USWNT vs. Nigeria: Top Storylines and Friendly Predictions 2022 | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats & Rumors
AP Photo/Roberto Martinez
The United States Women’s National Team begins its third two-game series against an opponent in 2022 on Saturday afternoon.
The USWNT takes on Nigeria inside Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas in a two-game, four-day stretch.
Most of the players who won the Concacaf W Championship in July are on Vlatko Andonovski’s squad list for the two friendlies in September.
The USWNT will use back-to-back friendlies to begin preparing for the 2023 Women’s World Cup and the 2024 Summer Olympics. The team also needs to be strong ahead of a clash with England on October 7.
Nigeria enters the overall matches ranked 46th in the FIFA World Rankings. The Super Falcons will use Saturday’s game in Kansas City and Tuesday’s clash in Washington DC as the start of preparation for the Women’s World Cup. They qualified by finishing fourth in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.
USWNT vs. Nigeria News
Date: Saturday September 3
Start time: 1 p.m. ET
Direct: FoxSports.com and the Fox Sports app
Focus on the composition of the 2023 World Cup
Now that the Americans have qualified for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2023, they can focus on booking seats on the plane for the tournament.
Manager Vlatko Andonovski opted for consistency with his roster for the first matches after the World Cup and Olympic qualifying tournament which took place in Mexico in July.
Kelley O’Hara and Trinity Rodman are the only two members of the 23-person squad that traveled to Mexico who will not be available for September friendlies. O’Hara is struggling with an injury and Rodman has a family commitment.
Hailie Mace and Savannah DeMelo were named in place of O’Hara and Rodman. Mace could play in front of the home crowd at his local club. She is the only Kansas City Current member of the NWSL to be on the roster for Saturday’s game in Kansas City.
The competition for some places could even be tough for players who were in Mexico for the qualifying tournament.
Most players with 15 caps or less have the most incentive to impress as their seats are still guaranteed on the plane to Australia and New Zealand.
It’s safe to assume Alyssa Naeher, Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, Lindsey Horan and Rose Lavelle are among the players already heading to the Women’s World Cup.
A World Cup roster without Megan Rapinoe doesn’t seem normal, but at 37 she may have to work her way through the squad to fend off the challenges of young forwards.
This could be one of the tough decisions looming for Andonovski, or Rapinoe could be in such good shape that she fights her way up the roster and another veteran’s spot is threatened by rising talent. .
Any games before the roster is finalized next summer will be important for players on the fringes of the roster, and Andonovski should give those candidates enough playing time to maximize the talent heading to the Southern Hemisphere in 2023. .
Home unbeaten streak can be extended to 70
The USWNT enters Saturday with a 69-game unbeaten streak at home.
In 2022, the Americans have six wins and a draw at home. They have beaten their opponents 33-1 in home games this year.
The USWNT’s only mistake came in January when they played out a scoreless draw with the Czech Republic to open their calendar year in the SheBelieves Cup.
Since then, the USWNT has beaten a few opposing defenses by scoring at least five goals on four occasions. The only concession on home soil came with a 70th-minute strike from Uzbekistan in a 9-1 blowout on 9 April.
The USWNT showed their form in Mexico in July, as they did not concede a goal in five matches at the Concacaf W Championship. The team outscored their opponents 13-0 in this tournament.
A similar result is expected on Saturday against a Nigeria side that finished fourth in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in July. The Super Falcons could be considered a tough opponent, however, as they limited Canada to four goals in two games in April, one of which was a 2-2 draw.
The USWNT should be wary of the threat posed by Nigeria, but they have the quality all over the pitch to produce another win and extend a home unbeaten run to 70 games.
Prediction: USWNT 3, Nigeria 0
The USWNT have too much quality on offense, led by Morgan, and their defense has been superb throughout 2022. Expect the Americans to not allow themselves many chances and end up breaking the back line of the Nigeria for some counts.