By Ed Malik, A / August 31, 2022
The Nigerian female national team and nine-time African champions, Super Falcons have arrived in Kansas, United States of America on a two-match tour with the United States Women’s National Team, (USWNT).
The friendlies will take place at the Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas on Saturday, September 03, 2022 and another on September 6th at the Audi Field in Washington, D. C.
The two countries who have both qualified for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and are expectedly using the epic encounters to prepare for themselves for the event.
Nigerian female coach, Randy Waldrum has picked four members of Nigeria’s U-20 girls that reached the quarter finals at the just-concluded FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica, namely defenders Oluwatosin Demehin and Rofiat Imuran, and midfielders Esther Onyenezide and Deborah Abiodun.
Other members of the delegation include some home-based professionals; Christy Ohiaeriaku, Akudo Ogbonna and Gift Monday.
Also, in the delegation are first-choice goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, defender Osinachi Ohale, midfielder Toni Payne and forwards Rasheedat Ajibade and Uchenna Kanu, who are expected to provide the spine for an interesting Nigeria selection.
The USWNT is the most successful team in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, having won four of the eight championships competed for, so far. The USWNT who usually adorn the ‘Stars and Stripes’ brand of the USA were champions of the very first edition in China in 1991. Later, they won on home soil in 1999, in Canada in 2015 and in France 2019. The team has also won four Olympic women’s football gold medals and eight CONCACAF titles.
The Super Falcons has won the Women Africa Cup of Nations nine times and also have played in every edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. They remain the most successful women’s team on the African continent having dominantly played at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic women’s football tournament.
The Children’s Mercy Park is home to Kansas City in the US National Women’s Soccer League and Sporting Kansas City in the Major League Soccer, while Audi Field is utilized by National Women’s Soccer League side Washington Spirit and Major League Soccer team, D. C. United.
The match in Kansas City will see Vlatko Andonovski, appointed Coach of USWNT at the end of 2019, return to his home area for the second time. It is the sixth time that the USWNT will be playing at the Children’s Mercy Park but it is their first time at the Audi Field, though they have played 10 times previously in Washington – all at the RFK Stadium.
Andonovski says he’s excited to send out his girls against the Super Falcons: “First, I’m just excited to play two matches against Nigeria. They have some very talented players who will present a lot of different problems for us to solve on both sides of the ball.”
The full line-up of the Super Falcons comprises Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC, France); Christy Ohiaeriaku (Edo Queens) while the Defenders are: Nicole Payne (West Virginia University, USA); Glory Ogbonna (ALG Spor, Turkey); Osinachi Ohale (Deportivo Alaves, Spain); Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash, USA); Akudo Ogbonna (Edo Queens); Oluwatosin Demehin (Rivers Angels)
The Midfielders are: Jennifer Echegini (Florida State University, USA); Christy Ucheibe (SL Benfica, Portugal); Toni Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain); Amanda Mbadi Uju (Atasehir Belediyespor, Turkey); Deborah Abiodun (Rivers Angels), and Forwards made up of Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid, Spain); Rofiat Imuran (Rivers Angels); Uchenna Kanu (Tigres Femenil, Mexico); Vivian Ikechukwu (WFC Gintra, Lithuania); Ifeoma Onumonu (NY/NJ Gotham FC, USA); Gift Monday (Bayelsa Queens); Esther Onyenezide (FC Robo Queens)