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USWNT vs. Uzbekistan, 2022 friendly: What to watch for

It’s the first time the 2 teams face each other.

2022 SheBelieves Cup - Czech Republic v United States Photo by Robert Mora/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The United States Women’s National Team will take the field tomorrow night at Lower.com Field in Columbus to take on Uzbekistan in the first of two matches between the teams in this window. It’s the first time the USWNT have ever faced Uzbekistan in competition, and it will be an intriguing test for the Americans against the 48th ranked team in the world.

The USWNT bring in players who will be fighting to be a part of the roster that heads to Monterrey this summer for the Concacaf W Championship, which serves as both qualifying for the 2023 Women’s World Cup and the 2024 Summer Olympics. Expect to see players compete to bring the heat in chilly Columbus.

Roster

Goalkeepers (3): Bella Bixby (Portland Thorns FC), Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

Defenders (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign FC), Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC), Imani Dorsey (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign FC), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit)

Midfielders (8): Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyonnais), Jaelin Howell (Racing Louisville FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign FC), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyonnais), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Samantha Mewis (Kansas City Current), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)

Forwards (5): Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC)

What To Watch For

Put pressure on Uzbekistan’s defense. The USWNT will want to press Uzbekistan relentlessly throughout the match. The high press could be in effect as head coach Vlatko Andonovski tries to figure out who can step up and provide that pressure in the absence of Lynn Williams, who is out for the season due to a leg injury. Keeping the energy up front will hopefully cause the Uzbek defense to make a mistake, and the USWNT can punish them from there.

Who steps up on offense? Scoring is going to be the big question from this group. There are players who are capable of scoring…but who will step up and put the ball in the net? Luckily, the USWNT have five forwards that are on fire right now with their clubs, so the opportunity is there for them to transfer that heat to the international stage.

No mistakes. Don’t give Uzbekistan a reason to keep themselves in the match. On defense, the back line needs to do what they can to keep a clean work station and not let anyone behind them. If they can do that, the midfield can take care of business and the USWNT can keep Uzbekistan out of the score column.

Prediction

It’s a tighter match than most would think, but the USWNT get a couple in a 2-0 victory.