April 12, 2024

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USWNT begins World Cup preparation with friendlies against New Zealand

USWNT begins World Cup preparation with friendlies against New Zealand

The United States women’s soccer team will begin World Cup preparation this summer against New Zealand, one of the co-hosts of the 2023 tournament with Australia.

And, according to the selected seniority Becky SauerbrunnThe games on January 18 and 21 are not just warm-up games, they are “very important” engagements as the US looks to defend the title it won in 2019.

“It’s very important,” Sauerbrunn said Monday. “I think it’s very difficult to replicate what you’re going to see at the World Cup. So to come here six months in advance and have an idea of ​​the stadiums you’re going to play in, that’s very important and very helpful for us.”

The United States, who beat the Netherlands in the final at France 2019 to win their fourth World Cup, now face a tournament featuring top teams including Germany, Brazil and Women’s Euro 2022 champions England. Continuous file.

Vladko Antonovski’s side have been training for the past 12 days and will face New Zealand, who have been regular rivals in recent years, but knowing that two of their first three group games this summer will be played at the same stadiums adds an extra dimension. Emphasis on product.

“Hopefully we’ll see a great turnout at the games,” Sorbrunn said. “I know the Kiwis have done really well over the last five or 10 years, we’ve played them a number of times and I know a lot of the players in the squad.

“But hosting the World Cup at home creates more excitement but also puts pressure on them to do things better,” he said.

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“So I hope the anticipation and excitement for the World Cup and women’s soccer continues. I think we are, but we’re here for one reason, and that’s to help us prepare for the World Cup and take a couple of matches. Keep moving forward as we get closer.”

The U.S. sits in Group E with the Netherlands, Vietnam and the winner of the yet-to-be-determined tiebreaker. The opening match of the World Cup will be held on July 20 and the tournament will conclude on August 20 at the Australia Stadium in Sydney.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.