It’s hardly a shock, however the USWNT walloped Jamaica 5-0 within the CONCACAF Girls’s Championship to qualify for the 2023 World Cup, the place they carry the heavy however illustrious burden of being two-time defending champs.
Sophia Smith ended any thriller concerning the contest mere minutes in, with this little bit of magic on the right-wing that included a lob that may make Novak Djokovic envious after which one other objective simply three minutes later:
Rose Lavelle would add one other early within the second half, after which Trinity Rodman would cap it off after a Kristie Mewis penalty. Due to Mexico’s loss later within the day, the U.S. is clear by way of.
Definitely, the subsequent era is beginning to entrench themselves within the lineup, as Smith, and Mallory Pugh on the opposite wing appeared deadly for many of the sport and the earlier one in opposition to Haiti. Whereas Alex Morgan bagged two objectives in opposition to Haiti, there appeared to be a bit extra stream with Ashley Hatch because the No. 9 and her higher link-up play than Morgan’s extra poacher-like strategy (and to be clear, Morgan is without doubt one of the finest objective poachers on the earth so it’s not such as you’d simply dismiss that). Hatch may have had a objective herself tonight if it wasn’t for an in depth offside name on Pugh within the build-up.
However the issues we noticed for the USWNT within the Olympics aren’t ones we’ll get extra appears to be like at till the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand subsequent summer time. The U.S. creaked closely below intense urgent from Sweden and the Dutch in Tokyo, and neither Haiti nor Jamaica, nor within the friendlies in opposition to Colombia, did we see any of that. We don’t know if Naomi Girma or Alana Prepare dinner will play their means out of bother. Or if the No. 8s, whoever they’re, will hyperlink up with Andi Sullivan because the deepest midfielder.
Secondly, although we did get a few of this, as straightforward because the U.S. discovered it to create probabilities the previous couple video games, it was additionally fairly predictable. It principally concerned Smith and Pugh operating in behind their opposing fullbacks, or pulling out large and letting Lavelle and Ashley Sanchez run by way of the half-space. Every little thing was out large. Higher organized or gifted defenses aren’t going to be so simply caught out by easy runs behind and crosses. The U.S. has not often been required to construct by way of the center, however it is going to.
That mentioned, you don’t complain about qualification and back-to-back clear sheet blowouts, and these are champagne issues. There is probably not a crew on the market that may take care of Smith and Pugh concurrently, anyway. Understanding what to do to maintain the U.S. out is one factor. Doing it’s fairly one other.