The Race to the 2021 Olympics Resumes for the USWNT

A tradition unlike any other, the Olympics are a competition that captivates the entire world. Such tradition makes the postponement of the 2020 edition in Tokyo an even bigger deal. Luckily, the competition will resume in 2021, but how will this delay impact the USWNT’s roster? Here’s what you can expect as the race to the 2021 Olympics resumes for the USWNT. 

Will the veterans make the cut?

The biggest question mark surrounding the USWNT is, will the older stars we’ve come to know and love be able to make the roster? Carli Lloyd is 37, though clearly age is just a number for her. She’s going to do everything she can to make the team but there’s no guarantee she will. 

Becky Sauerbrunn should be ready to go as she’s stayed healthy, but will Vlatko look in a different direction? The last USWNT camp was full of younger players, which means a changing of the guard could be imminent. Lastly, Megan Rapinoe is the biggest uncertainty of all, considering the time she’s taken off to relax and refresh. 

Before the pandemic, it seemed like a sure thing that those three would be back for one last hoorah. Now, all of that is up in the air. All three could use a solid start to the NWSL season to make one last push to make the squad.

What’s the status of Alex Morgan?

While there’s some uncertainty with the older players, there is some good news surrounding the team. Due to the pandemic, Alex Morgan will now have a chance to work back to full fitness and make the Olympics. Morgan gave birth in May 2020 and would have had a huge task in front of her to make the team in time for the summer games. With the delay, she has ample time to get 100% fit. 

Morgan is still not quite 100% but gave Tottenham Hotspur some great minutes towards the end of her stay there. If you’re a fan of Jess McDonald, Casey Short, or Andi Sullivan, be aware Morgan could take their spot. 

What about the future of the USWNT?

This delay also gave younger, untested players the chance to impress Vlatko during what would typically be a tight turnaround between the World Cup and Olympics. The Fall Series and Challenge Cup were great opportunities for young players to make a name for themselves. The start of the 2021 NWSL season should be no different, there’s definitely a chance at least one young up and comer makes the roster for the Olympics. Keep an eye on Sophia Smith and Kristie Mewis. They could very well force their way onto the roster.

The roster for the Olympics is infamously tight; Vlatko Andonovski is only allowed to bring 18 players. This means at least one fan-favorite might miss out on a chance to win a gold medal. Overall, the squad will still be just as strong as years past. 

Featured Image via Instagram @USWNT




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