USWNT FInish SheBelieves Cup Against Argentina

U.S. Soccer

On Wednesday night the United States Women’s National Team will take on Argentina on the third and final match-day of the 2021 SheBelieves Cup. The match is taking place at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida will kick-off at 7:00 p.m. ET. It will be broadcasted nationally on FS1 and TUDN. The match leading into this will be Canada v Brazil at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Currently, the United States is atop the table with a 2-0 record and a +3 goal differential. They hold a three-point lead over second-place which is currently tied between Brazil and Canada. If the U.S. is able to hold on and win the 2021 SheBelieves Cup it will be their fourth time winning the tournament and the first nation to win it in back-to-back years.

With this tournament having matches every three days USWNT are expecting to have a lot of changes to the Starting XI for this match. According to head coach Vlatko Andonovski, some of the changes will be driven by minute restrictions, evaluating players, and getting minutes with the national team.

With this tournament being a precursor to the Summer Olympics many are wondering what that roster will look like given the depth of this squad. When asked how many roster spots are open for the Olympics Andonovski stated rather jokingly that there were 18, the exact total roster spots that are available for the Olympics.

A Look At Argentina

Argentina and the United States have only met three times prior to Wednesday’s match with the U.S. owning a 3-0-0 record against the South American country. Currently, Argentina is ranked 31st in the FIFA World Rankings. This match was supposed to be Japan who elected to pull out due to COVID-19 concerns, Japan is ranked 10th in the world. Despite Argentina being in its first SheBelieves Cup tournament and a low FIFA ranking, they should not be taken lightly.

On Sunday they took Canada all the way to stoppage time scoreless with the Canadians only picking up the win on a 90+2′ goal from Sarah Stratigakis. Their defense was tenacious and spirited against Canada and if they are able to do that against the U.S. things could get a tad more interesting than previously expected. That being said when they faced Brazil last Thursday they fell to the tune of 4-1.

Argentina Roster:

GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Solana Pereyra (U.D. Tacuense, ESP), 12- Laurina Oliveros (Boca Juniors)  

DEFENDERS (8): 2-Agustina Barroso (Palmeiras (BRA), 3-Eliana Stabile (Boca Juniors), 4-Marina Delgado (UAI Urquiza), 6-Aldana Cometti (Levante U.D., ESP), 13-Sophia Braun (Gonzaga University, USA), 18-Romina Nuñez (UAI Urquiza), 21-Adriana Sachs (Boca Juniors), 22-Natalie Juncos (Racing) 

MIDFIELDERS (7):5-Vanesa Santana (Sporting Huelva, ESP), 8-Clarisa Huber (Boca Juniors), 10-Dalila Ippolito (Juventus, ITA), 14- Miriam Mayorga (Boca Juniors), 16-Lorena Benitez (Boca Juniors), 17-Valentina Camara (C.D. Femarguín, ESP), 20-Daiana Falfan (UAI Urquiza)

FORWARDS (6):7-Yael Oviedo (Independiente Santa Fe, COL), 9-Sole Jaimes (Changchun Dazhong, CHN), 11-Yamila Rodriguez (Boca Juniors), 15-Milagros Menendez (Granada F.C., ESP), 19-Mariana Larroquette (Kansas City NWSL, USA)

Only one player on Argentina’s roster plays in the NWSL and that is Mariana Larroquette. Larroquette is the highest-scoring player on their roster with 15 goals in 52 caps. Another player that the U.S. will be keeping a close eye on is Yamila Rodriguez who is very good in one-v-one situations and could create a problem on the counter for the U.S..

As a whole, the women’s game is growing in Argentina which was aided by a World Cup appearance in 2019. In the world cup, they earned draws with both Scotland and Japan and only fell to England in a 1-0 loss. Currently 11 of the players on their roster play outside of Argentina.

Offensively four of their last six goals came via crosses so that will have to be an area that the United States watches out for.

One area that Argentina has shown strength in is jamming up the central channel of the field which drove their success against Canada. This will make working out on the wings for build-up play critical to the U.S. success on Wednesday.

USWNT Midfielder Catarina Macario Returns To Olympique Lyonnais

In this SheBelieves Cup finale, the U.S. will be without Catarina Macario. Macario has returned to France in order to complete a mandatory seven-day quarantine to allow her to be available for the UEFA Women’s Champions League Round of 16 first leg match against Brondby on March 4th.

Per U.S. Soccer this was a previously agreed upon move. Macario did not play against Brazil put did make the start in win over Canada on February 18th to pick up her third career cap.

USWNT v brazil Drove Strong Television Ratings

Sunday’s 2021 SheBelieves Cup match between the United States and Brazil had 568,000 viewers on FS1. This was the most-watched SheBelieve Cup match ever on FS1, the most watched USWNT non-World Cup match on FS1 since 2018 and the third most-watched USWNT non-World Cup match ever on FS1.

Thus far ratings for the SheBelieves Cup are +103% versus the 2019 SheBelieves Cup average.

Sunday’s U.S. v Brazil match was also on TUDN which recorded 177,000 viewers. The Argentina v Canada match which kicked-off at 6:00 p.m. on FS2 had 92,000 viewers.

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