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With Emma Hayes watching, here’s how the USWNT should experiment against China

Small tweaks in each line of the field could go a long way for the United States in their upcoming friendlies.

6 min read

Between an early World Cup exit and a new manager hunt, it’s been a huge year for the United States women’s national team – that year is set to close with a pair of friendlies against China on December 2 and 5. 

While interim head coach Twila Kilgore will still be at the helm for these matches, incoming head coach Emma Hayes contributed to the roster’s construction. The selections signal lots of roster change, at least for the short term.

Several veterans were left off the 26-player roster for these games, including forward Alex Morgan, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, center back Becky Sauerbrunn, and full back Crystal Dunn. Kilgore insisted that none of the players left off the roster are out of the USWNT picture entirely, but it’s notable that a number of new(er) faces will get a chance to make a statement in this camp. Among those players are two first-timers and 11 players with single-digit caps. 

Predictions for the USWNT’s Emma Hayes era: New playmaker, Alex Morgan out & more
The Emma Hayes era has begun. Sort of.

So, what will these games against China look like? And how should the U.S. experiment? Let’s talk about three things the United States should try over their next two matches.

An Abby Dahlkemper and Naomi Girma center back pairing

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