Sun. Jun 13th, 2021

The games will be the first chance for the full Olympic roster to gather prior to departing for Japan

The U.S. women’s national team has announced it will play two friendlies against Mexico prior to departing for the Olympics in Japan.

The matches are scheduled for July 1 and July 5, both taking place at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut.

U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski will have already named his 18-player roster for the Olympics prior to the two games, meaning they will be the first chance to see the full Olympic squad in action.

What was said?

“These are games to work on the final details, to once again give our players a chance to play with their position groups and areas on the field and to make sure our fitness is in the right place heading into our pre-Olympic training camp,” Andonovski said in a federation release.

“Mexico is a team that has larger ambitions as it prepares for the run-up to the 2023 Women’s World Cup so we know they will give us two tough tests, which is what we need to continue to sharpen our team before we leave for Japan.”

The bigger picture

The confirmation of the two send-off matches comes one day after Andonovski named a 23-player roster for the USWNT’s June friendlies against Portugal, Jamaica and Nigeria.

Those three matches will be the final chance for bubble players to impress their manager ahead of the 18-player Olympic squad being named. 

Andonovski has the luxury of having a fairly settled squad, with only a small number of spots likely available for bubble players. 

Following the team’s two matches against Mexico, the U.S. will travel to Japan, where it will kick off its Olympic schedule on July 21 against Sweden.

The USWNT will then face New Zealand and Australia to close out group play. 

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