USWNT vs South Africa Preview: the USWNT ramp up their World Cup preparation
Source: Gary Duncan-VAVEL

USWNT vs South Africa Preview: the USWNT ramp up their World Cup preparation

Another different proposition in South Africa is next for the USWNT.

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Kudzi Musarurwa

The United States Women's National Team continues their build up towards the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup with a match against South Africa on Sunday afternoon.

With two more matches left after this, the USWNT will look to bring more cohesiveness to their now settled 23-player roster for the World Cup. South Africa has proven to be a difficult opponent to breakdown in the past and the USWNT will hope to use this match to figure out how to pierce through deep-lying defenses.

A steady performance is what the USWNT will look to deliver

The last time the two teams met was before the 2016 Rio Olympics and the USWNT were only able to score one goal against South Africa that day. The USWNT roster has changed quite a bit since that match but head coach Jill Ellis will know that South Africa will want to be just as hard to play through as they were three years ago.

Alex Morgan was on target the last time the two teams met | Source: Gary Duncan-VAVEL
Alex Morgan was on target the last time the two teams met | Source: Gary Duncan-VAVEL

Not only will the USWNT want to put in a better offensive performance this time around but they will also want to start to put together a full 90 minute performance before they depart for France. The USWNT had been plagued with an inability to close out games, especially against teams that refuse to crumble once the USWNT get ahead. South Africa will probably be the same and the United States must aim to not only score goals but also keep a clean sheet against the African nation.

South Africa look to step up their own World Cup preparation

Much like the USWNT, South Africa is also looking to really begin their World Cup preparation. Leading the team will be former Houston Dash defender Janine van Wyk. Van Wyk is a solid defender who has a wealth of experience behind her and she will be needed to marshall her backline against the likes of Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe. Up top, the South Africans will look to another former Dash player, Thembi Kgatlana. Kgatlana may not have lit up the National Women's Soccer League during her time with Houston but given the opportunity, she can score goals.

Janine van Wyk will look to lead by example tomorrow | Source: Gary Duncan-VAVEL
Janine van Wyk will look to lead by example tomorrow | Source: Gary Duncan-VAVEL

South Africa will look to defend stoutly and frustrate the USWNT on Sunday afternoon. If possible, they will then look to catch the United States on the break as the USWNT backline has shown that it has lapses in concentration in them. Kgatlana and the rest of the South African frontline has plenty of pace so if they get the right ball played to them in space, they can hurt the USWNT.

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