Olympic Send-Off Match: USWNT vs. Mexico Preview

    The USWNT is gearing up for the Olympics with two crucial tune-up matches against familiar foes in CONCACAF. The first is with Mexico, who isn’t in the best run of form; they’re winless in their last five matches. On the flip side, the USWNT is full of confidence under new manager Emma Hayes, who had dominant wins over South Korea in their recent friendlies. Here’s a preview of what to expect for the USWNT vs. Mexico. 


    USWNT vs. Mexico: Saturday, June 13 at 3:30 PM ET/12:30 PM PT, TNT, TruTV, Universo

    The most significant question mark surrounding this game is how Emma Hayes will choose to line up and play against Mexico. Either Hayes will pick the best possible lineup for the first team and treat it with the same intensity as if it were the first group stage game, or she’ll give a few players from the second team a chance to start.

    Based on Mexico’s form, it’s something that Hayes could consider an excellent opportunity to give players like Jaedyn Shaw or Korbin Albert some meaningful minutes. The USWNT’s record is 40-1-1 all-time; such dominance suggests that whatever lineup Hayes chooses, the team will surely get a win.

    Mexico’s last match was a 1-1 draw in Toronto last month, ending a four-game losing streak. That draw might’ve been just what El Tri needed to stop the bleeding and regroup going into this showdown with the USWNT. NWSL fans will see some familiar faces playing for Mexico. Diana Ordóñez (Houston Dash), María Sánchez (San Diego Wave), Reyna Reyes (Portland Thorns), and Scarlett Camberos (Bay FC) are the impact players with Kiana Palacios up front. If Mexico comes out in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Ordonez isolated up top, they will have difficulty breaking the USWNT backline. Ordonez’s production hasn’t been up to par since her rookie season, and her teammates will have to provide incredible service to get her the ball. Mexico is more than capable of doing it against lower-level opponents, but not the USWNT. 

    With this in mind, expect the USWNT to be in control, whether with possession or through set pieces. The superstar trio of Mallory Swanson, Trinity Rodman, and Sophia Smith is elite. Even if they aren’t on the pitch simultaneously, one can take over and wreak havoc against the Mexican defense. Mexico’s goalkeepers lack experience, with 18 caps between the three. Assuming the USWNT comes out with intensity and purpose, this game should be over by halftime. If it isn’t, it’s because Mexico has an incredible defensive performance, which I don’t see happening. 

    As the USWNT prepares for the Olympics, these friendlies will be critical in determining the squad’s readiness to chase a Gold Medal in Paris.  


    Featured image via @uswnt on Instagram




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