2021 US Women’s Olympic Football Team: List, Starting XI, Top Subs and Jerseys | Launderer report
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The United States women’s soccer team enters the Tokyo Olympics as the favorite to win the gold medal.
The USWNT won four of five gold medals awarded from 1996-2012, but fell short in 2016 with a quarterfinal loss to Sweden.
Vlatko Andonovsky’s side are one of the most experienced teams to honor an Olympic football tournament, and they come with a lot of motivation to erase the poor result by their 2016 standards.
The USWNT’s Olympic roster begins Wednesday with a chance to avenge its loss in the last Games to Sweden, one of the team’s biggest rivals in the past decade.
Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Co. are also aligned with Australia and New Zealand in Group G. Japan, Canada, Great Britain and Chile reside in Group E. China, Brazil, Zambia and the Netherlands sit in Group F.
USWNT Olympic List
Goalkeepers: Alyssa Naeher, Adrianna Franch, Jane Campbell
Defenders: Abby Dahlkemper, Tierna Davidson, Crystal Dunn, Casey Krueger, Kelley O’Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn, Emily Sonnett
Midfielder : Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Catarina Macario, Kristie Mewis, Samantha Mewis
Forward: Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Christen Press, Megan Rapinoe, Lynn Williams
The USWNT’s starting XI is easy to put together for Andonovski due to the team’s high-quality players.
Alyssa Naeher is the first choice goalie. Becky Sauerbrunn and Abby Dahlkemper have started five of the last six friendlies at center-back. Crystal Dunn is left-back and Kelley O’Hara will start at right-back.
Julie Ertz has been the best selection in the defensive midfielder when in good health, but is recovering from an injury that kept her from playing in the home preparation games. If she can’t make it on Wednesday, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle and Samantha Mewis are expected to start in midfield.
The toughest selection decision for Andonovski comes out on top, where he must choose three forwards from a collection of five players, all with at least 149 international appearances and 35 goals.
Christen Press was the only member of the quintet to start the last two warm-ups against Mexico. She has five goals in 2021, including two in one of the last farewell games.
Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan have all scored numerous goals at the highest international level. Whichever member of the trio leaves the bench, he could be considered the most dangerous replacement in the tournament.
The same title could be applied to Tobin Heath, who can be a game-changer on the wing as a starter or substitute. Heath has the fewest international goals among the five potential forwards, but she still has 171 caps and 35 goals.
Expect Andonovski to spin the players around to find the right combination throughout the group stage.
The USWNT are set to play three group games in six days at three venues, so there should be plenty of chances for different players to shine.
Even though its first game of the group stage is tough, the USWNT’s overall competition is lighter than it could have been in the 12-team tournament.
Germany and France did not participate in the Olympics because UEFA uses the FIFA Women’s World Cup finish places as a qualifying procedure. This means that two of the top three teams in the FIFA Women’s World Ranking will not compete in Japan.
Sweden could be seen as the biggest threat to the USWNT’s gold medal race. Sweden are the only team to have drawn with the United States in 2021. The USWNT have beaten all of their other opponents this calendar year.
If the USWNT beat Sweden in the opener of the group stage, the way should be clear to win Group G and stage a quarterfinal match with a third team from Group E or F.
Other contenders could emerge throughout the tournament, but it’s tough to pick against a team that hasn’t lost in 2021 and enters Tokyo with added motivation to straighten out the early exit from five years ago. .