The new-looking US women’s national team will make its debut in Australia for the first time in 21 years, ending a long season. This will be one of the few friendly matches for the American team in the last 18 months.
Vratko Andnovsky said Thursday that it’s no coincidence that Americans will face Australia in two games in the country co-sponsoring the 2023 Women’s World Cup, a four-time US tournament.
Americans still need to technically qualify for the 2023 event, which is a natural conclusion that it should be confirmed early next year.
“We wanted to test our players against one of the best teams in the world,” Andnovsky said in a conference call from the team’s training camp in Sydney. “But also test for adversity, long trips, and jet lag after many years. As soon as you enter the game, you’ll see who was cut for this and who wasn’t.”
The American women’s soccer team won the silver medal after playing last in Australia at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and losing to Norway 3-2 in the final.
The United States will play Matildas at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium, which is expected to attract 35,000-40,000 spectators on Saturday, and next Tuesday will play in the city of Newcastle, about a two-hour drive north of Sydney.
Andnovsky will do this with a lineup that is significantly different from what beat Australia 4-3 in the bronze medal match at the Tokyo Olympics in August. The Americans lost only two games this year, but it was an important one. It was 3-0 against Sweden in the round-robin part of the Olympic tournament and 1-0 against Canada, who finally won the gold medal in the semi-finals.
In the match in Australia, there are only 10 players on the 22-player list of the team that played at the Tokyo Olympics. There are 12 members with less than 10 international caps, including 5 players without caps.
Lindsey Horan, a 27-year-old midfielder, has played 106 games since 2013, scoring 24 goals and becoming one of the veterans of the US team.
“I want to be their role model,” Horan said in a conference call. “It’s exciting to see new young players coming in and starting a new cycle, a new era.”
Tony Gustavsson, head coach of Matildas, a former USWNT assistant coach, said the Americans would be the sixth top 10 team his 11th-placed Australian team faced in 2021.
“Every match, we continue to improve the day as a team and at the same time continue to provide young players with a valuable experience,” he said when the match was announced. “The US Women’s National Team is a quality team throughout the park and will be another big challenge for the playgroup.”
Veteran striker Samantha Kerr is expected to lead Australia in the match. The 28-year-old car has scored 49 goals in 102 Australian games. She plays club soccer in Chelsea, England.
She has always been mentioned as one of the best players ever to play in women’s games.
“It’s up to others to decide,” Carr told the Australian Associated Press this week. “I will participate in the conversation, win as many trophies as possible, and do everything I can to get people to speak for years to come.”
Andnovsky has no doubt that Kerr belongs to that conversation.
“She is one of the best strikers in the world,” said Andnovsky. “I would say stop a player like Samantha Kerr … but I can determine where I am, especially because I want to play against the youngest team and the best players.”
For those young men, US defender Abby Dahlkemper was asked if there was a group join session for new players on Thursday. She typically had an Australian-centric reaction.
“I saw koalas and kangaroos and did a harbor cruise (in Sydney),” said Dar Kemper. “It’s important to experience culture.”
US women’s soccer team in Australia with 2023 World Cup in mind – Press Telegram Source link US women’s soccer team in Australia with 2023 World Cup in mind – Press Telegram