With five months left before the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand kicks off, the upcoming SheBelieves Cup represents the United States women’s national team’s last serious pre-tournament test. Three games in the space of one week, replicating something like the World Cup schedule, against high-caliber opposition in Brazil, Canada and Japan. Now is the time for national team head coach Vlatko Andonovski to nail down his preferred starting system, tactics and selections.
The U.S. began the year with comfortable friendly victories over New Zealand away. Those games were more about tactical experimentation and becoming more acclimatized to playing in the World Cup host nation. The SheBelieves Cup is another situation entirely — this is more akin to the series of friendlies the Americans played against top European opposition at the end of 2022, a series which did not go particularly well with three defeats in four games.
Brazil, Canada and Japan will challenge Andonovski’s tactics in a way New Zealand didn’t. Along the way, we should find answers to some key questions.
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