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Why longtime USWNT starter Alyssa Naeher shouldn't be in goal at the World Cup

The U.S. manager can boost his team's World Cup odds with just one decision.

5 min read

It’s here!

With the 2023 World Cup just one month away, the United States women’s national team roster is officially out. U.S. manager Vlakto Andonovski did a bit of shuffling with this final squad compared to the roster for the team’s last set of games back in April – some by choice and some because he was forced to due to injury issues for some of his key players.

USWNT World Cup roster analysis: Grading Vlatko Andonovski’s choices at every position
Did Andonovski make the right choices ahead of the World Cup?

One of those injured players is captain and starting center back Becky Sauerbrunn, who has been dealing with a foot injury. Sauerbrunn, with her veteran leadership and savvy positioning, is a huge defensive loss for the United States, especially when we consider the team’s current (and unpleasant) goalkeeping situation.

While the Washington Spirit’s Aubrey Kingsbury played her way onto the USWNT squad with some strong showings in the NWSL this year, she’ll be behind Alyssa Naeher and Casey Murphy during the World Cup. Naeher is the presumed starter for this summer’s World Cup action – she’s been the go-to ever since the United States’ loss at the 2016 Olympics.

Still, despite all of her experience and Andonvski’s established preference for the Chicago Red Stars’ goalkeeper, Naeher shouldn’t start between the sticks at the World Cup.

Why? Well, let me explain.

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