CHICAGO (May 10, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will begin play at the U.S. Soccer Tournament of Nations against Australia on July 27 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle (7p.m. PT; ESPN).
LAST TIME OUT
The USA and Australia last met in the opening match of Group D play at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Winnipeg, Canada. The 3-1 U.S. win ignited the WNT’s seven-game run to the World Cup title.
Midfielder Megan Rapinoe scored two goals and forward Christen Press had one to propel the Americans past the Matildas. The USA’s first goal came off a deflected shot from Rapinoe in the 12th minute, but speedy Australian striker Lisa de Vanna tied things up in the 27th.
The USA attack came alive in the second half and the Americans dominated down the stretch with Press and Rapinoe scoring the game-winner and clincher, respectively. The goals were Rapinoe’s second and third in World Cup play after she scored against Colombia at the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany. It was Press’ first World Cup goal and it came in her World Cup debut.
The Series: USA vs. Australia
The USA has a record of 25-0-2 against Australia dating back to 1987 and has outscored the Matildas 95-22. The WNT has only allowed more than one goal to Australia on just four occasions. Before the 2015 WWC match, the two sides had last met on Oct. 20, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas, a 4-0 U.S. victory.
Out of the 27 meetings between both teams, 12 have been outside the USA with the Americans winning 11 of those matches and tying one. Fifteen of the games have been on U.S. soil, with the USA winning 14 times and tying once, a 1-1 draw on Oct. 16, 2005 in Fullerton, California.
Aussies in the States
The NWSL is home to a several Australia National Team players, most notably goalkeeper Lydia Williams, who is the starting goalkeeper for Australia and the Houston Dash, where she is teammates with WNT players Carli Lloyd and Morgan Brian. Williams also played pro club soccer in the USA for both the Western New York Flash and the Washington Spirit. During her time with those clubs, she played alongside U.S. defender Ali Krieger and fellow goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. Another prominent figure for Australian women’s soccer in the U.S. is defender Steph Catley, who plays for the Orlando Pride alongside Harris, Krieger and Alex Morgan, and at 57 caps is one of the most capped players on the Matildas roster.
Veterans Haley Raso (Portland Thorns), Samantha Kerr (Sky Blue FC) and Alanna Kennedy (Orlando Pride) also compete with and against U.S. Women’s National Team players. Most recently, Laura Alleway (Orlando Pride) and Larissa Crummer (Seattle Reign) worked their way into the National Team and were named to the Olympic Team in 2016. Alleway has 48 caps with Australia, while Crummer has 13. They both have two goals each.
Americans Down Under
Australia has become a popular off-season destination for American players as the Australian league is underway during the off months of the NWSL. Several players have jetted off to Australia in the last few years, including many names that have ties to the U.S. WNT. In the past two years, recent call ups Megan Oyster (Boston Breakers) went down under to played for Newcastle Jets, while midfielder Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars) played for Adelaide United in 2016. Sarah Killion (Sky Blue FC), who was with the WNT during this past January Camp, played for Adelaide United in 2015. Other players in the league that have headed to Australia and have received a call-up to the U.S. WNT at one point or another include: Christine Nairn (Seattle Reign / Melbourne Victory), Vanessa DiBernardo (Chicago Red Stars / Perth Glory), Arin Gilliland (Chicago Red Stars / Newcastle Jets) and Eryka Tymrak (FC Kansas City / Melbourne City FC), etc.
Aussie Legend: Lisa De Vanna
De Vanna, Australia’s co-captain (alongside fellow veteran Clare Polkinghorne), is still one of the most dangerous attacking players in the world and the most capped player for Australia with 121. De Vanna has had a very lengthy professional soccer resume that began in 2006 in England. During her more than 10 years as a professional, De Vanna has played in the United States various times, including a stint with the Washington Freedom in 2009-10, magicJack in 2011, Sly Blue FC in 2013, and most recently the Boston Breakers (2014), Washington Spirit (2014) and the Orlando Pride (2016).
De Vanna has played in two Olympic Games (2004, 2016) and three Women’s World Cups (2007, 2011, 2015), helping Australia reach the quarterfinal round in each of those five tournaments. With 40 international goals, she is currently the leading scorer for Australia, doubling the next closest player, Kyah Simon who at age 25 already has 74 caps and 22 goals. Simon played in the U.S. with the Boston Breakers from 2015-16.
Just like many countries around the world, Australia is going through a bit of a rebuilding period and while it still counts on many of its veterans, change is coming for the Matildas. On their latest roster that finished in fourth place at the 2017 Algarve Cup, Australia’s squad featured only six players that were 25 years or older. Meanwhile, the two youngest were 16-year-old Ellie Carpenter (7 caps; 1 goal) and 18-year-old Alex Chidiac (3 caps).
At CenturyLink Field
The U.S. Women have played in the state of Washington four times. The match against Australia will only be the second game at CenturyLink Field, where the U.S. most recently faced Brazil on Oct. 21, 2015, a 1-1 draw, that was also the farewell game for legendary WNT midfielder Shannon Boxx.