The United States Women’s National Team head to Orlando to begin the 2023 SheBelieves Cup tomorrow with a match against Canada. The USWNT, fresh off 2 road victories over New Zealand last month, play in front of the home fans for the first time in 2023.
They take on a Canada team that is very good and took them to the brink in the 2022 Concacaf W Championship final. However, they are playing this tournament under protest after expressing their desire to strike their federation over pay equity and budget cuts that will affect their preparations for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. The federation responded by threatening to sue the players if they did not play in the SheBelieves Cup, prompting the team to reluctantly head to Florida to take on the #1 team in the world.
Still, the two teams should create a very tough battle on the field, with both teams looking to show that they’re the team to beat this summer at the Women’s World Cup, and despite all the more important issues on the minds of the Canadians, both teams should focus and make this an exciting match to watch.
W (5-0) - New Zealand - Friendly
W (4-0) - New Zealand - Friendly
W (2-1) - Germany - Friendly
L (1-2) - Germany - Friendly
L (0-2) - Spain - Friendly
L (1-2) - Brazil - Friendly
W (2-1) - Brazil - Friendly
W (4-0) - Morocco - Friendly
W (2-0) - Argentina - Friendly
W (2-1) - Australia - Friendly
USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski called in 23 players for the SheBelieves Cup, with a couple of injured players making their return to the roster.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Kansas City Current), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign FC), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign)
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), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC)
What To Watch For
Midfield creativity. The midfield is the biggest question mark for the USWNT entering this match, and they will need to do a good job at creating opportunities and controlling the match. Canada’s midfield matches up pretty well, which means the USWNT’s midfielders need to play with a sense of urgency.
Kornieck at the 6. It appears that Taylor Kornieck has been anointed as the heir apparent at the 6 for Vlatko Andonovski. Fans should watch to see if she can play that position well and try her best to fill the void created by the absense of Julie Ertz and Sam Mewis.
Close the door on Canada’s opportunities. Canada’s going to come out with a bit of intensity and fire with all that’s on their collective minds, and they will seek to kick in the door and beat their archrivals. The USWNT need to eliminate any opportunity Canada thinks they have and leave it on the outside of the stadium looking in.
This is a tough match to call, so let’s call it a Mallory Swanson goal for a 1-0 victory.