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USWNT vs. Nigeria: 4 issues we realized from USA's newest win

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The U.S. girls’s nationwide workforce christened the latest soccer stadium within the USA, Q2 Discipline in Austin, Texas, with a 2-0 win over Nigeria in what was the gamers’ ultimate alternative to impress head coach Vlatko Andonovski earlier than he names his ultimate 18-player Olympic roster.

Winger Christen Press stole the present once more and her fast considering and reactions in assault helped break down the hardest opponent the USWNT confronted in its three-game tuneup collection this month. She scored the opening aim with a first-time, left-footed shot and delivered a spectacular by means of ball for the second aim.

Listed below are 4 key takeaways from the match:

Press delivers . . . once more

She was the highest performer for the USWNT on this Olympic prep camp and we’re accustomed to seeing her ship often, however this stat actually places it into perspective:

Press says she has grow to be a greater participant over the past yr and that the remaining she acquired earlier than this camp served her properly. However her constant performances and the will she reveals in every of her USWNT appearances is probably finest captured by these phrases she shared postgame.

“I take into consideration my journey and typically how I replicate by myself profession and it is exhausting to consider that I am right here,” she stated. “So I am very grateful for all of the alternatives I’ve with the nationwide workforce and I’ll all the time preserve preventing to attain targets.”

Kristie Mewis is on the bubble

She put in a shift in midfield rather than starter Rose Lavelle, however she wasn’t actually capable of depart an imprint on the match. As one of many bubble gamers for the Olympics, it wasn’t a efficiency that moved her up the depth chart. However that may also be chalked as much as the kind of sport that unfolded and Andonovski stated as a lot after the match.

There is a case to be made that her expertise, versatility and work fee may turn out to be useful in Tokyo, however they nonetheless is probably not sufficient to justify a spot when Andonovski has simply 18 spots obtainable. But when Julie Ertz’s restoration does not progress as deliberate — Andonovski has beforehand stated he expects Ertz to have recovered from her knee damage in time for the send-off collection — which may carry Mewis again into the image.

Lloyd or Morgan at heart ahead?

Given the excessive profile of each stars, will probably be tempting within the coming weeks to have a debate as to which ought to be the starter. Carli Lloyd obtained the nod in two of the final three matches after Alex Morgan began towards Portugal.

After all, the lineup choices finally depend upon the opponent, and the USWNT noticed three groups that each one opted for defense-first approaches. Primarily based on what we noticed within the matches, Lloyd is a stable possibility towards groups that sit again due to her urgent and her capability to improvise. Having the best ahead additionally double as a playmaker provides extra methods to unravel a congested ultimate third.

Much less visitors and more room profit Morgan’s sport. Positive, she generally is a aim poacher within the field, however she’s most harmful when she will come on the protection with a head of steam. There might be video games on the Olympics, and durations inside video games, when the house might be there to be exploited.

Rose Lavelle cannot be changed

She will, however nobody within the present U.S. pool has the identical qualities that Lavelle brings to the workforce in midfield. Her 1-on-1 ability, imaginative and prescient and taking part in fashion — she’s consistently in search of connections and combos with the attackers round her — give the USWNT a movement and tempo to its attacking sport, even when in spurts, that was exhausting to recreate in her absence towards Nigeria.

Pushing Lindsey Horan from the No. 6 slot into an attacking midfield place late within the match felt partially like an try by Andonovski to inject a number of the passing aptitude that Lavelle would usually carry.

However Andonovski sounded assured that Lavelle might be prepared for the pre-Olympic send-off collection, regardless of speak of a strolling boot on the ESPN broadcast.

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