The 2023 World Cup is right around the corner and the USWNT is starting the year with a win over World Cup co-host New Zealand. Both teams faced off at Wellington Regional Stadium in front of 12,058 fans—a record crowd for the Football Ferns.
The match started off with a slow 45 minutes, but the USWNT picked up momentum in the second half. Mal Swanson broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute, which swung the momentum in favor of the USWNT. Swanson’s opening goal was shortly followed by a goal from Alex Morgan, another goal from Swanson and a goal from Lynn Williams.
A familiar face returns
Newly minted Gotham FC forward Williams returned for the first time since February 2021. Williams was sidelined by a hamstring tear in March but has since made a full recovery. She subbed on for Swanson in the 67th minute and scored only seven minutes later. It appears that Williams is picking up right where she left off.
Tears. Lágrimas.— NJ/NY Gotham FC (@GothamFC) January 18, 2023
A perfect return to the #USWNT for Lynn. See you ALL at Red Bull Arena in a few months! pic.twitter.com/Q6hbBNRHsX
U.S. Soccer recently announced a partnership with HBO Max, which soon caused controversy due to a conveniently-timed price raise for the streaming service. Throughout the match, fans complained about glitchy streams and buffering issues. Other concerns included random skips in the stream, no ability to pause the stream and blurry video quality. While it’s nice to see HBO Max investing in women’s sports, the quality of the stream does not seem up to par. With women’s football rapidly becoming more popular, it is crucial to present matches appealingly. Fingers crossed that HBO Max will improve the streaming quality for future matches.
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