Lynn Williams came through when it mattered for USWNT

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Lynn Williams showed Friday that she should have been on the Olympic team from the outset.

Williams, initially named an alternate for the United States’ Olympic team before rosters expanded, earned her first start of the Olympics on Friday. After the USWNT went down 1-0 to the Netherlands in their quarterfinal meeting, Williams connected with Sam Mewis for the team’s first goal. Three minutes later, the forward scored one of her own to give the USWNT a lead.

Despite Vivianne Miedema’s two goals for the Dutch, the USWNT would eventually win on penalty kicks.

With her performance, it’s hard to imagine the USWNT competing in the Olympics without her. Williams’ journey to this point makes her debut game even sweeter.

After narrowly missing the World Cup roster in 2019, Williams was named an alternate for this year’s Olympic team. Later, the Olympic rosters were expanded from 18 to 22 players for COVID-19 reasons, and Williams was officially named to the U.S. team.

It’s crazy to think now that one of the few bright spots on the USWNT’s front line Friday nearly didn’t make the roster.

Williams’ run will continue Monday, when the USWNT takes on Canada in the semifinals for a spot in the gold-medal game against the winner of Sweden and Australia.