The United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) will play their final match of the SheBelieves Cup this evening. They will take on FIFA 31st ranked Argentina Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida. The Lady Yanks are in first place with six total points and lead second-place Brazil by three points. Argentina currently sits in fourth place.
USWNT is set to play in the 2021 Summer Olympics Games in Tokyo. Head coach Vlatko Andonovski has been using sequential camps and friendlies to evaluate invited players, including Coloradoans Lindsey Horan, Sophia Smith, and Jaelin Howell. Both Horan and Smith have made appearances in this tournament. Howell has suited up but has yet to come off of the bench.
During the next four months, the steady head coach will pair down his candidates to just 18 players and four alternates for the Olympic team roster.
On Sunday, Team USA defeated Brazil 2-0 with goals coming from Christen Press and Megan Rapinoe. Rush Colorado alum, Lindsey Horan stepped up again and assisted on both goals. After the match, Press told members of the media, “Lindsey played me a great ball in on a diagonal so that I wasn’t in a crossing situation, I was actually able to cut in and open up the angle of the goal ... and that’s what I want to do, it’s my signature shot and my signature style so it was great to see it go in the back of the net.”
Twenty-year-old forward and Real Colorado alum Sophia Smith earned her second cap for the Lady Yanks and made her first appearance of the 2021 season. She came in for Lynn Williams early in the second half.
During his virtual post-match meeting with the press, Andonovski said, “I’m very happy that we’re creating chances and the fact that we’re doing it in a manner that is very creative with some good plays makes me very happy and tells me that we’re moving in the right direction. Now the fact that we’re not finishing, it’s not disappointing, but it’s something we need to address.”
Argentina vs USA
Argentina is ranked 3rd in their CONMEBOL FIFA region. Their roster is not as deep in NWSL players as Canada and Brazil, but their lone star is Mariana Larroquette who plays for FC Kansas City. She is a fast forward who can score goals and has scored 9 goals in 29 appearances for her country. The rest of the players on their roster play in South America and Europe.
At the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, a young La Albiceleste side impressed the world with a 0-0 tie against 2015 Women’s World Cup finalists Japan, then suffered a 1-0 loss to England, and concluded with a 3-3 draw with Scotland.
The most recent meeting between the USA and Argentina came in 2014 when the USA traveled to Brazil for a friendly tournament. Team USA won 7-0 when Christen Press scored four goals and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher earned her first career shutout for the United States.
How to Watch
Match Date/Time: Wednesday, February 24 at 5 p.m. MT
Venue: Exploria Stadium — Orlando, Florida
TV Information: FS1 and TUDN
U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM 2021 SHEBELIEVES CUP ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB/UNIVERSITY; CAPS/GOALS)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 4), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 66)
DEFENDERS (8): Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City, ENG; 64/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 27/1), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 108/24), Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars; 33/0), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit; 133/2), Margaret Purce (Sky Blue FC; 5/1), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 180/0), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 49/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 106/20), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 89/20), Jaelin Howell (Florida State; 1/0), Rose Lavelle (Manchester City, ENG; 49/14), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA; 3/1), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 19/3)
FORWARDS (6): Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 297/123), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 171/107), Christen Press (Manchester United, ENG; 140/58), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 171/54), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 1/0), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 32/10)
ARGENTINA WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM 2021 SHEBELIEVES CUP ROSTER BY POSITION AND AFFILIATION
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Solana Pereyra (U.D. Tacuense, ESP), 12- Laurina Oliveros (Boca Juniors)
DEFENDERS (8): 2-Agustina Barroso (Palmeiras (BRA), 3-Eliana Stabile (Boca Juniors), 4-Marina Delgado (UAI Urquiza), 6-Aldana Cometti (Levante U.D., ESP), 13-Sophia Braun (Gonzaga University, USA), 18-Romina Nuñez (UAI Urquiza), 21-Adriana Sachs (Boca Juniors), 22-Natalie Juncos (Racing)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 5-Vanesa Santana (Sporting Huelva, ESP), 8-Clarisa Huber (Boca Juniors), 10 Dalila Ippolito (Juventus, ITA), 14- Miriam Mayorga (Boca Juniors), 16-Lorena Benitez (Boca Juniors), 17-Valentina Camara (C.D. Femarguín, ESP), 20-Daiana Falfan (UAI Urquiza)
FORWARDS (6): 7-Yael Oviedo (Independiente Santa Fe, COL), 9-Sole Jaimes (Changchun Dazhong, CHN), 11-Yamila Rodriguez (Boca Juniors), 15-Milagros Menendez (Granada F.C., ESP), 19-Mariana Larroquette (Kansas City NWSL, USA)