The IS United States open a 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign Friday (on FOX and the FOX Sports app) with a 3-0 win over Group E on the first timer Vietnam at Eden Park in New Zealand.
The United States – four-time winners of the tournament, including a comeback victory in the past two World Cups – is aiming for an unprecedented three-peat this year and improved its record to 21-3-1 all-time in the group with Friday’s victory.
Additionally, the USWNT is undefeated in World Cup scoring first, now 39-4-0 all-time.
The “NOW World Cup” crew – Jimmy Conrad, Leslie Osborne and Melissa Ortiz – were joined by Stu Holden and 2015 World Cup champion and three-time Olympic gold medalist Heather O’Reilly. Together, they discussed their favorite takeaways from the Friday trend.
Conrad: “One of my favorite things was the entry passes from Lindsey Horan in particular. She would get a ball from one of the outside backs — Crystal Dunn or Emily Fox — [and] it would be a square ball, and it would be played forward immediately into the feet of Sophia Smith or — as we saw in the first goal — the feet of Alex Morgan. That’s hard to defend, and I’d like to see more of that.”
Osborne: “I have to say Sophia Smith. I mean, she was incredible from the start. We hyped her up, we talked about how good she is, and she wasn’t just a linebacker, she was all over the field tonight. I think this team is going to need her to continue and build on this. I’m just happy to see her score, but also how confident she is out there and how easy she is to play.”
Ortiz: “Emily Fox, she’s one of the fastest players on this team, and I think today is what she showed [just] to. I love that when she would get the ball, she would look at Lindsey Horan and have that option there, or have a wide option, or go on a speedy defender. … There are a lot of ways she can bring her versatility to this game, and I think what she did was just open up the field and show what she can bring from the outside linebacker position.”
Keep: “I’ll go with the subs getting some minutes. … I liked seeing Rose Lavelle back there. … For someone who hasn’t played since April to get on the pitch – she had a few chances, she hit the crossbar and there was a late header – I think it’s a good sign for her to get through a few healthy minutes.”
From Raleigh: “The end-line dribble is a real test of speed – it works like a charm! … The speed and ambition are there.”
Stu Holden has a ‘feel’ and predicts USWNT GOAL in real time
Just before the United States’ goal in the 55th minute of Friday’s game, Stu Holden claimed he had a feeling the USWNT was going to score.
Check out the full Women’s World Cup schedule and how to watch every game live here. Get the latest scores here.
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