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XI things to be thankful for in women’s soccer in 2023 – Equalizer Soccer

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© Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

As we get ready for Thanksgiving weekend in the United States, here are XI things to be thankful for around women’s soccer.

I. The World Cup

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup may not have been kind to the United States team, and the hours were not ideal for those of us back home, but it was a rollicking good month of soccer that highlighted the incredible progress the game has made on the field. With 32 teams now competing (an evolution I still don’t care for) there was some doubt about whether the top teams would be challenged until the late stages. As it turned out, Germany and Brazil crashed out in group play and the U.S. women’s national team were oh so close to the same fate before going out in the Round of 16. Meanwhile, was there a better site in the sport all year than Sam Kerr celebrating her dramatic equalizer against England in the semifinals?

II. The NWSL Championship

No, it’s not quite the World Cup, but the last three years the National Women’s Soccer League’s ultimate match has turned into a suitable event. Things have changed a lot since the pandemic, but the NWSL Championship is now a time when I can count on seeing so many of the people I have come to know over the years covering women’s soccer. Let’s hope it keeps getting bigger.

The NWSL Championship is finally a big-time event

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Shaw shines as U.S. tests out more system changes – Equalizer Soccer

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Jaedyn Shaw celebrates a goal for the USWNT v Argentina


Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

United States women’s national team interim coach Twila Kilgore said she wanted more efficiency from her team in its second group-stage game of the Concacaf W Gold Cup, against Argentina.

She appeared to get that from an opening 20 minutes played at a furious pace. The U.S. scored three goals in a nine-minute span early in the game, and although the Americans continued to dictate play throughout the 4-0 victory, goals were harder to come by in the second half, including after Argentina went down to 10 players for the final 15 minutes plus stoppage time.

The U.S. heads into Monday’s final group-stage game against Mexico with six points from two games in Group A and a spot in the quarterfinals already booked. Still — and predictably — there is room for improvement.

These are three big talking points from the U.S.’ 4-0 win over Argentina on Friday in Carson, California.

Another shape change

The U.S. started the tournament in aggressive three-back shape, building upon a trend from the end of  2023, but Friday’s match brought the return of a back four. Naomi Girma and Tierna Davidson resumed their old Stanford partnership as the central pair on Friday, with Crystal Dunn at left back and Casey Krueger at right back.

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How Rose Lavelle will thrive at Gotham FC – Equalizer Soccer

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Photo Copyright Brett Phibbs for USA TODAY Sports

New York is an artist’s paradise, and for Rose Lavelle, the ball is her paintbrush and the pitch is her canvas. 

The Cincinnati native, known for creating magic with the ball at her feet, has made 92 appearances for the U.S. women’s national team scoring 24 goals and notching 21 assists since her debut in 2017 – which was, perhaps serendipitously, at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, the home of NJ/NY Gotham FC. 

“Rose is a really special player, as are a lot of players on our roster, But I think her ability to do the unexpected and to delight her teammates delight the crowd and her effectiveness on the ball is something that would benefit any team,” Gotham general manager Yael Averbuch West told The Equalizer. “There’s a lot she can do for us and we’re hoping that we can do a lot for her as well.”

The decorated midfielder now joins the defending NWSL Champions in the team’s quest for a second title. Lavelle, who became a household name after her championship-securing goal in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, could be just the piece Gotham needs to continue growing its program and keep up in the ever-changing and evolving landscape of the ultra-competitive NWSL.

“For me it just felt like a really great fit in every aspect,” Lavelle said at Gotham’s media day at Rockefeller Center last month. “On the field or off the field, it felt like somewhere I could settle in and be comfortable but also would push me in ways that I probably don’t even know yet but I’m excited to see. It was a really good opportunity for growth and development in every realm of my life.”

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Five talking points from Gold Cup-opening win – Equalizer Soccer

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Midge Purce with the USWNT


Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The United States women’s national team kicked off the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup on Tuesday with a 5-0 victory over Dominican Republic. The result was predictable, but the United States’ lineup was not.

Interim head coach Twila Kilgore, with the remote input of impending coach Emma Hayes, rolled out a youthful starting lineup that played in a fluid, aggressive shape. Eighteen-year-old Olivia Moultrie and defender Jenna Nighswonger each scored their first international goals in the comfortable victory.

These are the big talking points from the match.

A refreshing lineup

It was expected that the U.S. would roll out some creative lineups at the Gold Cup, but to get that different of a lineup in the opening match was a pleasant surprise.

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