USA vs. China, 2023 Friendly: What to watch for

The United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) is gearing up for their final series of matches in 2023, commencing with a face-off against China in Fort Lauderdale tomorrow. This clash marks the beginning of a new era for the USWNT, as Emma Hayes, appointed in May as the permanent head coach, is set to take the reins. Interim coach Twila Kilgore, currently at the helm, will collaborate with Hayes on roster decisions and the strategic style of play during this transitional period.

The upcoming matches against China hold particular significance, with the USWNT seeking to assert its dominance. China, despite their exit in the group stage of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, has a long-standing rivalry with the USWNT dating back to the early days of the program. Having faced each other 58 times, second only to Canada in terms of frequency, this match carries historical weight.

The clash with China serves as a litmus test for the American players, striving to secure spots for upcoming tournaments such as the W Gold Cup and the Olympics in the coming year. As the team navigates this transitional phase under new leadership, the matches against China will not only showcase the tactical prowess of the USWNT but also serve as a crucial platform for players to make their case for inclusion in future high-stakes competitions.

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W (3-0) – Colombia – Friendly

D (0-0) – Colombia – Friendly

W (2-0) – South Africa – Friendly

W (3-0) – South Africa – Friendly

D (0-0) – Sweden – 2023 Women’s World Cup Round of 16*

*Lost on penalties


D (1-1) – South Korea – Olympic Qualifying

W (3-0) – Thailand – Olympic Qualifying

L (1-2) – North Korea – Olympic Qualifying

W (7-0) – Uzbekistan – 2023 Asian Cup 3rd Place

L (3-4) – Japan – 2023 Asian Cup Semifinals


GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage)

DEFENDERS (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave), Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars), M.A. Vignola (Angel City)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns), Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Olivia Moultrie (Portland Thorns), Jenna Nighswonger (NJ/NY Gotham), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign)

FORWARDS (8): Mia Fishel (Chelsea FC), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns), Alyssa Thompson (Angel City), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC)

What To Watch For

Anticipating the USWNT’s upcoming match, fans are eager to witness the implementation of Emma Hayes’ new tactical approach, offering a sneak peek into the team’s future under her permanent leadership. The desire to see glimpses of Hayes’ vision reflected in the team’s play adds an element of anticipation to the forthcoming clash against China.

With some key players absent, the match provides an opportune moment for experimenting with fresh player combinations. This shift in personnel offers newer players the chance to showcase their abilities and potentially secure a spot in the team’s core moving forward.

Despite the experimental nature of the match, ending the year on a positive note remains a priority. The players, aware of the significance of closing out a demanding 2023, are determined to exhibit stellar performances that will resonate into the new year.


In terms of predictions, envisioning a 3-1 victory for the USWNT in Fort Lauderdale sets an optimistic tone. While the match serves as a testing ground for new strategies and player combinations, securing a win remains the ultimate goal, providing a confident launchpad for the team into the upcoming year.

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