USWNT: 3 things we learned from Olympic qualifying

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CARSON, CA – FEBRUARY 09: Captain Carli Lloyd (C) #10 of USA holds the trophy and celebrates with his teammates after wining the Final game between Canada and United States as part of the 2020 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying at Dignity Health Sports Park on February 9, 2020 in Carson, California. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)

The USWNT successfully defended their CONCACAF crown to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Here are three things we learned from the tournament.

The U.S. Women’s National Team has their eyes set on Tokyo, Japan for this summer’s 2020 Olympics where they will try to become the first team to follow their World Cup trophy with Olympic gold.

Before they could make plans of winning a medal, however, they first had to qualify for the Olympics through CONCACAF qualifying where they played five matches and outscored their opponents a combined 25-0. Vlatko Andonovski’s first competitive tournament as USWNT manager could not have gone any better and he now looks to put his name in history this summer.

Related Story: USWNT: Controlling midfield crucial to Olympics system

Here are three things we learned from the USWNT’s serene qualification.

HOUSTON, TX – JANUARY 31: Lynn Williams #13 of USA looks during the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying group A game between Panama and USA at BBVA Compass Stadium on January 31, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)

3. The Lynn Williams’ show

The roster for Olympic Qualifying was trimmed to 20 from the World Cup’s 23-player roster. It seemed that anyone who was not on the World Cup roster had little-to-no chance to break into Andonovski’s side. However, midfielder Andi Sullivan from the Washington Spirit and Lynn Williams from the North Carolina Courage did just that.

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Sullivan started in the second match against Panama, but Williams made her presence felt by starting in three matches and appearing in four. Williams ended the tournament with five assists and three goals. One goal and two assists came in the final game against Canada in a 3-0 win.

Williams is one of the best strikers in the NWSL for the champion Courage. She finished the 2019 season with 12 goals and six assists. She was the second-highest scorer and fourth-highest assist maker.

Her presence on the roster came as somewhat of a surprise as many expected Mallory Pugh to make the jump from the WC roster, but Andonovski chose to side with Williams and the results speak for themselves. Williams will not be happy with just making the qualifying roster, however, but will be trying to travel to Japan and join an already stout attack. Based on these performances, though, she might just do precisely that.

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