© Reuters/Thomas Shea Soccer: CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying-Haiti at USA

By Amy Tennery

( Reuters) – U.S. females’s national soccer group head coach Vlatko Andonovski said the four-time World Cup-winning group remains in a constant state of advancement, with the COVID-19-delayed Tokyo Games on the horizon at long last.

The team defeated Colombia 4-0 in Monday’s friendly in Orlando, Florida, their very first match of 2021, with midfielder Sam Mewis earning her very first career hat technique and veteran forwards Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd going back to action for the very first time since March’s SheBelieves Cup.

It was an auspicious start to an important year for Andonovski, who was successful veteran head coach Jill Ellis in October 2019 and wants to direct the team to Olympic gold following their disappointing exit from the Rio Games in the quarterfinals.

” It’s unbelievable to see the state of mind of this team,” said Andonovski, 44, on Thursday. “The environment is set up in such a way that we understand if we (stay) where we’re at, other groups will exceed us.”

He has sufficient weapons at his disposal, consisting of 2019 Ballon d’Or winner Rapinoe and beginner Catarina Macario, the tremendously hyped Brazilian-American forward who scored 63 goals in her 3 seasons at Stanford University.

FIFA approved the 21-year-old forward – who relocated to the U.S. when she was 12 – to bet destiny and Stripes recently, joining the high-calibre cadre of players contending for an area on the Olympic roster.

Amongst them is likewise 31-year-old forward Alex Morgan, who scored six goals at the 2019 World Cup and has returned to training after briefly being sidelined with COVID-19.

Andonovski informed press reporters he’s spent “substantial” time tweak the team’s defence, along with establishing a “more advanced” attack.

” Being the very best worldwide is not simply staying ahead but being a trendsetter,” said Andonovski.

Defender Ali Krieger called his technique to the video game “a breath of fresh air.”

“( I) have this feeling of trust from him and that he’s empowering every single player and has rely on every gamer that he puts out on the field,” said Krieger, 36, who was first contacted to the national team in 2008.

” He does not appreciate age … I appreciate that as well,” she told reporters. “Until the twenty years olds are running past me – then we’ll have another discussion.”

The group next plays Colombia in another friendly on Friday ahead of next month’s SheBelieves Cup.

( Reporting by Amy Tennery; Modifying by Shri Navaratnam).

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