The USWNT’s Preparations for the Upcoming Olympics

The USWNT’s Preparations for the Upcoming Olympics

Jillian Shapiro '23, Staff Writer

The United States Women’s National Team has been a shining star in the world of women’s soccer with their back to back Fifa World Cup championships and immense success in the last decade. Key players such as Megan Rapino, Alex Morgan, and Julie Ertz have large social media presence and are active advocates for social and gender equality. 

The USWNT held its annual January camp in Orlando, Florida, where a combination of 27 returning and potential players showcased their skills and abilities to fight for a spot on the roster for the upcoming 2021 Summer Olympics. 

Significant returning players like the New Jersey native, Carli Lloyd, and defender Becky Sauerbrunn, who was just named captain, have been featured at the Camp. The women have completed their two scheduled friendly international games this week against the Colombian Woman’s National team. In just these two games, the United States scored a total of ten goals and conceded zero. The Mewis sisters, Samantha and Kristie, made a big impact in the first friendly, scoring a hattrick and single goal respectively. Sam was a big part of the World Cup winning team in 2019 and helped lead the team in the midfield. Kristie is getting her first call ups in the last few years after a breakout performance during the 2019-2020 National Women’s Soccer League season and the NWSL Challenge cup with the Houston Dash. 

Key Players like Tobin Heath, Christen Press, and Alex Morgan were all missing from the camp this year. Both Heath and Press have decided to continue playing on loan at Manchester United’s Women’s team in the UK, and opted not to travel to Orlando for the camp. The two strikers have had great success in Manchester and have significantly contributed to the team’s success, sitting in first place in the Women’s Super league. Alex Morgan, following her time playing on loan at Tottenham Hotspur’s Women’s team also in England, tested positive for Covid 19 during the holidays. She was left out of the camp because of U.S. Soccer’s return to play guidelines and is not yet back to full fitness. 

The Summer Olympics were planned to take place last summer but were postponed because of the pandemic. They are scheduled to take place this upcoming summer in Tokyo, Japan during July and August. Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski has to begin making the tough decisions to narrow down the team roster to just eighteen players before the games. With the amount of talent brought to the table by both young and experienced players, it is proving to be a difficult process.