USWNT Seemingly Back On Track Following Two Big Wins


Mallory Swanson has made her mark thus far at the SheBelieves Cup. (Courtesy of Instagram)

Doubt has been circulating around the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) since the team lost three consecutive games late last year for the first time since 1993. They dropped games to England, Spain and Germany, all teams that the USWNT could end up facing this summer in the World Cup. While these games were just friendly matches, it’s far from promising for the American squad following their lackluster showing in the Olympics just two years ago, when the stakes couldn’t have been higher. This team’s performance has left a lot to be desired, but as their sights are now set on the SheBelieves Cup, they have the opportunity to change the narrative and shift the momentum back on their side at a pivotal moment.

Heading into this year’s SheBelieves Cup, it’s understood that this will serve as a litmus test for how they could fare in the fast-approaching World Cup. The USWNT headed down to Orlando to face the Canadian Women’s National team. This matchup had several headlines, firstly being the rematch of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that saw Canada oust the Americans from gold-medal contention. Off the pitch, this game was also important considering the controversy surrounding the relationship between Canada’s players and the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) in the players’ pursuit of equal pay with the men’s national team.

Prior to kickoff, Alex Morgan was celebrated as she became the 13th player in USWNT history to reach 200 appearances. Once the game started, it was all America. In the first 10 minutes, the USWNT had 50 attacking-third touches compared to Canada’s one.
The American side even scored their first goal inside the first seven minutes, as Mallory Swanson secured a rocketing volley from just inside the box to bring the score 1-0. The half ended 2-0 following another score by Swanson in the 34th minute. The match would end 2-0, as Canada struggled to get chances against an American team that seemed to be back in normal form.

The USWNT headed into their next game against the Japanese Women’s National team with all the momentum as Japan was coming off a nail-biting 1-0 defeat to Brazil. This game served as more of a test defensively than Canada, but nonetheless, the American squad came out on top with a 1-0 win with a goal by none other than Swanson.

The biggest story of the matches so far this year is Swanson’s rise to the top. Just last year, she was left off USWNT rosters as head coach Vlatko Andonovski felt Swanson needed a “wake-up call.” Well, it’s clear now she will be a lock on rosters moving forward as she is now responsible for six of the 12 goals scored in the United States 2022 matches thus far.

The USWNT will travel to Texas to face Brazil next. Brazil has one win and one loss, with their victory coming against Japan but then dropping one to Canada 2-0. The match will take place Wednesday, Feb. 22 as the U.S. squad have their eyes solely set on coming out on top in the SheBelieves Cup.