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Trinity Rodman shows off USWNT’s ‘flexible’ front line in World Cup send-off

(Carmen Mandato/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

The USWNT’s win against Wales showed off the potential of its front line, with forwards Trinity Rodman and Sophia Smith switching positions to great effect.

Rodman entered the match as a substitute at the No. 9, but she also flipped to the wings. The position flip helped her pull off some late-game heroics, as she scored two goals in the the 2-0 win — the second of which USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski called “world-class.”

Following the game, Andonovski noted that Rodman entering the game elevated the USWNT.

“She was one of the players that went in and had a task to fulfill to raise the pace and the tempo of the game a little bit,” he said. “And we saw that the tempo changed dramatically.”

At halftime, Andonovski asked the team not only to speed up the run of play but also to “be braver and trust their instinct.” Both of those things, he said, happened in the second half. And the flexibility of the forward group played a big part.

“I would say the majority of our forwards are very flexible in terms of the position that they’re playing,” he said. “They can play multiple positions and they can do that with success. We saw that Trinity went in as a 9 and then found a little more success wider. So they switched. (Sophia Smith) started as a 7. Then the goal that was scored, she was the 11, and then finished the game as a 9.

“It just makes us a little more unpredictable and because of how they play, they play a lot by instinct as well. They understand the game and use their instinct to find themselves in the game. They have the freedom to roam from one to another position to implement or impose themselves to the game.”