Rapinoe, Morgan in US squad for Falcons friendlies


Ebenezer Bajela

Vlatko Andonovski, head coach of the US Women’s National Team, has named 23 players for the double-header friendlies between the Americans and the Super Falcons next month.

The US, four-time World Cup champions and four Olympic Games gold winners, play the nine-time African champions first at the Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas on September 3, before squaring off again at the Audi Field in Washington three days later.

The USWNT, who are the most successful team in the world, and the Falcons, the most successful team in Africa, have both qualified for the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The back-to-back World Cup champions qualified for the 2023 World Cup and 2024 Olympic Games by winning the 2022 CONCACAF W Championship last month, while the Falcons booked a place at the Mundial after reaching the last four of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco last month.

Ahead of the clash, Andonovski released the list with captain Megan Rapinoe and star forward Alex Morgan the two biggest stars invited for the game.

The list includes all the players – except Emily Sonnett, who is recovering from injury – that won the CONCACAF W Championship in July undefeated without conceding a goal.

Speaking on the list, the USWNT coach said, “All the players on the roster performed well in Mexico at qualifying and have carried that form for their clubs, so we’ll continue the process of growing as a team with this group in what will be two challenging games against Nigeria.

“Preparing for the World Cup is a long process, and I’ve been very happy with how our team understands that process, is willing to do the work and is making positive strides every camp to get us to where we want to be next summer.”

The Falcons will hope to end their six consecutive defeats to the US when they face-off next month.