United States of america opened his 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Friday’s campaign kicks off with a 3-0 win in Group E for the first time Vietnam Eden Park, New Zealand.
The United States – which has won the tournament four times including the last two – is hoping for an unprecedented three-peat this year, having improved its record in the group stage to 21-3-1 with Friday’s win.
In addition, the USWNT ranked first in the World Cup, now undefeated, scoring an all-time 39–4–0 record.
The “World Cup Now” crew – Jimmy Conrad, Leslie Osborne and Melissa Ortiz – were joined by Stu Holden and 2015 World Cup champion and three-time Olympic gold medalist Heather O’Reilly. Together, they discussed their favorite findings from Friday’s tilt.
Conrad: “One of my favorite things in particular were Lindsay Horan’s entrance passes. She would get a ball from one of the outside defenders – Crystal Dunn or Emily Fox. [and] It’ll be a square ball inside her, and she’ll play straight forward either at the feet of Sophia Smith or – as we saw in the first goal – at the feet of Alex Morgan. It’s very hard to defend and I want to see more of it.
Osborne: “I have to say Sophia Smith. I mean she was incredible from the start. We cheered her on, we talked about how good she is, and she wasn’t just a goalie, she was all over the pitch tonight. I think this team will need him to continue and push him forward. I am very happy to see her score but also how confident she is and how easy it is to play with her.
Ortiz: “Emily Fox, she’s one of the fastest players on this team and I think she showed that today. [just] He. I love that when she got the ball she looked to Lindsay Horan and she had that option, or the option was off, or to go fast to the defender. … So many ways of her versatility that she can bring to this game, and I think what she did was just open up the field and show what she can bring from her outside position.
Holden: “I’m going to make sure the replacements get some minutes. …I love seeing Rose LaValle back there. … For someone who hasn’t played since April to get on the pitch – she had a few chances, she hit a crossbar and a late header – I think it’s a good sign that she’s coming in after some healthy minutes.
O’Reilly: “Tried and tested endline pace dribble – it works like a charm! … He has pace and ambition.”
Stu Holden has ‘a feeling’ and predicts USWNT goals in real time
Just before the United States scored in the 55th minute of Friday’s game, Stu Holden claimed he thought the USWNT would score.
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