United States vs Wales recommended bets
United States vs Wales match preview
It’s send-off Sunday in San Jose and the U.S. are hoping that, by the time they next take to the field on home soil, they can still call themselves champions of the world.
In just 13 days time, the United States will kick off their quest to achieve an unprecedented three-peat.
To date, eight editions of the women’s World Cup have been played, with the Stars and Stripes reaching, at least, the semi-finals each time, appearing in five finals and lifting the trophy on four occasions.
This includes back-to-back triumphs in 2015 and 2019, with the U.S. therefore on the cusp of becoming the first side, men’s or women’s, to hoist aloft three successive World Cups.
So far in 2023, Vlatko Andonovski’s side boast a 100% record in friendlies, enjoying wins over New Zealand (twice), Brazil, Canada, Japan and then Republic of Ireland (twice).
USA’s serious business gets going on 22 July in Auckland, up against tournament debutants Vietnam.
Five days later, Wellington hosts a World Cup Final rematch, with Netherlands the opposition, before the United States close out the group phase against another debutant Portugal.
The holders should cruise into the knockout phase, where tougher tests will lie ahead.
Here, in front of a sold-out crowd in California, will the U.S. enjoy a comfortable win?
Wales meanwhile will not be heading Down Under for the World Cup, having been heartbreakingly beaten by Switzerland in last year’s play-off final, conceding the winner in stoppage time of extra time; brutal.
So, later this year, the Dragons’ attention will turn to the inaugural UEFA women’s Nations League, drawn into Group A3, alongside Germany, Denmark and Iceland, with Wales favourites to finish dead-last.
Even if that is the case, Gemma Grainger’s team believe they can qualify for Euro 2025, which would represent the Dragons’ debut at a major tournament.
The visitors are unbeaten in six friendly internationals, but it would be a major shock if that was still in tact after this one, with USA likely to claim an empathic victory at PayPal Park.
United States team news
Vlatko Andonovski’s XI for this match is likely to resemble the one he’s planning to deploy against Vietnam in under a fortnight.
Julie Ertz, who only returned to action in mid-April after almost two years out of the game, will be hoping to start, as she continues to build up her fitness.
Rose Lavelle meantime has been carry an injury of late, so it’ll be interesting to see if she’s able to feature.
Fellow-midfielder Savannah DeMelo has been outstanding for Racing Louisville in the NWSL this season, so is in the squad despite being uncapped, for now at least.
If the first-choice front three is deployed, Trinity Rodman and Sophia Smith will be out wide with Alex Morgan through the middle.
Morgan has scored 121 international goals, coming against 31 different opponents, seeking to add Wales to this list.
Wales team news
Captain Sophie Ingle is out injured while veteran striker Natasha Harding also hasn’t traveled stateside.
Many of these players, including Rhiannon Roberts, Charlie Estcourt and Kayleigh Green, are free agents right now, so will be hoping to impress potential future employers.
Jess Fishlock will be familiar to many of the home fans, given that she joined current club OL Reign a decade ago.
In fact, only four players have made more NWSL appearances than Fishlock, while she also sits tenth on the league’s all-time goalscoring table.