The USWNT dominated the rest of Concacaf last week, claiming the Olympic Qualifying Tournament title. So let’s take a look back, as well as a look ahead to what’s next for the USWNT.
A Look Back
As mentioned previously, the U.S. dominated the qualifying competition, taking the title with a 3-0 win over Canada on Sunday. First, the U.S. rolled through the group stage, claiming the full nine points and the top spot in Group A with wins over Haiti (4-0), Panama (8-0) and Costa Rica (6-0).
The USWNT then faced Group B runners-up Mexico in the semifinal, needing a result to secure a spot in the 2020 Olympics. Much like the group stage, the U.S. won handily, taking a 4-0 victory and clinching an Olympic berth.
With the Olympic spot guaranteed, the U.S. didn’t need to win the final match, but they did just that. Despite a slow start, the U.S. broke the 0-0 deadlock at the hour mark, when a mistake by Canada near the goal found the feet of Lynn Williams, who fired the ball into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
The game opened up from there, with the U.S. adding two more goals – in the 71st from Lindsey Horan and the 86th from Megan Rapinoe – to seal the first tournament victory under Vlatko Andonovski.
Never gets old.
Never ever ever ever ever ? pic.twitter.com/D1L2juNdN8
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) February 10, 2020
Multiple players had stellar performances in the tournament for the U.S. highlighted by Christen Press, who took home the Golden Ball as the top player in the tournament after scoring five goals and adding an assist.
Lindsey Horan was also one of the stars of the tourney, tallying six goals and two assists, including a hat trick against Panama. Samantha Mewis scored four goals of her own for the U.S., while Lynn Williams added three goals and five assists.
Despite playing almost entirely inferior competition, the U.S. did have some impressive numbers in the tournament nonetheless. They scored 25 goals in the five games, also collecting a clean sheet in every match, allowing zero goals.
After impressive performances by non-roster regular Lynn Williams and sparingly used bench player Jessica McDonald, the U.S. roster situation has become even more crowded.
With the Olympic roster capped at 18 players, at least two of the qualifying roster will have to be left off for Tokyo. But there might be even more cuts than just two, with Alex Morgan expected to return and make the Olympic roster after the birth of her first child and World Cup roster players Allie Long, Morgan Brian, Tierna Davidson and Mallory Pugh expected to get second looks, among others.
So the next question is, who will step up and make their case for an Olympic spot in the SheBelieves Cup?
As already mentioned, the competition of Olympic qualifying wasn’t exactly top notch, so the U.S. weren’t really able to test themselves.
That won’t be the case for their next set of games, with the U.S. hosting the SheBelieves Cup in March.
The tournament begins on March 5, with the U.S. taking on World Cup semi-finalist England. A match up with Spain will follow on March 8 – the U.S.’s Round of 16 World Cup opponent – and the round-robin tournament will close with a game against Japan on March 11.
The tournament will give the U.S. the chance to test its mettle against some of the top teams in the world, with all three opponents currently ranked in the top 15 of FIFA’s world rankings.