The United States Women’s National Team heads to Washington, D.C. to take on Nigeria tomorrow night at Audi Field. It marks the first time in over 5 years since the USWNT played in the nation’s capital, and they will be doing so tomorrow night before a sold out, capacity Audi Field crowd.
The USWNT take on a Nigeria team that they beat 4-0 on Saturday in Kansas City. The USWNT looked great on the offensive end and did enough to keep the Super Falcons off the scoreboard. They’ll look to continue to emphasize the details as they continue preparations for next summer’s World Cup.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (6): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Hailie Mace (Kansas City Current); Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC) Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville), 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 (6): 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), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC)
What To Watch For
Vlatko should work the bench into the game. Against a strong Nigeria team, it’s a great time for Vlatko Andonovski to do some rotations and get some of the bench some extended minutes on the field. When subs were made on Saturday, the team felt less cohesive, and maybe that can be evaluated further by giving some of the bench that extra time on the field to form that cohesion as a unit.
Clean up defensive holes. There weren’t many defensive lapses on the part of the USWNT, and that should always be a point of focus for the team. Great teams will beat them if they expose too many holes in the defensive third, so they should continue to limit Nigeria’s chances and keep several people in front of the ball.
Keep the Sophia-Sofia connection going. Sophia Smith is playing like one of the best players in the world, and Sofia Huerta could be the answer to any concerns fans had about depth at right back. Vlatko Andonovski should continue to get them into spots on the field where they can collectively work their magic. It’s worked out so far, and it could be a ruthless combination for the rest of the world as they continue to gain experience together.
The USWNT put on a show in front of the sold out crowd in DC. It’s a 5-0 victory for the defending world champions.