PREVIEW – The United States Women’s National Team take on Portugal in the middle of the night for most Americans tonight. It is their final group stage match of the 2023 Women’s World Cup. Win and they are through to the Round of 16. Lose, and they are most likely out of the tournament. All the scenarios are covered here. Let’s take a look at how Vlatko Andonovski could have the USWNT lineup for this night-owl special.
USWNT Portugal Lineup Prediction
USWNT so far at the World Cup:
Let’s start with the fact that the second half against the Netherlands was some of the best football they’ve played in months. The urgency was there. They created numerous chances from the run of play and on restarts. Despite the Oranje putting numbers behind the ball, they had transition moments. On another day where Alex Morgan and Trinity Rodman are in form, that game ends 2-1 or better. Lindsey Horan has been fantastic as co-captain. She and Sophia Smith have two goals each and are the only players to score so far for Andonovski.
Naomi Girma has not looked out of place. They’ve moved the ball decently well. The finishing has not been there yet. Credit to Vietnam goalkeeper Trần Thị Kim Thanh and the entire Dutch defense for making the Americans earn all four of their goals.
Questions to Consider:
Rose Lavelle played the entire second half of the last game, a first for her Down Under. That’s encouraging as she’s worked her way back from a knee injury. Could she be ready to start and bring creativity to the midfield? It’s understood that Megan Rapinoe was going to be a super sub this tournament. Given Rodman has not finished her opportunities, does Rapinoe start this game or get subbed in relatively early? The defense had some nervy moments as well. The goal conceded last match was a defensive breakdown. Does Andonovski change the shape or move players around so Julie Ertz is no longer out of position at center back? Or do they do something else in order to have more consistent control of the midfield to prevent this?
USWNT Lineup Prediction vs Canada:
GK – Alyssa Naeher
RB – Emily Fox
CB – Julie Ertz
CB – Naomi Girma
LB – Crystal Dunn
RM – Rose Lavelle
CM – Andi Sullivan
LM – Lindsey Horan
RW – Trinity Rodman
CF – Alex Morgan
LW – Sophia Smith
That’s right. This writer things Vlatko will start the lineup that finished the game against the Netherlands for continuity. He’s going to keep it simple.
Photo Credit: John Babiak
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