The USWNT kicks off their first match in the Tournament of Nations against Australia tonight at 7 pm. The tournament, like the SheBelieves Cup, is a round robin-style friendly competition featuring top ten-ranked teams (the other two squads in the tournament are Japan and Brazil). All matches will be doubleheaders, with tonight’s US game kicking off after a 4:15 pm Japan-Brazil matchup wraps up. The US will play Brazil at 5 pm on July 30th, and Japan at 7 pm on August 3rd. Matches will air on ESPN, ESPN2, or the EPSN app (details below).
Jill Ellis’s 23-woman roster features two Thorns, Allie Long and Lindsey Horan. The Matildas’ roster includes Hayley Raso, who has become a key piece for Portland in recent weeks.
For the US, the main storyline is about development: five of the Americans called up for the tournament (Abby Smith, Jane Campbell, Taylor Smith, Abby Dahlkemper, and Margaret Purce) have fewer than five caps, and while they likely won’t all see playing time, they represent a continued infusion of new blood into the national team pool that can only strengthen the team as we head towards the next World Cup cycle. Playing friendlies against quality sides in a year without a major tournament for the US is also a step in the right direction in terms of development.
Fortunately for Thorns fans, US Soccer has kept this tournament inside the FIFA window. Depending on how much time various players get in various games, the Thorns may still be short-handed for their August 5th match against the Dash, but it’s still an improvement over previous friendly call-ups (the 2015 World Cup Victory Tour comes to mind).
Watch it on: ESPN, WatchESPN (US/Brazil and US/Japan will air on ESPN2; non-US matches on WatchESPN)
When: July 27th, 7:00 p.m. PT
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
U.S. Women's National Team Tournament of Nations Roster by Position:GOALKEEPERS (2): 18- Jane Campbell (Houston Dash;1/0), 1- Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 15/0); 21- Abby Smith (Boston Breakers; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (7): 7- Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 4/0), 8- Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars: 49/8), 11- Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 98/1); 5- Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC; 96/2), 4- Becky Sauerbrunn(FC Kansas City; 126/0), 7- Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 10/0); 16- Taylor Smith (NC Courage; 0/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 6- Morgan Brian (Houston Dash; 66/6), 10- Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash; 239/97), 20- Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC; 27/5), 3- Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 25/4), 17- Margaret Purce (Boston Breakers; 0/0); 15- Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign; 121/31)
FORWARDS (7): 19- Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC; 52/22), 9- Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 35/3); 2- Sydney Leroux (FC Kansas City/ 75/35), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride: 125/73); 23-Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), 22- Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), 12- Lynn Williams (NC Courage)