ORLANDO, FL – It was not the performance or the result the CanWNT wanted. The USWNT had a fast start to the game as Mallory Swanson scored two goals in Thursday night’s match.
Mallory Swanson Scored Two Goals in a Confident 2-0 Win Over the CanWNT
Three Keys to the Game
Full Game Summary:
The #USWNT started the game very well.
The #CanWNT made some uncharacteristic turnovers.#TeamCanada only had one shot on goal in the first half.#USAvCAN | 2-0 | #SheBelievesCup
— Last Word on Soccer (@LastWordSC) February 17, 2023
The USWNT Had a Fast Start to the Game
From when the game began, the USWNT really went on the attack. CanWNT goalkeeper, Kailen Sheridan, was forced to make a big save in the third minute of play and Vanessa Gilles had to make an impressive defensive block. However, the pressure seemed to be too much for the Canadians as Mallory Swanson scored the first goal of the game.
READ MORE: United States Predicted Lineup vs Canada in SheBelieves Cup Opener
7’ Mallory Swanson opens the scoring for the #USWNT!
The U.S.A attack has been relentless, and they finally score their goal! Alex Morgan and Trinity Rodman played a role in the goal scored. #OneSoccer#USAvCAN | 1-0 | #SheBelievesCuppic.twitter.com/Kl1WKpyLN9
— Last Word on Soccer (@LastWordSC) February 17, 2023
After that goal, the USWNT kept pressing. Lindsey Horan almost scored in the 28-minute as her shot hit the crossbar.
Clare Rustad analyzes the game, including the first goal scored by the USWNT as she said this (source: OneSoccer):
“Look how much space the Canadians give them, Chapman actually backs off Rodman at one point. Gives her about 15 yards to space to play around with this ball, doesn’t put much pressure on it, right here gives her just enough space to get this cross off,” Rustad said. “Nobody takes accountability for marking either Morgan or Swanson.”
The CanWNT Made Some Costly Turnovers
The CanWNT made some bad turnovers in the game against the USWNT. The most obvious one was the second Swanson goal.
- Adriana Leon lost the ball in the Canadian zone, but fortunately for Canada, Trinity Rodman’s shot was not strong and was saved by Sheridan.
- There was some miscommunication between Vanessa Gilles and Kailen Sheridan, which resulted in Swanson stealing the ball and scoring the goal. It was a very uncharacteristic turnover by Canada, which prides itself on its defence.
- Gilles gave up another turnover straight after the second goal was scored, but was able to defend the ball well.
The CanWNT Only Had One Shot on Goal in the First Half
Canada really struggled to find an offensive flow against the Americans in Thursday’s game. It looked like they were trying to get some opportunities via the counterattack, but were unable to break through. The four instances include:
- Canada had some possession around the 12-15 minute mark of the game.
- Crystal Dunn timed her tackle to prevent Adriana Leon to get the ball deep in the USWNT’s zone.
- Christine Sinclair’s header missed the target.
- Janine Beckie’s shot in the 45+1-minute of play was spectacularly stopped by the USWNT goalkeeper.
To credit Canada, they played better in the second half. However, the damage had already been done and it felt like the USWNT was also the better team in the second half as they had the better-scoring chances and opportunities.
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Kailen Sheridan continues to play brilliantly for the CanWNT. She played a big role in the CanWNT only losing by one goal against the USWNT back in the Concacaf W Championship Final.
She made two world-class saves, one at the early stages of the game and one later in the game. For the second save, she had to get her fingertips onto it to push it over for a corner and prevent a goal from being scored.
There were two main headlines heading into this match. One was Alex Morgan, who won the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup with the USWNT and celebrated her 200th appearance with the national team. It is a remarkable achievement for a player that has done a lot for the national team.
— Shelina Zadorsky (@Shelina4) February 16, 2023
Of course, the biggest headline was something the CanWNT had to deal with. This was the protest for better pay with the CanWNT. The CanWNT Players’ Association (officially known as the Canadian Soccer Players’ Association) put out a statement saying that Canada Soccer made significant financial cuts to the national teams five or six months before the Women’s World Cup begins. It is a possibility it was a distraction for Canada in Thursday’s night game, but all credit to the USWNT, who was the better team at the end of the day.
READ MORE: Canada Women’s National Team Controversy Unpacked
Lastly, it also shows the solidarity these two nations and neighbours had for each other despite being Concacaf rivals. Just before the game, both teams held hands together for equality and the players wore purple, which is the colour associated with the effort to get gender equality.
Games Coming Up For Both Teams
The next game for the CanWNT will be against Brazil on February 19 at 6:30 p.m. ET before ending their SheBelieves Tournament against Japan on February 22 at 4:00 p.m. ET. Like the last game, the following two games will be shown live on OneSoccer. As for the USWNT, they take on the Japanese on February 19 at 3:30 p.m. ET before closing out their SheBelieves Cup tournament against Brazil on February 22 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Both the February 19 games will take place in Nashville, Tennessee at Geodis Park while the February 23 games will happen at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.