Just days ago, England’s men put on a great second half performance against Germany at Wembley. Now, it is the turn of the women’s team, the Lionesses. Just two games have been played since that historic final of the European Championships, in which Chloe Kelly scored the decisive goal for England. This time around, it is the Lionesses vs USWNT in what promises to be a true spectacle.
Previewing the Lionesses vs USWNT Fixture
World Champions Versus European Champions
The headlines write themselves ahead of this meeting. There aren’t many countries at the top of their game like these two and so it will be an intriguing measuring stick going forward. Sadly, it is slightly overshadowed by the issues surrounding the NWSL with constant abuse from the powers that be.
Ahead of the game, Megan Rapinoe said that “even when you know it, it’s just horrifying over and over to read. It’s been difficult for the players, some of those players play in those clubs, have been coached by those coaches, likely have been abused in one form or another.” The detailed reporting and exposure of this situation, whilst tough to read, is hugely important.
WATCH LIVE: Vlatko and Pinoe preview tomorrow's match at Wembley 🇺🇸
🎥 Stream » https://t.co/4X2JvUIKkN pic.twitter.com/qJcBcbheES
— U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (@USWNT) October 6, 2022
Back to the game at hand and the pair’s last meeting came at the 2020 SheBelieves Cup. Goals from Christen Press and Carli Lloyd made the difference in what was a disappointing tournament for England. The Lionesses vs USWNT was a major fixture the year previous at the last World Cup in which the latter came out on top. Press was again on target as well as Alex Morgan, these strikes coming either side of a customary Ellen White goal.
“It’s not actually an important game, but it’s a good game.” These were the words of USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski and it certainly rings true. It may well be more of a case of enjoying the moment and seeing who is offering what for next year’s World Cup.
Read More: England Women Triumph at Euro 2022 – What It Means for the Women’s Game
Team News for the Lionesses vs USWNT
This past week or so has been a case of blow after blow for Sarina Wiegman. A number of players have had to pull out of the squad with injuries, most notably the captain herself Leah Williamson. Even at such a young age, Williamson is a natural lead both on and off the field for her country and her beloved Arsenal too.
Alessia Russo, who was the ultimate super-sub in the Euros, is another to be forced out, potential debutant Lucy Parker of West Ham United too. Another WSL double act in Nikita Parris and defender Lotte Wubben-Moy of Manchester United and Arsenal respectively have joined up with the team.
➡️ @lottewubbenmoy and @lilkeets will join up with the squad later today following injuries to @Lucy_Parker98 and @leahcwilliamson.
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) October 4, 2022
On the flip side, the USWNT fanbase themselves have raised several questions over the selections made by Andonovski in recent months. The passing of the torch is taking place as Carli Lloyd and co are phased out. In their place, Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit) and Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns) are just a few bright names from the next generation.
Ebony Salmon of the Houston Dash and former Dash player Rachel Daly are two familiar faces for those of a US persuasion. Their other fixture in this window, as well as the Lionesses vs USWNT, is against Spain and so there may well be a balance across the two games from Andonovski.
In a more general sense, Rapinoe showed optimism towards the spectacle of it all. “There is a reason we’re at Wembley right now, there’s a reason that there are 90,000 people coming.” Growth is the buzzword, with the Lionesses having had such a sensational summer. These are two elite sides and the Lionesses vs USWNT will always be fascinating.