It’s been just over six months since the World Champion USWNT took the pitch for a competitive match, tonight they look to start strong in their road to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic games!
USWNT & CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying
The USA is in Group A along with other CONCACAF nations Haiti, Panama and Costa Rica. This is the easier of the two groups, as Group B features teams that qualified for this past World Cup Canada, Jamaica, and also features underdogs Mexico and first-time qualifier St. Kitts and Nevis.
Both groups play each other one time and earn the normal point system for wins, draws or losses (Win = 3 points | Draw = 1 point | Loss = 0 points). The top two teams at the end of the group play will move on to semifinals, played on Friday, February 7th. The two teams that win their semifinals matches will automatically qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and will also play in the final on Sunday, February 9th!
Now that we understand where the USWNT is and how things work, let’s look at their schedule.
USWNT Group A Schedule
|Jan. 28||Haiti||8:30 p.m. ET||FS2||BBVA Stadium; Houston, Texas|
|Jan. 31||Panama||8:30 p.m. ET||FOX Soccer Plus||BBVA Stadium; Houston, Texas|
|Feb. 3||Costa Rica||8:30 p.m. CT||FS1||BBVA Stadium; Houston, Texas|
The World Champions play three games in six days in group A. They start tonight against Haiti, play Panama on Friday and finish off group play against Costa Rica next Monday.
The USWNT is likely to win all three matches, and move on to the crucial semifinal that will determine if the World Champs will make it to the Olympic games. There are plenty of players who were on the World Cup roster that will feature in the Olympic Qualifying roster.
GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), 18-Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (6): 7-Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), 19-Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage), 11-Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC), 2-Emily Sonnett (Orlando Pride)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 8-Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), 9-Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), 16-Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), 3-Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage), 6-Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)
FORWARDS (6): 17-Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), 10-Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), 14-Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage), 20-Christen Press (Utah Royals FC), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC), 13-Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage)
Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, Julie Ertz, Rose Lavelle and many other contributors to the 2019 World Cup-winning side are back to represent the USA for these Olympic qualifiers. One name that is notably missing is Alex Morgan, who will miss this campaign since she is pregnant. The US still has a potent attack, so I’d assume we’ll see a lot of goals! The defense is steadfast as ever, and Alyssa Naeher is back in net!
This USWNT side is poised to make a showing of this Olympic Qualifying; they’re on an unbeaten streak of 23 games, will they be able to add five more to that number in this Tokyo 2020 Qualifying Campaign?
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Mandatory Credit: USSoccer.com
Philadelphia Union Editor of Soccer Content
A passion for the beautiful game drives me.