When NJ/NY Gotham FC player, Lynn Williams, was chosen to represent the United States Women's National Team at the World Cup in New Zealand and Australia, there was no doubt the decision was well deserved. She has been playing extremely well in 2023 and arguably is one of the best in the NWSL.
So far, Williams unfortunately has not seen any minutes in the two matches of the group round. Notably, there is quite a bit of talent on the squad. Sophia Smith, Alex Morgan, and Trinity Rodman all deserve to start as the forwards too.
However, the fact the Gotham FC star has not seen any minutes is borderline criminal. She has nine goals in all competitions and has been a major factor in her club's strong performance in 2023.
Lynn Williams must see minutes against Portugal
Her ability to play both on the wings and as a striker gives Vlatko Andonovski the option to substitute her on in either position. Yet, he has not done so. This has left many questioning the head coach's choices in the World Cup, especially in the game against the Netherlands. Shockingly, the only change he made was to bring on Rosa Lavelle.
Meanwhile, Williams was available, so the media asked Andonovski why he did not utilize the forward. He responded with the following:
"I just didn't want to disrupt the rhythm at that point because sometimes a substitute comes in and it might take a minute or two to get into a rhythm. We just didn't want to jeopardize anything because I thought all three of our forwards were very good today, dangerous, created opportunities and were a handful."- Vlatko Andonovski
Yes, opportunities were created. Yes, the starting forwards played well. But, the goals never arrived. They did not score. As such, it would have been a great idea to bring on Williams to see whether she could be the spark. The talent is there, so why not?
Also, the USWNT players are creating opportunities, but they are not capitalizing on them as they should be. In the win against Vietnam, the team had 28 shots with seven on target. In the draw against the Netherlands, the team had 18 shots with four on target. Between the two matches, the ladies have only managed four goals. For the US, this is not the team supporters are used to. In complete honesty, they should have scored more.
Hence, Williams should see minutes in the game against Portugal. Her talent is available to utilize, so Andonovski should bring her on in the second half. In fact, if the USWNT is down or level at halftime, then she should be brought on in the 46th minute. In addition, some are calling for the Gotham FC player to start.
No matter what, Williams has to play. She is not someone to leave on the bench. She might be the hero the USWNT needs to keep first place, or even the hero that is needed to remain in the World Cup.