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USWNT high-risk win Japan Americans swagger back

USWNT overcomes early scare to dominate Japan in SheBelieves Cup opener, showcasing confidence, high press, and attacking flair.

The 2024 SheBelieves Cup opener in Atlanta started off on a shaky note for the U.S. women's national team, with Japan scoring in just 31 seconds. The U.S. back line was caught high, but the team quickly regrouped and stuck to their game plan. The USWNT displayed confidence and swagger, dictating the game rather than reacting to their opponents.

Interim coach Twila Kilgore emphasized the team's aggressive style of play, always looking to be on the front foot and dictating play. Defender Jenna Nighswonger exemplified this approach, playing high up the pitch to support the attack while also contributing defensively. The U.S. took calculated risks, pressing high and creating opportunities in Japan's defensive half.

Forward Mallory Swanson made a strong return to the team after a year-long absence, adding dynamism to the attack with her interchangeability on the left flank. The team's ability to press Japan into mistakes and maintain their composure after conceding early was impressive. The performance was a stark contrast to previous matches, showing progress and potential for the future.

Overall, the U.S. showcased a more cohesive and dominant style of play, reminiscent of their past successes. The team's evolution under interim coach Kilgore bodes well for the upcoming challenges, with a focus on continuing to improve and build towards a successful future under head coach Emma Hayes.

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