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USWNT will face Nigeria in international friendlies in September

Alex Morgan and the USWNT attack will look to get the better of Canada's stifling defense in the final. (Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

The U.S. women’s national team will play two friendlies against Nigeria during the September international window, the team announced Wednesday.

The USWNT has faced Nigeria six times, but just once in a friendly — a 2-0 victory in June 2021 on goals from Christen Press and Lynn Williams. The first five meetings between the teams came in international tournaments, and the United States won all five matches.

The first of the two matches this September will be played Sept. 3 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City. The second match will be played Sept. 6 at Audi Field in Washington.

“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,” USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski said in the news release.

The USWNT is in the midst of the Concacaf W Championship. The team won its group and qualified for next year’s World Cup. Next up comes a semifinal at 7 p.m. ET Thursday against Costa Rica.

The tournament, though, has raised questions about the team’s readiness for the World Cup, with Andonovski admitting that the team has more work to do.

“I have to say if you asked me if we are ready to play in the World Cup tomorrow, we’re probably not ready for it,” Andonovski said following the team’s final group-stage win Monday over Mexico. “But we are going to be ready in a year, absolutely.”

Yet the quality of the USWNT’s friendly opponents recently invites questions about the team’s preparation. Nigeria is ranked 39th in FIFA’s world rankings. Earlier this year, the USWNT played Uzbekistan, which is ranked 46th by FIFA, as well as Colombia, which is ranked 28th.

UEFA World Cup qualifying resumes during the September international window, so possible opponents were limited. Two more international windows come in October and November, and those could spell a different story for the USWNT.