A brand new-look U.S. girls’s nationwide team ends a protracted season with its first look in Australia in 21 years. It comes in one of many few away friendlies for the American team in the previous 18 months.
Coach Vlatko Andonovski on Thursday mentioned it’s no coincidence that the Americans are enjoying Australia in two matches in the nation, which can co-host the 2023 Women’s World Cup, a event the united stateshas received 4 instances.
The Americans nonetheless technically must qualify for the 2023 occasion, however that is a foregone conclusion that ought to be confirmed early subsequent yr.
“We wanted to test the players against one of the best teams in the world,” Andonovski mentioned throughout a convention name from the team’s coaching camp in Sydney. “But also test them for the adversity, long travel, jet lag after a long year. I think very quickly into the game we will find out who is cut out for this and who is not.”
An American women’s soccer team final performed in Australia on the Sydney 2000 Olympics, taking house a silver medal after dropping 3-2 to Norway in the ultimate.
The U.S. performs the Matildas on Saturday at Sydney’s Olympic stadium, the place a crowd of between 35,000 and 40,000 is anticipated, and once more subsequent Tuesday at Newcastle, a metropolis a few two-hour drive north of Sydney.
Andonovski will achieve this with a far completely different lineup than the one which beat Australia 4-3 in the bronze medal match on the Tokyo Olympics in August. The Americans have misplaced simply two matches this yr, however they had been vital ones — 3-Zero to Sweden in the round-robin portion of the Olympic event and 1-Zero to the eventual gold medal-winning Canada in the semifinals.
For the matches in Australia, there are solely 10 gamers in the 22-player roster from the squad which performed on the Tokyo Games. There are 12 members with 10 or fewer worldwide caps, together with 5 uncapped gamers.
Lindsey Horan, a 27-year-old midfielder, has turn out to be one of many veterans of the U.S. squad, enjoying in 106 matches since 2013 and scoring 24 targets.
“I’d like to be a role model for them,” Horan mentioned in the course of the convention name. “It’s exciting to see, new younger players coming in and to start a new cycle, a new era.”
Matildas head coach Tony Gustavsson, a former assistant coach with the USWNT, mentioned the Americans would be the sixth high 10 team his No. 11-ranked Australian squad has confronted in 2021.
“With each match, we are continuing to get one day better as a team, and at the same time providing invaluable experience to the younger players,” he mentioned when the matches had been introduced. “The U.S. Women’s National Team are a team with quality across the park and will mark another great challenge for the playing group.”
Veteran striker Sam Kerr is anticipated to steer Australia in the matches. The 28-year-old Kerr has 49 targets in 102 matches for Australia. She performs membership soccer for Chelsea in England.
She’s all the time talked about among the many greatest gamers ever to go well with up in the ladies’s recreation.
“That’s for other people to decide,” Kerr instructed Australian Associated Press this week. “I do everything I can to be in that conversation and win as many trophies and be talked about by people for years to come.”
Andonovski has little doubt Kerr belongs in that dialog.
“She is one of the best strikers in the world,” Andonovski mentioned. “I wish we can say we will stop a player like Sam Kerr . . . but we want to play against the best, particularly with a young team, so we can gauge where we are.”
For these children, U.S. defender Abby Dahlkemper was requested Thursday if there had been any group bonding classes for the brand new gamers. She gave a usually Australian-centric response.
“We’ve seen koalas, kangaroos and done a (Sydney) harbor cruise,” Dahlkemper mentioned. “It’s vital to expertise the tradition. “