USWNT begins World Cup qualifying quest at Concacaf W Championship

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MONTERREY, Mexico — The U.S. girls’s nationwide soccer staff, a mixture of ages and experiences however lacking a number of eminent figures, has come to this mountain-draped metropolis carrying a three-part mission assertion.

Qualify for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, a undertaking that, barring historic upsets, will come to fruition briefly order.

Qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics, which would require substantial work.

Reclaim the regional mantle from gold medalist Canada after stumbling on the Tokyo Video games final 12 months.

All three quests will play out over two weeks in two stadiums in a single eight-nation match, the Concacaf W Championship. 4 groups will qualify for the World Cup, however only one will earn an automated Olympic berth. The second invitation to Paris shall be determined in a playoff subsequent 12 months between the second- and third-place finishers right here.

“The match, the importance of it, is a bit of bit greater as a result of we do attempt to qualify for 2 main tournaments,” stated U.S. Coach Vlatko Andonovski, whose staff will start group play Monday night time towards Haiti. “We are able to have a look at Canada, [but] our focus is to be the very best we will within the first sport after which we’ll transfer on to the subsequent one.”

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For the chance to pursue a 3rd consecutive World Cup trophy subsequent summer time, the top-ranked Individuals are required to complete first or second within the group stage right here. To perform that, they most likely will want solely to defeat the Sixtieth-ranked Haitians after which No. 51 Jamaica on Thursday. In 11 conferences towards these squads, the US has received each match — by a 72-0 combination.

Ought to leads to the opposite Group A matches go away mathematical uncertainty, the Individuals would possibly want one other level July 11 towards No. 26 Mexico.

The Individuals’ report within the Mexico sequence is 39-1-1, however a giant crowd is predicted to assist an bettering dwelling aspect that’s chasing a 3rd World Cup berth in 4 makes an attempt. Moreover, that one defeat got here within the 2011 World Cup qualifiers in Cancún, a outcome that shipped the Individuals to an intercontinental playoff.

There may be better room for error lately, due to FIFA increasing the World Cup discipline, beginning in 2023, to 32 groups, a rise of eight, and together with 4 Concacaf slots as a substitute of three.

The U.S. staff will look a lot totally different right here than lately. Solely six of the 14 gamers who appeared in the 2019 World Cup remaining towards the Netherlands are on the present roster.

Carli Lloyd has retired, and Tobin Heath didn’t make the reduce. Crystal Dunn and Julie Ertz are on maternity go away. Christen Press, Sam Mewis, Abby Dahlkemper and Tierna Davidson are harm.

Newcomer Catarina Macario, who shortly grew to become one of many world’s prime gamers, tore an ACL final month. Lynn Williams can be sidelined.

Andonovski crammed the voids with, amongst others, the Washington Spirit’s Ashley Hatch, Ashley Sanchez, Trinity Rodman and Andi Sullivan (Lorton); Racing Louisville’s Emily Fox (Ashburn); and Gotham FC’s Margaret Purce (Silver Spring).

They’ve joined a core of 30-somethings: Megan Rapinoe, captain Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, Alyssa Naeher and Kelley O’Hara, who’s considered one of seven Spirit gamers on the 23-player roster.

The younger gamers have “completed [an] unbelievable job up to now, however on the similar time, we additionally know and perceive they will’t take every little thing [on] themselves,” Andonovski stated.

The center layer, by way of age and expertise, consists of 2019 World Cup hero Rose Lavelle, Lindsey Horan and Mallory Pugh.

It was vital, Andonovski added, to ask gamers who add maturity each on and off the sphere.

“They should assist [the younger players] for aggravating environments like this match,” he stated. “These younger gamers, nearly as good as they’re doing, they’re doing even higher now with the skilled gamers round them.”

Assessing the staff as an entire, Sauerbrunn stated: “This can be a motivated, hungry group. And simply being with this group, the final week and a half, two weeks, the vibes are simply actually good. The vitality is basically good and, going into a significant match, that’s one of the vital vital issues I search for: How does it really feel? And proper now it feels actually good.”

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Within the opener, the US will face an opponent with a number of gamers who’re Haitian American.

The possible beginning goalkeeper is Lara Larco, a Florida native and rising sophomore at Georgetown. She was third string final fall and redshirted.

Defender Claire Fixed, a senior at Virginia, was The Publish’s 2018 All-Met Participant of the Yr at T.C. Williams (now generally known as Alexandria Metropolis). Midfielder Milan Pierre-Jerome, a Florida native, transferred this 12 months to George Mason from Maryland.

“It’s a really particular sport for these gamers,” Haiti Coach Nicolas Delépine stated. “We discuss that with the gamers as a result of it’s not really easy for [them] to play towards the USA. We have now a variety of younger gamers within the staff, and the [best opportunity] to get confidence is to play towards the very best staff.”

The Haitians see the large image, which is ending forward of Mexico and Jamaica within the group.

“If we [do] one thing incorrect or one thing good [Monday], it’s probably not crucial,” Delépine stated. “What’s most vital is to get confidence, get expertise for the 2 subsequent video games.”

Canada, Costa Rica, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago comprise Group B, which can start play Tuesday.

CBS Sports activities, which owns English TV rights to the match, will carry Monday’s matches and the July 14 semifinals on CBS Sports activities Community and Paramount Plus, a pay streaming service. All different video games are on Paramount Plus solely. ViX, a streaming service owned by Univision, will present matches in Spanish.


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