seek to lead the team on offense, trying to find space between the gaps in the defense and put pressure on their back line with shots from angles and crosses into the box, where they can poach on loose balls.
While they are missing a few players, they still have a core group that has entered the prime of their careers and are looking to make an impact. An upset against the Americans would certainly announce their entrance as a team that cannot be overlooked. The question for this team is whether they will be able to endure the high press the USWNT will deploy once again. This is a huge test for the Argentines, but this is the match they have circled. They want to close out the SheBelieves Cup on a high note, and if they can withstand the American pressure, it will give them confidence as they continue to work until the final whistle.
The USWNT and Argentina take the field Wednesday. Kickoff is at 7:00pm on FS1 and TUDN.