Expect these players to make an impact for a stacked U.S. women’s national team


Ready for a debate? How about this statement.

The attacking corps of the U.S. women’s national team is arguably the strongest we have seen since the 2019 World Cup, and has the potential to be the most lethal attacking line we’ve ever seen.

Headlined by young stars including Sophia Smith and Mal Swanson, it will be a treat to watch this front line no matter the end result for the collective at the Summer Games in Paris. Smith and Swanson bring a creative and dynamic aspect to the forward line with their intelligent movements and ability to play off of each other with ease.

We have more you need to know about those two below, in addition to a couple more we will certainly be watching in Paris in a few weeks.

Thoughts? Leave them in the comments below.

Sophia Smith

South Korea v United States

Photo by Erin Chang/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF

Smith was named the Most Valuable Player of the NWSL and won U.S. Soccer’s Female Player of the Year award in 2022. Last year, she won the NWSL Golden Boot for most goals in a season. She is not only a goal scorer, but a playmaker, and will likely be the person starting at that center forward position.

Mallory Swanson

South Korea v United States

Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images

Mal Swanson was one of the headline talents for the 2023 World Cup before she tore her patella tendon. In a return from injury, the 26 year-old is now in peak form. Emma Hayes describes Swanson as “a world class player,” and says that was evident immediately. Hayes added in a press conference that Swanson “is very clever with her movement,” and that there is a “natural telepathy when she plays with Sophia Smith in the way that they fill spaces around each other.” Swanson will certainly be featured on the wing, and can also transition into the center forward position.

Naomi Girma

South Korea v United States

Photo by Robin Alam/ISI Photos/Getty Images

If you watched the 2023 Women’s World Cup, you know Naomi Girma. At the age of just 23, she held down the center back position last summer for on the biggest stage. She is calm, collected, and incredibly intelligent with her movements not only defensively but also in her offensive distribution. Naomi Girma will be leading the defense in Paris — and at just 24 years old now, is already a leader on the full squad.

Sam Coffey

South Korea v United States

Photo by Robin Alam/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Becoming an NWSL Best XI First Team selection in consecutive seasons (2022-23), Coffey has been waiting patiently and developing her talent, and is now ready to step into the holding center midfield role for the U.S. women’s national team. In 2023, the biggest gap in the USWNT squad was at this important position. Previously held by the one and only Julie Ertz, the team has struggled to fill the shoes of a player that, quite frankly, is unmatched. Coffey, however, brings her own game to this position. She covers ground on both sides of the ball, and adds an element of possession that fits well with Emma Hayes’ strategy.



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