This may seem surprising or disturbing, but in the past two years, the average age of the US women’s national team has been advanced by two years.
If you need a little time to overcome the shock, this is understandable.
After the USWNT announced to the stars on Wednesday the list of the upcoming Olympics-“Ted Russo” led Jason Sudkis and Brandon Hunt on Twitter, decorated forward Alex Morgan in ABC’s Good Morning America joins Robin Roberts-there are many criticisms of the lack of young players and the growing age of team members.
Forward Carli Lloyd (pictured below) will turn 39 at the Olympics. Defender Becky Sauerbrunn will be 36 years old. There are more players over 30 than none. However, with the exception of one player, every player is a member of the 2019 World Cup winning team.
“There are no big surprises in the USWNT team. I think it’s disappointing. The names of people like Mickey Perth, Catarina Macario, Casey Short, etc. are all worthy of a place in the 18-man lineup. ,” wrote Olympic Correspondent Courtney Hill, “But, just like the theme of (the national team), age and experience once again prevail.”
“Can we ask young players to experience it? There are more than 32 people on the frontline,” is from Twitter account maizenblu52.
The thing is this: the mission of the Olympics is not to gain experience. Is to win. Vlatko Andonovski (Vlatko Andonovski) as the head coach of USWNT formed his first major tournament roster to select the 18 players most suitable to win the gold medal. One can discuss whether he achieved this goal with the selected players, although those who lined up opposite the coach should know that the team he played in the first 20 games won 19 games and drew once. He is unbeaten in the actual game, so he may win any arguments with you.
“I am very satisfied with many players who failed to advance. I am very grateful for everything they have done, thank them for their hard work, and in some ways helped this team grow and develop and prepare for the game,” Amdo Novsky told Sports News. “We still believe that those players are good players; just when evaluating and analyzing them and comparing them with some of the other players on our list, we believe in the players who have taken the lead and provide us with the best to win the tournament. opportunity.
“That said, we will pay close attention to all the players who failed to get them back as soon as possible after the Olympics and start preparing for the World Cup and beyond, especially young players. “
Since there are only 18 players on the Olympic roster, there is not much room for experimentation, as it includes a young player who is unlikely to appear but will benefit from the training camp experience.
The fair question is how a particular veteran can stick to such a tight schedule: three games in six days in the group stage, and a total of six games in 17 days for the teams that make it to the gold medal match.
Among the healthy players, this is particularly noteworthy for Megan Rapino (pictured above), who will be 36 years old when the Tokyo Olympics begin. Even in the 2019 World Cup, she did not show super fast speed on the left wing, and she can often be seen to give up the still-promising moves, and if it is possible to fail, let her save energy. This pattern has appeared many times in this calendar year. However, in the World Cup, Rapino scored six goals and won the Golden Globe for the best player in the World Cup. In 2021, she scored 7 goals in 9 games, 3 of which came from open matches during the SheBelieves Cup.
Which coach will leave that player and go home?
(Yes, the obvious answer is Jurgen Klinsmann. This is a test).
“I don’t look at the age of the players, because we look at too many things,” Andonowski said. “The most important thing is whether they perform well and whether they can help us win the Olympics.
“We did look at the data. For every data we obtained from a physical point of view, they reached all the numbers they needed to complete the test we thought would be provided to them. Most importantly, you can view the statistics, you You will see Megan Rapinoe scored the most goals in 2021 and Carli Lloyd scored the most assists.”
Andonowski’s biggest risk on his list is Julie Eltz, and more importantly, forward Tobin Heath.
Although Andonovsky stated that Hiss is closer to being fully healthy again than Oetz and can participate in the pre-Olympic friendly against Mexico on July 1st and July 5th, Oetz is an easy choice because There are no experienced substitutes in the defensive midfield position. They will wait for the time she needs, even if she can’t open the game.
Due to the cancellation of the pandemic, her decision to withdraw from the NWSL Challenge Cup in June 2020, and the end of her Manchester United season with knee and ankle injuries, Heath has only participated in 9 matches in 15 months, preventing her from participating in any recent events. National team competition. But the substitute rules are such that USWNT can withdraw her for legitimate reasons of injury, and even after the Olympics begin, it can also introduce substitutes, such as 28-year-old Lynn Williams or 21-year-old Katarina Ma. Cario (pictured below).
“Katarina is an excellent player… a player with extraordinary potential,” Andonowski said. “She is not yet fully prepared, I think, now, at this moment. I will not say that she is not ready yet, but other athletes are more prepared to participate in the Olympics than her. We believe she has the potential to play very well in this team. Long time.”
So far, being included in the 2016 Olympics roster at the age of 18 has not had much impact on Mallory Pugh’s career, except that she may describe the past five years as disappointing. She was a member of the 2019 World Cup squad. In that year, she played 19 times and scored 6 goals, but Pugh has only got one chance since then.
At the age of 19, when the Bundesliga giant Bayern Munich’s bench player, Julian Green was included in the USMNT lineup for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil-some people think his position should belong to Donovan-Green even scored a plus The goal against Belgium in the match. But since he played in the German second division, he has spent most of his club career and has not won the upper limit since 2018.
It is good to play a young player on the majors list, but it is not a magical device for summoning future superstars. No sport can be conquered so easily. If USWNT is forced to send an under-prepared player because young people are valued, well, value, it may cost a gold medal game. American women have won 67% of all gold medals in women’s football history. Antonovsky knew the standards he should maintain when he accepted the job.