2019 Women's World Cup: Getting to know the USWNT



With the 2019 Women’s World Cup less than a month out, we here at For The Win wanted to preview every team that will feature in this tournament. We’ll start with the United States Women’s National Team.

USWNT Group F schedule

Tuesday, June 11, 3 p.m. ET vs. Thailand

Sunday, June 16, Noon ET vs. Chile

Thursday, June 20, 3 p.m. ET vs. Sweden

Key players

The entire USWNT roster will contribute in some way, shape or form in this tournament, but here are some key players that will be needed in a big way.

Tobin Heath

A lot of pundits have wondered when the U.S. would produce a world-class technical player, when we already went and did that in Tobin Heath. Heath has progressed beyond the technical flair she showed early in her career, however, and has become the team’s most complete attacking player.

Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Heath can beat people off the dribble, always, but she’s added a finishing product, scoring 10 goals for the USWNT since the start of the 2018 campaign.

Lindsey Horan

Horan is a fantastic box-to-box midfielder who’s coming off an MVP season in NWSL. She’ll be tasked with doing a lot for USWNT head coach Jill Ellis, who’s struggled to figure out the team’s midfield in the run up to this tournament. Horan can score, but it remains to be seen if Ellis will give her the freedom to roam the field, or if she’ll be needed to stay more central and defensive to provide this team the cover it needs.

Alex Morgan

Alex Morgan’s pace and touch makes her a nightmare for just about any defender alive. The USWNT has a lot of promising attackers — Crystal Dunn (who has to play left back for this team), Mallory Pugh, Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press — but Morgan is a pure game-breaker. Give her the ball and a half step on a defender and it’s over.

Recent World Cup history

The USWNT won the 2015 World Cup in one of the most memorable American soccer games of all time. (You know, the one where Carli Lloyd went and dropped a 16-minute hat trick and seemingly broke the game of soccer.)

The final was USA 5 – 2 Japan and the game wasn’t that close.

The USWNT made the final again in the 2011 World Cup, though they lost in penalties to Japan in that match after finishing 2-2 in regulation.

Basically, the USWNT expect to be in the final. Every World Cup, every time. They’ve got arguably the most talented team in the world, and have shown the ability to perform at the highest level.

What experts are saying about USA

The big question mark heading into this World Cup isn’t so much about the talent available to the USWNT — it’s there in spades — but rather what coach Jill Ellis is going to do with that talent.

For how many good players the USWNT has, Ellis has struggled to find a consistent lineup, using the run up to the World Cup to try all sorts of players, formations, positions, etc. This has experts who follow the team very closely concerned about how Ellis will put it all together.

Here’s SB Nation’s Kim McCauley on Ellis:

Head coach Jill Ellis set up her team to fail in the first two matches [of the SheBelieves Cup] and was bailed out by brilliant individual talent, as is the USWNT’s usual mode of operation. Despite declaring last August’s Tournament of Nations as the end of the USWNT’s experimentation period and the start of World Cup preparations in earnest, Ellis continues to test wild ideas without any reasonable hypotheses.

Experts are also concerned about the roster that Ellis has picked, arguing that she prioritized experience over form … and didn’t provide herself enough cover with several key positions, especially fullback.

From Caitlin Murray in the Guardian:

The US have a depth problem at full-back. The only defender that has been playing as a left-back is the starter, Crystal Dunn (and she’s not even a left-back for her club). The other option on the left would have been Casey Short, but Ellis cut her in a surprise move, despite Short’s consistent call-ups. The 2015 squad didn’t have the best depth either, but the Americans were lucky it was never needed.

How to be a fan

If you live in this country, it’s not hard to be a fan of the USWNT. To be a better fan, you should be watching NWSL — the quality has never been higher, and you get to watch these players do their thing more than once every four years.

That and this GIF should be all you need:

nt”



Via OverwatchWire


Like it? Share with your friends!

What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
0
hate
confused confused
0
confused
fail fail
0
fail
fun fun
0
fun
geeky geeky
0
geeky
love love
0
love
lol lol
0
lol
omg omg
0
omg
win win
0
win
Choose A Format
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Poll
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Story
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
List
The Classic Internet Listicles
Countdown
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Meme
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Video
Youtube, Vimeo or Vine Embeds
Audio
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Image
Photo or GIF
Gif
GIF format