Nigeria’s Super Falcons have arrived in the U.S. on a two-match tour comprising two friendly matches with the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT).
Ademola Olajire, Director of Communications at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.
He said the first of the two matches will take place at the Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that both teams are using the friendly matches to prepare for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup finals scheduled for Australia and New Zealand.
They will face each other once more at the Audi Field in Washington, D. C. on Tuesday.
Olajire disclosed also that Falcons’ Head Coach Randy Waldrum has picked four members of the Nigerian under-20 women team to the just-concluded FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.
These are defenders Oluwatosin Demehin and Rofiat Imuran, and midfielders Esther Onyenezide and Deborah Abiodun, all prominent members of the team which reached the quarter-finals.
“Home-based professionals Christy Ohiaeriaku, Akudo Ogbonna and Gift Monday are also in the delegation.
“First-choice goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, defender Osinachi Ohale, midfielder Toni Payne and forwards Rasheedat Ajibade and Uchenna Kanu will equally provide the spine for an interesting Nigeria selection,” the NFF official said.
NAN reports that the USWNT is the most successful team in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, having won four of all eight championships competed for so far.
They were champions of the very first edition in China in 1991, and then won on home soil in 1999, in Canada in 2015 and in France in 2019.
The team have also won four Olympic women’s football gold medals and eight CONCACAF titles.
The Super Falcons have won the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations nine times, and played in every edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
They also played at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic women’s football tournament and remain the most successful women’s team on the African continent.
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.
The Audi Field is being used 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, who was appointed USWNT coach at the end of 2019, return to his home area for the second time.
It is the sixth time the USWNT will be playing at the Children’s Mercy Park, but it is their first time at the Audi Field.
But they have played 10 times previously in Washington —- all at the RFK Stadium.
Already, Andonovski has been quoted as saying he was 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.”
SUPER FALCONS FOR FRIENDLIES WITH THE USWNT:
Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC, France); Christy Ohiaeriaku (Edo Queens)
Defenders: 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)
Midfielders: 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)
Forwards: 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).