Int'l Football Sports

‘We’ll fight’- Ordega relishing NWSL return as Nigeria face world champions the USA

Nigeria women’s assistant captain Francisca Ordega says the Super Falcons will ‘fight’ when they head to Austin to battle world champions, the United States at Q2 Stadium on June 16.

The African champions will engage for the first time outside a major tournament World Cup holders the US women’s team, Jamaica and Portugal in the Summer Series, commencing this week in Texas.

The grade A friendly will be the first for the Super Falcons since pre-Women’s World Cup build-ups against France and Canada in 2019.

It’s great to play in a high profile tournament and an opportunity we’ve been looking towards,” Ordega told SavidNews.

“We’ve not often had the chance to compete against the best in the world. My current set has not had the chance to play in the US except at the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada where we lost 1-0 to them.

“This time, it’s another opportunity, although it’s a new and youth team that the new coach is currently building. Regardless, we are happy with the chance to compete with the best team in the world.”

The 27-year-old, who had 61 appearances and scored 11 goals during her four-year spell with Washington Spirit, is relishing a reunion with ex-teammate Crystal Dunn and a thrilling NWSL arena.

“I am excited and want to see some of the players I played with at Washington Spirit. I can’t wait to play against the likes of Crystal Dunn, Alexander Krieger and many more,” she continued.

“I am looking forward to playing against them again and to feel the pressure, playing inside the stadium. If you’re playing in America, it’s quite different.

“To be frank, I’ve played in several countries, but America is still the best place in the world. They have all other players playing back home. It’s always amazing, a great experience and feels the atmosphere, the food and everything.”

Before taking on the USA in their final game, the West Africans will open the series against Jamaica at the BBVA Stadium on Thursday before tackling Portugal at the same venue three days later.

The Levante star, who featured in the narrow 2015 defeat, admits a lot has changed to her side but is still upbeat they can hold their own against Olympic-bound Vlatko Andonovski’s side.

“I can’t really compare the team we had then at the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada and the one we have now,” she enthused.

“We have a lot of young and new players now but back then, we had the likes of Perpetual Nkwocha, Desire Oparanozie, Precious Dede, Ngozi Okobi and some home-based who are not part of this team.

“We have a lot of talented players in the team and I strongly believe that we will fight against the US.

“I don’t believe that any team is better than my team but in reality, the US are one of the best presently as the reigning world champions, winning several Women’s World Cups. That said, we are good and they are equally good. We will see what happens.”