USWNT Fans received news earlier this week that will have a major impact on the form of the national team entering an important year. Sam Mewis announced yesterday that she has received knee surgery, USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonoski’s youth movement looks more critical.
Mewis had already missed the 2020 Olympics and was rehabbing the same knee injury that required surgery. For Andonovski, she appears to be another factor in keeping an eye on young players at the Women’s World Cup this summer. It was only a matter of time before we saw a shift in USWNT players to another era, but labor disputes kept it in the dark for the past four years. Still, the talent of the generation developed in the meantime, but a three-game losing streak towards the end of last year gave pundits something to criticize for coming to final training camp before July.
Mewis’ injury is the worst news for USWNT morale, but a transition seems inevitable.Midfield was without Mewis and Julie Ertz (he was gave birth Andonovski had no choice but to try new trios and tactics in midfield.
For the CONCACAF W Championship, Andonovski used Lindsey Horan, Rose Ravel and Andy Sullivan. The trio seemed to fit well into Andonovski’s potential system of needing Horan and Lovell to force a turnover in the opposition’s backline. We also saw the rise of Ashley Sanchez, who might. Sanchez finished his 2022 with 15 caps and he scored 3 goals. The 2016 Young Women’s Player of the Year was first called up at the age of 17 and has been promoted every season since.
“I could see right away that she was a good player, but she still had a long way to go at the senior level.” Kelly O’Hara said about her washington spirit teammate. “But I never thought I’d go camping at that age.”
It wasn’t until the Concacafe W Championship was complete and the team qualified for the 2023 Women’s World Cup and the 2024 Olympics that concerns began to emerge.trip to europe of NWSLMore The scandal was made public days before a sold-out friendly at Wembley Stadium. It was clear to everyone that the players were mentally exhausted after the games against England and Spain in October. Still, the youth movement has also made it clear that it may be unprepared for European nations seeking to end America’s dominant World Cup run.
Defensively, the USWNT looks penetrable in the absence of Ertz and Mewis. Mewis was once thought best midfielder in the world, and Aerts was recognized as the most dominant defensive midfielder for how well he could cover the pitch. Replacing that kind of talent was no fun for Andonovsky.
Against New Zealand, he tried to use Taylor Koernake as a defensive midfielder, but the USWNT struggled to find a rhythm. Andy Sullivan entered the game at halftime and the USWNT scored his four goals in the second half. But Sullivan isn’t good enough to replace Julie Ertz’s defensive prowess, and it’s certainly unfair to ask someone else. Although she could be called up to help out in defensive midfield, she didn’t play in the friendly against New Zealand.
Unlike the CONCACAF W Championship nations, the European nations did not give the ball to the powerful Americans. England and Spain hold far more aggressive power. The Lioness had him 69% possession against the USWNT due to a midfield upset. The same was true for Germany and Spain.
Andonovski said the list of players considering slots for the Women’s World Cup has dwindled to 32. The SheBelieves Cup provided another opportunity for Andonovski to find the right mix for the midfield hole, and he once again won the Fountain of Youth.