The U.S. Women’s National Team advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2019 Women’s World Cup after defeating Spain 2-1 in a hard-fought battle on June 24. The USA will now face tournament host France in Paris on June 28 (3 p.m. ET; FOX and Telemundo). Les Bleues rolled through Group A, defeating Korea Republic, Norway and Nigeria, in that order. France opened the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Paris at Parc des Princes, the site of the quarterfinal showdown with the USA.
Below is France’s roster and 5 Things to Know about the tournament host.
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-SolèneDurand (EA deGuingamp), 21- PaulinePeyraud-Magnin(Arsenal FC, England), 16-SarahBouhaddi(Olympique Lyonnais)
DEFENDERS (8): 2-ÈvePerisset(Paris Saint-Germain), 3-Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyonnais), 4-Marion Torrent (Montpellier HSC), 5-AïssatouTounkara(Atlético Madrid, Spain), 7-SakinaKarchaoui(Montpellier HSC), 10-AmelMajri(Olympique Lyonnais), 19-Griedge M’bock Bathy (Olympique Lyonnais), 22-JulieDebever(EA deGuingamp),
MIDFIELDERS (6): 6-Amandine Henry (Olympique Lyonnais),8-GraceGeyoro(Paris Saint-Germain), 14-CharlotteBilbault(Paris FC), 15-ÉliseBussaglia(Dijon FCOF), 17-GaëtaneThiney(Paris FC), Maéve Clemaron (FC Fleury 91)
FORWARDS (6): 9-EugénieLe Sommer (Olympique Lyonnais), 11- KadidiatouDiani (Paris Saint-Germain FC), 12-Emelyne Laurent (EA de Guinegamp), 13-ValérieGauvin (Montpellier HSC), 18-VivianeAsseyi(FC Girondins de Bordeaux), 20-DelphineCascarino(Olympique Lyonnais)
HEAD COACH: CorinneDiacre, a former star player who debuted for France at the age of 18 and compiled 121 caps for Les Bleues. She played in the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 1997, 2001 and 2005 European Championships, where she was the team captain. As head coach for Clermont Foot from 2014-2017, Diacre was the first woman to take charge of a professional men’s team in France.
USA VS. FRANCE HISTORY
The USA is 17-3-3 all-time against France, but the last nine games following the meeting at the 2012 Olympics have produced a 4-3-2 record for the USA as France has risen into the world’s elite. The USA’s first loss to France came on Feb. 8, 2015, a 2-0 setback in Lorient, France that kicked off the 2015 schedule for both teams. The USA avenged the loss with a 2-0 victory in the championship game of the 2015 Algarve Cup in Portugal as Julie Ertz (neé Johnston) and Christen Press scored. The USA’s second loss came at the 2017 SheBelieves Cup, while the third took place in the teams’ first match of 2019, a 3-1 U.S. defeat in Le Havre on Jan. 19 in a match in which the USA was missing a handful of starting players. France’s forward Kadidiatou Diani was able to put away two goals for Les Bleues and Marie-Antoinette Katoto finished the third. USWNT forward Mallory Pugh closed out the match by putting the U.S. on the board in the 91st minute.
So far in the World Cup, France is 4-0-0, having outscored their opponents 9-2 with only four players (Le Sommer, Renard, Henry and Gauvin) accounting for all nine goals, five of which have come from set pieces. France needed extra time to get past Brazil in the Round of 16, winning 2-1 thanks to Amandine Henry’s 107th-minute winner off a set play. France has not lost in France since the beginning of 2016, compiling a record of 21-0-3 at home over that time. They ended 2018 on a seven-game win streak in which they outscored their opponents, 27-1.
Although several veterans and other top talents have retired since the last World Cup, France has some highly experienced players including Gaëtane Thiney, who plays for Paris FC, and dynamic forward Le Sommer of Olympique Lyon. They are France’s main scoring threats, having combined for more than 130 international goals.
Of the 15 goals France scored in 2018, Le Sommer’s converted nine. Thiney had five assists to go along with three goals. Captain midfielder Amandine Henry is known for her commanding presence on the pitch and is experienced with 87 caps and 13 goals. She played alongside five USWNT players for the Portland Thorns in 2016-2017 and assisted the club to the 2017 NSWL title. Goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi is the long-time starter. She was France’s starter in the 2015 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.
FUTURE FOR FRANCE
Like the USA, France has been in transition with some younger players who have come up through the youth National Team ranks, including defender Griedge M’bock Bathy, defender Grace Geyoro, defender Aissatou Tounkara and midfielder Kadidiatou Diani. All were all major parts of the France team that won the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. Diani scored four times in the tournament and M’bock Bathy once.
France has not been able to advance past the quarterfinal round of the last four major tournaments it has seen action in. These tournaments include the UEFA Women’s EURO 2013, the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016 and UEFA Women’s EURO 2017.