Banyana Banyana arrived in Santa Clara, California, on Wednesday night after a 31-hour flight that included a 10-hour stop in New York ahead of their international friendly with the host nation at the Levi Stadium on Sunday.
Both nations will use the clash to prepare for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France early next month.
Banyana Coach Desiree Ellis has selected a squad of 23 players that includes Spain-based Ode Fuludutilu, Nomvula Kgoale who is based in the USA as well as Nothando Vilakazi who plies her trade in Lithuania and the trio met up with the squad in the USA.
This will be the second time Banyana tussles with the Americans having lost 1-0 to the number one ranked side three years ago in Chicago, just before the Rio Olympics.
Banyana captain Janine Van Wyk believes that the defending World Champions have perfect test ahead of the global showpiece.
Van Wyk is no stranger to American football having had a stint with the National Women’s Soccer League side Houston Dash in recent times.
The 32 year old made 37 appearances in two seasons at Dash before she left to throw her focus on helping Banyana qualify for the World Cup last year.
Van Wyk’s input on the American players will surely come in handy for Ellis.
Banyana will conclude their preparations when they take on Norway for the first time on the 2nd of June at Stade Moulonguet in Amiens, France.
Norway has been to seven FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments in a row and France 2019 will be their 8th appearance.
Van Wyk, the most capped South African footballer of all time with 149 national team appearances, says they are all too excited for the World Cup.
Pitted in Group B, Banyana will open their campaign against Spain on the 8th of June before playing China on the 13th and two-time champions Germany on the 17th. – Report by Tumi Gabonamong
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