The United States will look to bounce back from a disappointing Olympics when they host Paraguay in a friendly on Friday at 12:30am (UK time).
Although they still managed to win bronze in Tokyo, many expected the USWNT to secure a five gold and continue their recent dominance of world football.
United States Women vs Paraguay Women live stream:
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Where to watch United States Women vs Paraguay Women on TV:
- UK: N/A
- US: ESPN2
Scoreline prediction: United States Women 4-0 Paraguay Women
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United States Women vs Paraguay Women build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
USWNT have been sitting fairly comfortably atop the FIFA World Rankings for a long time, dominating women’s football with relative ease, but 2021 has not been a good year for Vlatko Andonovski’s side. Although they were unbeaten through to July, winning the SheBelieves Cup, cracks were starting to show and in their opening game of the Olympics they were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Sweden – their first defeat in 44 matches. That result was a sign of things to come as USWNT drew with Australia and Netherlands (beating the latter on penalties) before losing to Canada in the semi-finals. Their 4-3 win over Australia in the bronze medal match was just their second normal-time victory having also beat New Zealand. So now, before World Cup qualifying starts in November, USWNT have the chance to get their 2021 back on track.
Their opponents in the first international break will be Paraguay, a double-header in Ohio with the return fixture coming next week. While USWNT have been busy in 2021, Paraguay have played just one game, losing 7-0 to Japan back in April with June friendlies against Colombia postponed. Not a major women’s footballing nation, Paraguay are currently 50th in the world, sandwiched between Slovenia and Jamaica, falling since their peak 2020 last year.
- United States Women (vs Australia): Franch; O’Hara, Sauerbrunn, Davidson, Dunn; Ertz*, S Mewis*, Horan; Press*, Lloyd, Rapinoe*.
- Paraguay Women (vs Japan): Ortiz*; Fretes, Alonso, Riso, Cristaldo*; Sandoval, Bogarin*, Aguero*, Villamayor*; Vega*, Pena,
Alyssa Naeher, Julie Ertz, Samantha Mewis and Megan Rapinhoe will not feature in the double-header against Paraguay due to injuries. Christen Press will also be absent, having opted out of representing the national team for this international break. Paraguay, meanwhile, will be all-change from their last outing against Japan.
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Player to watch: Tobin Heath (USWNT)
This international window will give Tobin Heath a chance to stretch her legs having been out of action since the Olympics. The 33-year-old was a free agent at the Olympics having left Manchester United following the end of the 2020/21 WSL season, and there was a lot of speculation surrounding her future.
After various reports, Heath made a somewhat surprising decision to stay in England and join Arsenal, who have started the new WSL campaign in perfect fashion, winning both of their opening two games including one against defending champions Chelsea. However, Heath is yet to play for Arsenal following her late arrival at the Gunners.
So, Arsenal fans eager to see Heath play will have to watch USWNT’s game against Paraguay on Friday, in which the forward will be looking to add to her 35 goals scored for the national team, including two in wins over Mexico in the build up to the Olympics.
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