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By Amy Tennery
(Reuters) – America have been no nearer to filling the void left by injured striker Mallory Swanson on Tuesday, securing an uneasy 1-0 victory in opposition to Eire in a pleasant simply 100 days earlier than the Girls’s World Cup.
The entrance three of Swanson, Nationwide Girls’s Soccer League (NWSL) MVP Sophia Smith and veteran Alex Morgan have been anticipated to supply fireworks in Australia and New Zealand however the defending champions’ plans have been thrown into disarray when Swanson suffered a torn patella tendon on Saturday.
After Tuesday’s match in St. Louis, Missouri, the ultimate sport earlier than head coach Vlatko Andonovski should title his 23-player roster, it was clear she can be powerful to exchange.
“The group was constructed – or was going to construct – round Mal and Soph and their attacking energy. Now with Mal not being there, we will should decide. What are we going to go for?” Andonovski instructed reporters.
“It is arduous for me to reply this query proper at this second.”
Alyssa Thompson, 18, began up entrance instead of Swanson but it surely was Alana Cook dinner’s purpose late within the first half that gave the U.S. the win, the defender’s strike from distance marking her first worldwide purpose and approaching her twenty sixth birthday.
“Mal’s sneakers are so massive,” captain Becky Sauerbrunn stated. “If there are any attackers proper now taking part in within the NWSL, taking part in abroad, now’s your time to shine.”
Andonovski instructed reporters he gave as many gamers as potential the possibility to stake a declare earlier than he names his World Cup squad.
“It was arduous to judge the group and group efficiency in a setting like that when there are a variety of adjustments, gamers that have not performed collectively over a 12 months, 12 months and a half, and gamers that have not even performed in any respect, or (for) a 12 months and a half,” he stated.
The U.S. will play Wales on July 9 in San Jose, California earlier than they journey to New Zealand for his or her bid for an unprecedented third consecutive title.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Enhancing by Peter Rutherford)