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USA vs. China, 2023 Friendly: What to watch for

It’s the final window of 2023.

USWNT Training Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF

The United States Women’s National Team begin their final window of 2023 tomorrow when they take on China in Fort Lauderdale. The USWNT have two matches against the Chinese, with the second coming in Frisco, Texas on Tuesday.

The USWNT enters this window in a new era. While interim coach Twila Kilgore remains in charge, it’s the first matches since U.S. Soccer hired Emma Hayes to take over permanently in May. Until then, she will collaborate with Kilgore on the rosters as well as style of play as we start to see her implement her tactics over the next few months.

The first test will be against a China team that made it to the 2023 Women’s World Cup, exiting in the group stage. However, the rivalry between China and the USWNT goes all the way back to the early days of the program. Only Canada has lined up more times against the USWNT than the 58 times China has previously. This will carry some weight on the field as the American players fight to show they should be factored in for the W Gold Cup and the Olympics next year.

Recent Form

USA

W (3-0) - Colombia - Friendly

D (0-0) - Colombia - Friendly

W (2-0) - South Africa - Friendly

W (3-0) - South Africa - Friendly

D (0-0) - Sweden - 2023 Women’s World Cup Round of 16*

*Lost on penalties

China

D (1-1) - South Korea - Olympic Qualifying

W (3-0) - Thailand - Olympic Qualifying

L (1-2) - North Korea - Olympic Qualifying

W (7-0) - Uzbekistan - 2023 Asian Cup 3rd Place

L (3-4) - Japan - 2023 Asian Cup Semifinals

Roster

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage)

DEFENDERS (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave), Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars), M.A. Vignola (Angel City)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns), Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Olivia Moultrie (Portland Thorns), Jenna Nighswonger (NJ/NY Gotham), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign)

FORWARDS (8): Mia Fishel (Chelsea FC), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns), Alyssa Thompson (Angel City), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC)

What To Watch For

New tactics. Will we see some of the way Emma Hayes wants us to play to be implemented in this match? I know fans want to start to see some of the glimpses of what they can expect to see from the team once Hayes takes the job permanently.

We’ll see some new combinations. One thing that will be easy to implement is trying some new combinations of players. We’re missing some of the stalwarts that fans are used to, so that should give the newer players opportunities to show they can be a part of the core moving forward.

End the year on a positive note. Above all, you still want to get the win. The players will fight hard to end a very long 2023 with some great play to carry them into the new year.

Prediction

The USWNT get it started in Fort Lauderdale, winning 3-1.