US Summer Series ‘great opportunity’ for Nigeria, says Asisat Oshoala


The Nigeria women's team at the Turkish Cup in February
The Nigeria girls’s crew on the Turkish Cup in February (Pic courtesy of Nigeria Soccer Federation)

Nigeria girls’s captain Asisat Oshoala says the Tremendous Falcons involvement within the 2021 Summer season Collection in Texas, USA, is a good alternative for the crew to proceed growing.

The reigning African champions have been invited to hitch World Cup holders the US girls’s crew (USWNT), as they put together for the Olympics, in addition to Jamaica and Portugal within the four-team occasion set to happen between 10 and 16 June.

Prior to now the nine-time African champions haven’t performed many friendlies between aggressive matches however it will the Tremendous Falcons second sequence of the 12 months after successful the Turkish Cup in February.

“It is a terrific alternative for us to be concerned in a contest involving different prime groups,” the 26-year-old Barcelona ahead advised BBC Sport Africa.

“We are literally pleased to have one other unbelievable alternative of coming collectively once more after the February tenting in Turkey.

“It is one other alternative to hep the crew construct and get higher forward of the qualifying [African Women Cup of Nations] video games developing afterward.”

Earlier than the summer season sequence Oshoala, a four-time African Participant of the Yr, will play within the European Champions League remaining for Barcelona Femeni in opposition to Chelsea Ladies on 16 Might.

First up for Oshoala and her crew can be Jamaica at BBVA Stadium in Houston on 10 June, adopted by a gathering with Portugal three days later on the identical venue.

Earlier than touring to Austin’s Q2 stadium to face four-time World and Olympics champions USA on the residence of recent Main League Soccer membership, Austin FC, on 16 June.

Constructive step

The match in opposition to Nigeria will mark the primary time the USA has ever confronted the Tremendous Falcons outdoors of a worldwide match and will probably be simply the third-ever pleasant in opposition to an African nation, with the earlier two coming in opposition to South Africa.

The USA have received all 5 of their earlier conferences in opposition to Nigeria – 4 of these victories got here at World Cup finals and the opposite within the Olympics.

Nigeria and Barcelona's Asisat Oshoala
Nigeria girls’s captain is about to play within the European Champions League remaining in opposition to Chelsea

The format of the Summer season Collection will function the USA and Nigeria enjoying three matches whereas Portugal and Jamaica will play two. Therefore, no standings can be saved and all matches can be handled as friendlies.

“It is also an enormous step in testing the crew in opposition to a really excellent and skilled facet,” Oshoala added.

“On this case successful would not actually matter, the coach can have the possibility to take a look at extra skills and maybe begin constructing his crew too.

“To be a part of a mini-tournament in opposition to some actually good groups is a extremely constructive step for us as gamers and the nation.”

Actuality test

The video games may also come as a actuality test for Nigeria who would have been hoping they might be preparation for July’s delayed Olympics in Tokyo however for the second successive time they didn’t qualify for the quadrennial occasion.

Nigeria’s American head coach, Randy Waldrum, who was formely in control of US Ladies’s league membership Houston Sprint, believes the Tremendous Falcons are flying in the correct course.

“The Summer season Collection is an attention-grabbing occasion and the groups that includes are of very top quality,” he stated.

“It’s a nice prospect for us as we proceed to construct forward of the qualifying video games for subsequent 12 months’s Ladies Africa Cup of Nations.”

The Confederation of African Soccer (Caf) will maintain the draw for subsequent 12 months’s Ladies’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo on Monday, with the finals set to be hosted by Morocco.

Continental giants Nigeria are the one African crew to have performed in all eight Ladies’s World Cups since 1991, however they’ve didn’t translate their continental dominance on the world stage.

Their finest efficiency on the World Cup got here when reaching the quarter-finals in 1999.

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