Mallory Swanson adding to USWNT environment in return from injury

Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Swanson is with the USWNT ahead of the Gold Cup.

LOS ANGELES — Mallory Swanson is a crucial part of the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT). She is a skilled forward, capable of producing at a highly efficient rate. Swanson uses her quick speed and dribbling ability to create chances and hits the target at an exceptional rate. 

More simply, she gets results. And she was on track to do so with the USWNT in the 2023 Women’s World Cup before she suffered a torn left patellar tendon in April of 2023, a few months before the Women’s World Cup. 

The USWNT proceeded to exit in the Round of 16 in the tournament, a disappointing finish for the squad. Swanson’s absence was probably not the only reason for such a finish, but not having her there did not help their chances.  

Now, in Feb., Swanson has returned to the USWNT, joining the group as they prepare for the Women’s Gold Cup. Swanson is a training player, so she will not play in matches, but she is providing a boost through her infectious personality and quality of play.

Forward Trinity Rodman made a TikTok to welcome Swanson back, featuring multiple other players who were excited about her return. 

I don’t know if you saw the TikTok, but everyone was super happy about that [Swanson’s return],” Rodman said. “It’s amazing to have her back in camp. She’s got a great personality, on and off the field.”

Midfielder Rose Lavelle is one of the players excited that Swanson is back. Lavelle and Swanson lived together for a few years while playing for the Washington Spirit. 

I love her so much on the field because she’s amazing and so special on the field,” Lavelle said. “But, I’m so obsessed with her off the field. It is so great to have her back in camp. It’s so fun… She’s funny and fun. Good vibes” 

Swanson’s on-the-field presence has proved valuable, too. She has added an elevated level of intensity to training sessions and is connecting well with her teammates. 

When she [Swanson] comes into training, she brings in intensity, and she hasn’t missed a beat, which is amazing,” Rodman said. “Our connection has gotten better. And even just the few days we’ve been here, our communication and bouncing ideas off of each other has been really good. We really missed her, so it’s it’s nice to have her back.”

The most likely first chance for Swanson to appear for the USWNT in 2024 is during the SheBelieves Cup, which is in April. By then, she could have played a few NWSL games with the Chicago Red Stars as the season kicks off on March 16. 

If Swanson returns to the USWNT during the SheBelieves Cup, it would be ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics. There, the USWNT has the opportunity to display its talent on a global stage after an earlier-than-expected exit at the World Cup.