USWNT Ready to Gear Up for 2020 Olympics!

Lindsay Kupka, Staff Writer

5 people who were on the 2019 World Cup Qualifying roster will not be able to go to Tokyo.”

— Lindsay Kupka

Although the USA Women’s Soccer Team won the 2019 World Cup, they are ready to avenge what happened in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro to win a gold medal in 2020. In a shocking quarterfinal upset, the USWNT lost to Sweden 1-1, in penalty kicks from a ratio of 4-3. The USWNT has dominated since then, however. In June 2017, the USA reclaimed its #1 World Ranking in FIFA’s Global rankings and has not fallen from #1 ever since.

 

Even though the team’s legendary coach, Jill Ellis, who has back-to-back World Cup titles in both 2015 and 2019, stepped down in October, the team is favored to win big at the Summer Olympics in 2020 and on October 28th, 2019, USA Soccer announced the new head coach for the USWNT would be Vlatko Andonovski. 

 

“I love big games. Even if they are friendly, our players love big games and I know the fans love to see us play the best teams in the world, so these matches in April will be a lot of fun and also great tests for our team and players. Both teams have fantastic coaches and present different styles of play with quite a few dangerous attackers, including some of the best forwards in the world. I can’t emphasize enough how valuable it is for our coaches and players to have to figure out ways to deal with that and be successful.” ”

— Vlatko Andonovski

The USWNT has also announced its preliminary and friendly matches before the Olympics begin in late July in Tokyo, Japan. The women’s team will play Australia on April 10th and Brazil on April 14th. Australia and Brazil are both ranked in the top 10 in the world, at 7 and 9 respectively. When asked about the high competitiveness of the match, new coach Vlatko Andonovski says, “I love big games. Even if they are friendly, our players love big games and I know the fans love to see us play the best teams in the world, so these matches in April will be a lot of fun and also great tests for our team and players. Both teams have fantastic coaches and present different styles of play with quite a few dangerous attackers, including some of the best forwards in the world. I can’t emphasize enough how valuable it is for our coaches and players to have to figure out ways to deal with that and be successful.”

Even though the USWNT is still ranked #1 in the world and favored to win the gold medal this summer, they face some big problems before they are able to succeed. Because the Olympics require each team to have a limited number of people on the roster, the USWNT must only have 18 players on the roster. This means that 5 people who were on the 2019 World Cup Qualifying roster will not be able to go to Tokyo. The safe bets for which players will be selected and go to Tokyo are Alyssa Naeher, Ashlyn Harris, Kelley O’Hara, Crystal Dunn, Julie Ertz, Rose Lavelle, Megan Rapione, Tobin Heath, and Christen Press. However, that leaves 9 spots still available for other wild cards and new head coach, Vlatko Andonovski has been reported to have looked at more than 100 players already. 

 

This is the USA’s 7th straight Olympic appearance and they want to become the first women’s team to follow a world cup win with a gold medal win at the Olympics. With all eyes on the USWNT in 2020, they have already started their revenge tour and are ready to avenge their 2016 quarterfinal loss and possibly make history!