Why USWNT may be better off losing in Australia


The US women’s national team is doing what it normally does not often do: it goes to the other side to play friendly matches against a fierce foe in violent sports. In this case, it is Australia, a team that has been steadily rising thanks to the talent of players like Samantha Kerr, Caitlin Foord and Ellie Carpenter.

The most frustrating Olympic Games in the summer, these games – Friday at 11pm ET and then Tuesday at 4:05 a, m. ET (show the second game LIVE on ESPN) it will not be easy for USWNT, but then the whole point. The American people want the game in Australia to be tough – and, players may not accept this role, if they lose one or both games, it is better. That’s why losing provides a successful alternative, as we’ve seen over and over again with USWNT.

Consider: Coming to the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year, head coach Vlatko Andonovski had not won a game since leaving the USWNT, and the team had climbed 44 unbeaten games to Japan. This, of course, did not work out.

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Looking back, is it any wonder that US athletes looked so weak in their opening games of the Olympics, while Sweden he explained to them clearly? The U.S. athletes had never experienced the effects of long-term loss, nor did the USWNT Olympic Games before the U.S. embassy in front of a crowd – which most Olympic teams would not have enjoyed because of the plague.

The Australian game, which is open to fans, will be the first USWNT to play in front of fans since the World Cup two years ago in France, prompting Americans to go and see the game. The last USWNT away game against a violent team outside of a major tournament was in Europe in January 2019, including a 3-1 defeat in France.

Lindsay Horan fondly remembers a trip to France. When asked by ESPN about the differences in playing in front of remote fans, they have no choice but to mention the loss. “It’s different – you’re getting into the game and it’s very difficult to play in a remote stadium,” Horan said. “I think the last time I remember doing it was at the France World Cup before and it’s hard when he’s 12th.”

Jill Ellis, a former US coach, also said the loss made USWNT a slow start to Canada and win the 2015 World Cup. Americans went to Brazil in December 2014 and lost, then to France in February 2015 and lost again. . “I wanted him to suffer,” Ellis said spoke about their trip to Brazil in a special interview. “It was tough. It was hot, hard and tough, and we lost the game. From there, I took them to France and we fought, we failed.”

“In those difficult times, we learned a lot about ourselves,” he added. “I say that without the challenges and losses, I don’t think we will win the World Cup.”

Andonovski could have done more before the Tokyo Olympic Games because of the COVID-19 epidemic – he was working months before the game and traveling closed. But now she hopes to expand the USWNT model, especially as she brings more children into the fold. His Australian team consists of 12 players with 10 caps or less, including five unnamed players.

“It is important for us to travel abroad and we are facing a bit of a challenge and having a place where the opposition has support,” Andonovski said. “It is important not only to experience it, but to be in a place or country that will be the organizer of the next big event, the World Cup in 2023. As a result, I hope in the future we can do more. More often than we did 18 months ago or beyond. It’s especially important for players who have never been in a situation like this before. “

While losing may be a good thing for USWNT over time, fans have never been more tolerant. In 2017, after USWNT was repeatedly damaged at home for the first time in 17 years, some fans responded to Ellis’ dismissal, using the hashtag #FireJillEllis if it did not look good. Don’t worry Ellis won the World Cup in the US just two years ago: USWNT fans are accustomed to winning, especially at home.

“Everyone is used to winning everything and, I think if we want to win the World Cup, things like this have to happen,” Allie Long told me at the time. “I like that fans are crazy. It shows a lot of interest.”

Yes, his words came true. USWNT, including Long, flew to France in 2019 and became the first team to win a consecutive Women’s World Championships. Ellis repeated the same approach he had won the World Cup four years earlier: five months before the 2019 World Cup, he took USWNT to Europe for a friendly match and lost – good news, it happened, and it’s easy. to see why the losses help.

If losing should be a way to make the necessary trip, then Australia is as good an enemy as anyone. Matildas, as he is known, has been on the rise due to the emergence of raw talent under the leadership of Samantha Kerr, who at times a few years ago was considered the best shooter in the world. He has an upcoming talent that Australian coach Tony Gustavsson is transforming from an anti-war team into a well-armed, highly motivated team. I am still coming together, but there are signs of progress.

Although football is a violent sport where the positive side can still lose, nothing can force them to re-examine or light a fire under a team like losing. But just playing in some places other than the home US sports parties would be good for a US team that looked less casual through the Japanese Olympics.

The trip to Australia is also well known as the first USWNT in 21 years. They traveled to Australia on three separate trips in 2000, including one that was part of The most important strike against US Football, and finalists of the Sydney Olympic Games. There is no doubt that the 2023 Women’s World Cup, which is set to take place in Australia and New Zealand, is the reason for this trip, but leaving the US could be a very important thing right now. Back in early 2016, only 10 of the 84 non-USWNT and non-Olympic World Cup matches were played outside the United States. Everything else is played at home.

Playing outdoors is not all-encompassing and all-encompassing, of course. The US traveled to Portugal every year to host the Algarve Cup, but it was a place that did not give off short air and weak opponents. The US Soccer Federation decided to launch their own tournament at the same time every year called The SheBelieves Cup. Unlike the Algarve Cup, the game is played in three different cities in a competition similar to the World Cup.

The SheBelieves Cup tournament has turned out to be a very important test of realism, even though the game is played indefinitely. But there is no repetition of the trip down, in front of Australian fans seeking revenge after USWNT beat Matildas in the Tokyo Olympic bronze medal.

The Australian Federation has sold more than 35,000 tickets for Tuesday’s games in Sydney, which could make the new record the biggest team to watch Matildas in Australia. Horan knows that this means that most Aussies are against American Americans – but they love this, he said. “I think I feel good about it when you can find them or do well and shut down their fans,” he said, smiling.

But again, if Matildas has a good show, it would not be so bad in the end.


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