AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
The United States women’s national team finds itself in a rare position ahead of Sunday’s friendly against Germany.
The USWNT lost its third straight game on Thursday to Germany, and that marked the program’s first three-game losing streak since 1993.
Vlatko Andonovski’s side has had a tough time dealing with the top European opposition it faced during that stretch.
England, Spain and Germany all beat the USWNT in succession, and now the Americans have one game left against Germany to create some momentum going into 2023.
USWNT vs. Germany Info
Date: Sunday, November 13
Start Time: 5 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN.com and ESPN app
The USWNT needed to test itself outside of CONCACAF in the last two international windows of 2022.
The Americans have done that and not achieved the results they wanted. They fell 2-1 to England and Germany and 2-0 to a weakened Spain squad.
The three-game losing streak set off alarm bells about the program’s readiness for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Andonovski’s side failed to beat three European powers, and it is in need of a victory to restore some calm to the program going into the new year.
The USWNT’s problems in Thursday’s friendly were the lack of offensive punch until Megan Rapinoe’s 85th-minute equalizer and the concession of a late goal in the 89th minute.
For most of 2022, the USWNT was outscoring opponents at will and produced an impenetrable defense.
The Americans entered the blockbuster clash with England on a 13-game winning streak and with a 13-0-1 record in 2022. The lone draw occurred at the start of the year against the Czech Republic.
The step up in competition to face the European foes proved to be troublesome for the Americans, and now there is cause for concern that the performances may be a precursor for what is to come at the World Cup.
Alex Morgan and Co. need to silence some critics with their performance on Sunday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, to lift some pressure off the program going into the new year.
Sunday will be a celebration of Morgan as a player—she is set to appear in her 200th international match.
Morgan will join the likes of Carli Lloyd, Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Abby Wambach in the 200-appearance club for the USWNT. She will become the second active member of the USWNT squad with over 200 appearances. Becky Sauerbrunn is the other.
Megan Rapinoe could join the 200 club in 2023. She enters Sunday three appearances off the historic mark.
A win combined with a goal from Morgan in her 200th appearance would be an ideal outcome for the Americans, but they still have to be wary of Germany’s threat.
Germany held the Americans scoreless for 85 minutes on Thursday, and it has not allowed more than two goals in a single game over its last 10 matches.
Prediction: USWNT 1, Germany 1