It was a pair of wins for the United States Women’s National Team this week as it defeated both Sweden and Norway on the road. There was plenty to talk about from the two matches and here are three takeaways from the trip abroad.
Winning on the Road
These two matches were the first outside the U.S. for the USWNT in 2017. Both Sweden and Norway were tough opponents in their own right as they are both ranked in the top 15 in the world.
The USWNT was looking to build off of its pair of victories over Russia in April. Two losses to France and England in March in the SheBelieves Cup were concerning as the U.S. was unable to match its opponents, especially offensively.
First off, a win is a win, and the U.S. got the results this week. Although not pretty, they were still results the USWNT can build off of. Defensively, the team was able to hold its narrow 1-0 leads late in the matches and Alyssa Naeher was impressive in net.
Grit seemed to be a theme this week and the wins were definitely results the USWNT can hang their hats on.
Injuries Plague Roster
A few injuries put a damper on the wins this week as Lynn Williams, Crystal Dunn, and Rose Lavelle all went down. Williams had joined the team after Alex Morgan was unable to play due to a hamstring injury. Dunn and Lavelle played fantastically in the match against Sweden and were two of the most impressive players from this week. Hopefully, all four players that were affected by injury will be able to make swift recoveries for the next set of matches in July.
Slow Starts and Offensive Woes
In both matches, the U.S. started out slowly but gradually began to create chances and open up the opposing defense. This was an issue during the SheBelieves Cup and it cost the team, especially against England.
Shots on goal did not come often for the USWNT. In total, the team had a combined five shots on goal in both matches. Against Norway, Christen Press’ goal was the only shot on net for the U.S. That’s an issue.
With Morgan, Dunn, and Lavelle picking up injuries, the offensive production could take a hit if all three aren’t 100 percent by the Tournament of Nations.