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England vs United States Win 2-1 USWNT

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Sarina Wiegman, the head coach of the Lionesses, kept her perfect record as the Euro 2022 champions defeated the team that had won the previous two World Cups. The U.S. women’s national team was defeated by England 2-1 in a match that was unquestionably exciting for the neutral on Friday night in front of a sold-out Wembley. The match featured the European and global champions.

Although it was billed as a friendly, both teams needed to win to improve their chances of winning the World Cup, therefore playing some of the top players in the world was crucial to their preparation. It was a game that, as was to be expected, provided us with a lot to discuss. Who, however, fared well, and what issues arose?

The Performing Side:

Lauren Hemp: Lauren Hemp, despite playing a significant role in England’s victorious Euros team, didn’t have the breakout summer that many anticipated after being an explosive previous season She had a new job, though, at Wembley on Friday, and it was one of her best displays in the national team’s colors in a while.

Hemp started as the No. 9 since Alessia Russo was injured. She held the ball up well, made a good connection with fellow winger Beth Mead, and scored the game’s opening goal with her poaching instincts on full display. The obvious choices to lead the line for England in this match were Chloe Kelly or Beth Mead, both of whom made their Women’s Super League debuts as strikers, or Rachel Daly, who has excelled there this season for Aston Villa.

The U.S.: The United States chose England and Spain as their opponents for the friendlies they organized during this international period because they would put them to the test in terms of their World Cup preparation. However, due to player protests within the latter’s squad, they will be without 15 prominent players for the foreseeable future, including the USWNT’s trip to Pamplona the following week.

Although Spain’s team still has a lot of talent, it is definitely less than it would have been before, and certainly, less than Vlatko Andonovski and U.S. Soccer had anticipated.
That increased the significance of this matchup with England. Would the Lionesses also be weakened without their captain, Leah Williamson, and starting No. 9?

Sophia Smith: This was a match where a young up-and-comer by the name of Sophia Smith made herself known to an even larger audience on a night where the USWNT had a number of high-profile stars lined up, including Megan Rapinoe, Lindsey Horan, and Rose Lavelle. The 22-year-old has had a fantastic season back in the United States, scoring 14 goals in 18 NWSL games and three more in Challenge Cup play.

Anyone who was at Wembley on Friday or who was following along at home now knows Smith and what a phenomenal talent she is. The USWNT No. 11 caused confusion for England’s defense the entire night, and her goal from the edge of the box into the bottom corner of the first half evened the score. On one of the greatest venues she has performed on thus far in her early career, her deft movement and excellent awareness made her one of the most remarkable performers.

The Losing Side:

Rachel Daly: Some believed Daly may receive her chance as a No. 9 when Russo was forced to withdraw from the England camp due to injury. Since joining Aston Villa and moving back to her native country this past summer, the 30-year-old has scored four goals in three games, including two in a standout effort as her team upset Manchester City on the first day of the Women’s Super League season.

She remained at left-back for this game, a position she doesn’t play for her club team but has gotten used to playing in recent years with her national team.
That required her to do the challenging task of keeping Sophia Smith and Trinity Rodman quiet, but it also represented a missed opportunity for her to stand out in an offensive sense.

The Defenders: The fact that both teams were fragile at the back contributed to this game being exciting for spectators. Despite having two enormously talented defenders in 22-year-old Naomi Girma and 25-year-old Alana Cook, the defender with a British father who once trained with the Lionesses, the U.S. didn’t appear as assured or sturdy without captain and leader Becky Sauerbrunn in the center of defense.

Cook occasionally had trouble keeping Hemp in check, and she fell short of stopping Mead’s cross that resulted in the opening goal. Even while Girma appeared to be invincible in a one-on-one, she occasionally stumbled while in possession. England also experienced issues. They were careless while playing out from the back, which raised their own issues. The attack-minded full-backs on the American side left openings for the spirited wingers to cause havoc in addition to Daly, who was herself a forward.

Fran Kirby: Despite all the benefits Wiegman’s time as England’s head coach has brought, one significant question still remains. How can she maximize Fran Kirby’s potential?
The Chelsea forward is simply great at the club level; Emma Hayes gave him the freedom to roam, and as a result, he formed a lethal relationship with Sam Kerr.

Wiegman has tried her in a number of central roles and outside the box, but she doesn’t generate the same energy as while wearing Chelsea blue. Is Wiegman capable of playing both Kirby and Toone simultaneously? Is Kirby more suited to a different role? What is the remedy? It’s simpler to pose the question than to provide a solution, but if Wiegman can do so, it will only improve a team that has already won the European Championship.

For more highlights on football matches, keep watching this space.

Salman Shaikh
Salman Shaikhhttps://beyond100yards.com/
You can find me in the newspaper, on TV and radio, and online. I love writing about football news and sharing it with others.