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USWNT defeat China 3-0 in front of shockingly low attendance — where were the fans??

New faces graced the pitch for the United States women’s national team on Saturday during their 3-0 victory vs. China, however there were a serious lack of faces in the stands of DRV PNK Stadium.

Saturday’s game in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was technically the first game of the Emma Hayes era as the new head coach will join the squad next year. 

Big names like Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn, Alyssa Naeher and Becky Sauerbrunn were left off the roster as the USWNT begin preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Despite those household names left at home, the starting XI for the USWNT was still strong. Sophia Smith started at the No. 9 position and was joined in attack by Trinity Rodman and Rose Lavelle.

Still, the fans didn’t show in a terribly disappointing turn out. The official attendance hasn't been posted, but it was likely under 10,000 fans.

A peek at SeatGeek before the game showed that tickets were going for as cheap as $16 with others in the $20 range. Next Tuesday's game for the USWNT show prices around $40. What gives?

It’s hard to say what the exact reasoning for the sparse crowd was. Was it the lack of the bigger names, China not being the most interesting opponent, the start of the holiday season, people watching college football, poor marketing, Florida fans not caring or DRV PNK Stadium only filling if Lionel Messi is there?

Perhaps it was a mixture of all those factors.

The result for the USWNT was never in question as the Americans outshot China 20-2. Trinity Rodman assisted two and scored one for herself.

Some of the finishing in front of goal for the USWNT was rather shaky including this brutal open goal miss from Smith.

The other big highlight was getting to see so many new names on the field at the same time including USWNT debuts for Jenna Nighswonger and 18-year-old Olivia Moultrie.

Six substitutes were used for the USWNT which included the likes of Mia Fishel, Jaedyn Shaw, Sam Coffey and Midge Purce.

The U.S. will play China again on Tuesday at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. That game will include a farewell ceremony to legendary defender Ali Krieger before kickoff.

Perhaps that game will attract better attendance.

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