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USWNT vs. New Zealand, 2023 friendly: What to watch for

We take a look at the USWNT on the first match of the calendar year.

Germany v United States - Women’s International Friendly Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The United States Women’s National Team are slated to take on Germany this weekend in a pair of friendlies, the first being tomorrow at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. As the USWNT enter the final international window of the year, they have another incredible test against the #3 ranked team in the world. However, it’s not a given whether tomorrow’s test will proceed as scheduled, as Tropical Storm Nicole bears down on the Sunshine State and is expected to hit somewhere along the eastern shore as a hurricane tomorrow.

It’s probably irresponsible to play the match in those conditions, so we’ll keep an eye on the skies and U.S. Soccer’s social media feeds to see if this match will be determined, but if it does, we shall hopefully see a spirited friendly match against two teams that want to prove they’re the team to beat when the 2023 Women’s World Cup begins next summer.

Recent Form


W (2-1) - Germany - Friendly

L (1-2) - Germany - Friendly

L (0-2) - Spain - Friendly

L (1-2) - England - Friendly

W (2-1) - Nigeria - Friendly

New Zealand

D (1-1) - South Korea - Friendly

L (0-1) - South Korea - Friendly

L (0-2) - Japan - Friendly

W (2-1) - Philippines - Friendly

W (1-0) - Mexico - Friendly


USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski has called in 24 players for these matches, with a couple of players making their return to the squad after lengthy injury absences:

Goalkeepers (3): Adrianna Franch (Kansas City Current), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

Defenders (8): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns), 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), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign)

Midfielders (7): Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns), 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), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC)

What To Watch For

Who will provide the goals? With Sophia Smith out due to a foot injury, the USWNT will be missing its leading goalscorer from 2022. The rest of the forwards will need to find the back of the net and show that goals can be had no matter who is on the field.

Midfield has to re-establish its dominance. In the three straight losses the USWNT had in the fall, the midfield repeatedly looked disconnected with the defense and offense, and they didn’t play as well as they are known to do. This match needs to be about the American midfield re-establishing that they are the dominant force in the world and that they can control the match.

Silence the crowd. The Kiwi crowd is going to be electric, the largest crowd ever for a Football Ferns match. The USWNT’s job: take that crowd out of the match. They should embrace the energy that will be collected in that stadium and take their own intensity to the next level.


It’s a pretty good start to 2023 for the USWNT. They take care of business with a 4-0 victory.