The United States Women’s National Team begin the important calendar year of 2022 when they take on the Czech Republic in the opening match of the 2022 SheBelieves Cup. The USWNT, ranked #1 in the world, are starting their preparations for this summer’s Concacaf W Championship, which will serve as qualification for both the 2023 Women’s World Cup and the 2024 Summer Olympics.
The USWNT bring a mix of youth and veterans to Carson, California for this match, and head coach Vlatko Andonovski will certainly have some younger options in attack against the Czechs, who are ranked 24th in the world and are looking to make a name for themselves with a shock upset.
What To Watch For
Let the kids run free. Can Vlatko Andonovski come out the gates with a lineup that includes Trinity Rodman, Midge Purce, and Catarina Macario up front? It would certainly create a ton of excitement, and it will allow the USWNT to be aggressive going forward.
Control the midfield. The midfield is where the USWNT can really make an impact on the match, and they should be able to keep the match under control. With the high press, they will want to capture the ball and counter quickly. Andi Sullivan can be the main engine in collecting the ball and jumpstarting the attack from the defensive position.
Keep the penalty area clean. The USWNT shouldn’t let the Czech Republic do anything inside the 18. The goal of the back line will be to keep their defensive third clean all night. The Czechs will test them, particularly with savvy veteran Lucie Martínková or midfielder Kateřina Svitková. But, if the defense can end the night with a goose egg on the scoreboard and keeping it relatively calm in the defensive third, it will be a successful night.
The USWNT have a struggle with it during the match, but Trinity Rodman gets her first USWNT goal and her teammate Ashley Hatch gets one as well in a 2-0 victory.