The time has come for the United States Women’s National Team to begin their quest for a 3rd straight Women’s World Cup title as well as a 5th Olympic gold medal. When the 2022 Concacaf W Championship opens up tomorrow in Monterrey, Mexico, 8 teams will have dreams of making the 2023 Women’s World Cup as well as the 2024 Olympics. However, only 1 team will leave this tournament knowing they’ve made both: the champion. The USWNT hope they can be that champion.
However, they do it in unfamiliar surroundings. They hope to win their first Concacaf W Championship outside the United States since 1994, when they won the tournament with Canada as hosts. The last time it was held in Mexico was 2010, where the USWNT finished 3rd and had to survive a home-and-home playoff against Italy to make the 2011 World Cup.
To open up the group stage, their first opponent is Haiti, who hope to make some noise and take the leap to make the expanded World Cup field. On the birthday of the United States, the USWNT will look to get off to a great start in group play.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon), Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)
FORWARDS (7): Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC)
What To Watch For
Start fast. The USWNT will want to start the game fast, taking Haiti out of it immediately. We should see the high press in full effect, with Vlatko Andonovski telling the team to be aggressive in pushing towards goal.
Keep the defensive third clean. The defense will have a challenge ahead of them, as Haiti has been known to take advantage of an overly aggressive opponent. They can sneak behind the midfield to create scoring opportunities. The defense should remain at home so that they can help the goalkeeper maintain a clean area.
Keep the rotations coming. Concacaf has set up this tournament with matches every 3-4 days, so the 23 players on the roster have to all be ready to play. Maintaining fresh players in the heat and altitude of Monterrey is going to be important, so hopefully the rotations continue to come to ensure the team as a whole remains fresh throughout the match.
The USWNT commemorate the 4th of July with a 4-0 victory.