CHICAGO (Dec, 4, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will face France and England on a two-game tour of Europe over the first two weeks of February in what will be the USA’s initial preparation matches for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup next summer in Canada.
The USA will face France on Sunday, Feb. 8, in the northwest city of Lorient at the 18,500-seat Stade du Moustoir, which is home to Ligue 1 side FC Lorient. The Americans then travel to England for a showdown with the Three Lionesses on Friday, Feb. 13.
The kickoff time for the match in France and venue and kickoff time for the match in England will be announced in the coming weeks.
Both France and England went unbeaten in their UEFA Women’s World Cup qualifying groups. France compiled a 10-0-0 record while scoring 54 goals and allowing just three. England also went 10-0-0, while netting 52 goals against just one allowed. France is currently ranked fourth in the world and England is seventh.
“These games are exactly what we need,” said U.S. head coach Jill Ellis. “Our goal leading up to the World Cup is to play some of the best team. These are two opponents that will test us and certainly two teams we could meet in Canada. Both teams are exceptionally well-organized, have a high level of athleticism and will pose some excellent challenges.”
The U.S. Women played France twice earlier this year in two highly competitive matches last June: a 1-0 U.S. victory in Tampa, Fla., on a score from Sydney Leroux and a 2-2 draw in East Hartford, Conn., in which Alex Morgan scored both goals. The USA has not played in France since 1995 when it was coincidently also preparing for a World Cup, playing three matches over a span of five days against Italy, Canada and France.
The match against the England will be just the USA’s second against the Three Lionesses in the country. The Americans' first game against England on its home soil resulted in a 2-1 loss in London on April 2, 2011, which is one of only six defeats the USA has suffered since the beginning of 2011. More recently, the Women's National Team brought home its fourth gold medal on the back of an undefeated 6-0-0 run at the 2012 London Olympics, although it did not face England during that competition.
- The USA, England and France will find out their first-round groups for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Saturday, Dec. 6, as the Final Draw is conducted in Ottawa. Fans can watch it live on FOX Sports 1 at Noon ET / 9 a.m. PT.
- The USA is 14-0-2 all-time vs. France. The teams met in the semifinal of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and during group play at the 2012 Olympics.
- The USA is 7-3-1 all-time against England. The teams haven’t met since the match in London at Leyton Orient in 2011.
- The U.S. WNT includes players who have played professional club soccer in both France and England. Megan Rapinoe played with Olympique Lyon and Tobin Heath played with Paris Saint-Germain, both in 2013-2014. Whitney Engen helped the Liverpool Ladies to a league title in 2013.