The U.S. Women’s National Team will look to sweep its two-game set against China PR when it hits the field for the second leg on Tuesday, June 12 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland (7 p.m. ET; ESPN2). The USA defeated China, 1-0, on June 7 in Sandy, Utah, as Alex Morgan scored on a header in the 57th minute. The USA out-shot China 11-3, but the match had a dearth of quality scoring chances. China’s tactics featured a compact defense with 10 players often behind the ball and all 11 at times inside their own 35-yard line. The U.S. goal came off a set play on a perfect service from Megan Rapinoe. Although the USA did have 12 corner kicks to China’s 1, the Americans will be looking to break down China’s defensive wall more efficiently and frequently in Cleveland.
These two meetings mark the first matches against China PR since December 2015. The USA is 6-0-1 so far in 2018, with wins over Denmark, Germany, England, Mexico (twice), and China PR along with a tie against France.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position (Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (4): Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 15/0), Casey Murphy (Montpellier HSC, FRA; 0/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 28/0), Abby Smith (Utah Royals FC; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (5): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 18/0), Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 6/0), Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars; 5/0), Merritt Mathias (NC Courage; 0/0), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 137/0)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 74/6), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 59/15); Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 49/5), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 7/2), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 252/100); Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 34/7); Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC; 37/6), McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 1/0)
FORWARDS (7): Crystal Dunn (NC Courage, ENG; 62/23), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns; 132/18), Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue FC; 5/0), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 140/85), Christen Press (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC, SWE; 98/44), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign; 135/36), Amy Rodriguez (Utah Royals FC; 130/30)
China Women’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Peng Shimeng (Jiangsu FC), 24-Yang Yan (Henan FC), 31-Zhou Li (Shandong FC)
DEFENDERS (7): 2-Liu Shanshan (Beijing FC), 4-Li Danyang (Dalian FC), 5-Wu Haiyan (Wuhan FC), 6-Lin Yuping (Wuhan FC), 26-Wang Yan (Dalian FC), 27-Yao Wei (Wuhan FC), 29-Li Tingting (Shandong FC
MIDFIELDERS (6): 13-Lyu Yueyun (Wuhan FC), 14-Xu Yanlu (Jiangsu FC), 16-Yan Jinjin (Shanghai FC), 19-Tan Ruyin (Guangdong FC), 20-Zhang Rui (Changchun FC), 23-Ren Guixin (Changchun FC)
FORWARDS (9): 7-Wang Shuang (Wuhan FC), 9-Tang Jiali (Jiangsu FC), 10-Li Ying (Shandong FC), 11-Wang Shanshan (Dalian FC), 18-Han Peng (Changchun FC), 21-Xiao Yuyi (Shanghai FC), 25-Lou Jiahui (Henan FC), 28-Miao Siwen (Shanghai FC), 30-Yang Li (Jiangsu FC)
Welcome Back, Friends: The matches mark the return to the roster for five players who have made recoveries from injuries, several who have been out of a U.S. jersey for months. Forward Tobin Heath, the 2016 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year, makes a roster for the first time since playing against New Zealand in September of 2017. Midfielder Samantha Mewis, who started every match in 2017, makes her first roster since the two matches against Canada in early November of 2017. Julie Ertz, the 2017 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year, played in the first two matches of the year but missed the final two games at the SheBelieves Cup and the Mexico series in early April. Since injuring her hamstring in June of 2017, midfielder Rose Lavelle has played in just one match for the USA, that coming in her hometown of Cincinnati in September of 2017. She has been in several training camps for rehab purposes, but this is the first camp in which she will be fully cleared to train. Forward Amy Rodriguez, who prior to June 7 had played just once for the USA since October of 2015, that coming in a 10-minute performance on April 6, 2017 (in which she joined a small group of players to play for the U.S. WNT after having two children). A-Rod missed almost all of 2016 due to pregnancy and the birth of her second son, and all of 2017 due to an ACL injury suffered in the first game of the 2017 NWSL season.
U.S. Soccer Celebrates Pride Month: Continuing the values of promoting a culture of diversity, inclusivity, and global connectivity as a country and as an organization, U.S. Soccer will partner with You Can Play Project, the Women’s National Team Players Association and the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association to celebrate LGBTQ Pride month this June. You Can Play Project is an organization dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, coaches, and fans without regard for sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
As the highlight, the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams will wear pride-inspired rainbow numbers during the June friendlies. The U.S. MNT donned the look against the Republic of Ireland on June 2, and France on June 9. The U.S. WNT wore the jerseys against China PR,on June 7 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah presented by Cutter Insect Repellant, and will wear them again on June 12 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2, UDN).
Alex Keeps on Scoring: With two goals in both April matches against Mexico, Alex Morgan is now third all-time in two-goal games for the USA and fourth all-time in multi-goal games.
|U.S. WNT All-Time Two-Goal Games Leaders
|| U.S. WNT All-Time Multi-Goal Games Leaders
|Abby Wambach 37
|Mia Hamm 28
|Alex Morgan 19
|Michelle Akers 18
|Kristine Lilly 16
|Tiffeny Milbrett 10
|Cindy Parlow 9
|Carli Lloyd 8
USA vs. China PR History: China has been the second-most frequent opponent in U.S. history. The U.S. has played China 57 times, behind only Canada (58). These two games will tie the Steel Roses with the Maple Leafs. Since 1991 – a span of 27 years – the U.S. and China have failed to play a match in a calendar year only seven times, but two of those were 2016 and 2017. China’s nine all-time wins against the USA are the most of any team besides Norway (19).
The USA has only allowed China to score more than two goals once. The game was a 3-3 tie in Gavle, Sweden, during the 1995 Women’s World Cup. The USA has scored two or more goals in 30 of their 57 meetings with China. READ: Five Things to Know About China PR.
Closing in on 100: Christen Press is currently sitting at 99 caps and if she were to play in these two games would reach 100 caps, becoming the 37th woman in WNT history to reach the milestone.
New Look WNT: The U.S. WNT will debut its new dark kits for the first time in the series against China PR. Since 2014, the unifying phrase, "One Nation. One Team." has defined U.S. Soccer. In the 2018 kits, the words are emblazoned on the inner neck of both light and dark shirts. There, the adage forms a distinct starting point for a set of uniforms that will see both teams through initial qualifying stages for their next major international tournaments. READ MORE
Back in the Land: This will be just the fourth visit to Cleveland for the U.S. WNT. The previous three matches also took place at FirstEnergy Stadium with the most recent visit a 2-0 win against Japan on June 5, 2016. One of those three previous Cleveland matches – the first – came against China, a 2-0 win in June of 2007. FirstEnergy Stadium was also the site of a 4-0 win over Germany on May 22, 2010, that featured the 130th and final goal of Kristine Lilly’s historic international career.