PREVIEW: USA Aims for #ToN2018 Title vs. Brazil | Thursday 8:30pm ET | FS1

After a 4-2 win against Japan on July 26 to open the 2018 Tournament of Nations and a 1-1 draw with Australia on July 29, the USA heads into its tournament finale against Brazil on Aug. 2 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. (7:30 p.m. CT on FS1) with a chance to clinch the tournament title.

After #ToN2018, the USA will have two friendly matches against Chile (Aug. 31 in Los Angeles and Sept. 4 in San Jose) before entering World Cup qualifying. Chile will be a Women’s World Cup debutante next summer after qualifying for the tournament for the first time by finished second in the 2018 Copa América Femenina. The USA’s 2018 has so far featured wins over Denmark, Germany, England, Mexico (twice), China PR (twice), and Japan, along with ties vs. France and Australia.

Follow all the #USWNT and tournament action on Twitter using #ToN2018 on@ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp, and also on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (ussoccer_wnt).

U.S. Women’s National Team #ToN2018 Roster By Position (Caps/Goals
GOALKEEPERS (3): 21- Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), 24- Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 16/0), 1- Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 31/0)
DEFENDERS (6): 7- Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 21/0), 12- Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 9/0), 11- Merritt Mathias (NC Courage; 1/0), 4- Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 140/0), 14- Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 23/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 19/0)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 6- Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 77/6), 2- Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 63/15); 9- Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 53/6), 16- Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 10/2), 10- Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 256/100); 3- Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 37/7); 20- Allie Long (Seattle Reign; 39/6), 25- McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 4/0)
FORWARDS (6): 19- Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 66/23), 17- Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns; 135/19), 13- Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 144/89), 23- Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 102/44), 15- Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign; 139/38), 12- Amy Rodriguez (Utah Royals FC; 131/30)

STORYLINES

#ToN2018 Schedule: The competition tournament format is same as the SheBelieves Cup and last year’s Tournament of Nations with the four teams each participating in three doubleheader events at three different venues over an eight-day period. The winner of the tournament will be based on total points (three for a win, one for a tie), with the first tie-breaker being overall goal difference, followed by most total tournament goals scored, then head-to-head result and lastly, FIFA Ranking if necessary.

Date

Matches/Results

Stadium

City

Kickoff

TV

Aug. 2

Australia vs. Japan

Toyota Park

Bridgeview, Ill.

4:45 p.m. CT

ussoccer.com

Aug. 2

USA vs. Brazil

Toyota Park

Bridgeview, Ill.

7:30 p.m. CT

FS1

#ToN2018 Standings: The USA and Australia are currently tied on points with four each atop the group in this four-team tournament. They are also tied on goal difference (both teams are at plus-2), but the USA has a slight edge in goals scored with five to the Matildas four. The USA has not lost since the Tournament of Nations last summer, a 1-0 setback to Australia, and has gone 16-0-2 over the past year which includes an 8-0-2 mark in 2018.

Team

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

Pts.

USA

2

1

0

1

5

3

+2

4

Australia

2

1

0

1

4

2

+2

4

Brazil

2

1

1

0

3

4

-1

3

Japan

2

0

2

0

3

6

-3

0

Who Can Still Win #ToN2018
Brazil: Despite sitting third in the standings, Brazil still has a chance to take the tournament title with a win against the USA - but for that outcome to remain possible, Japan must keep Australia from taking three points in the opener of Thursday's doubleheader. If Australia defeats Japan to avenge its loss in this rematch of the 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup Final, Brazil will be eliminated from contention and will be playing for pride against the Yanks, and possibly some redemption after surrendering a two-goal lead in the final nine minutes of their 2017 Tournament of Nations matchup with the U.S. If Australia draws or loses in the first match of the day, then Brazil can crown itself champion for the first time with a win against the USA. That would put Brazil atop the standings at six points, with the U.S. staying at four, Australia with no more than five, and Japan at no more than three. A draw in the USA-Brazil match would not allow Brazil to climb to the top of the table, as they would remain behind the hosts (and possibly Australia as well).

Australia: The Aussies can repeat as Tournament of Nations champion with a win against Japan and a U.S. loss or tie with Brazil. If both Australia and the USA win, then the Aussies will need to achieve a margin of victory greater than the Americans to claim the edge in goal difference or remain tied on goal difference but surpass the Americans in goals scored. If both teams win by the same margin, but Australia scores one more goal than the USA, the U.S. and Australia would be tied on points, goal differential, goals scored, and head-to-head, meaning the next tiebreaker would be the FIFA ranking, which the USA would win due to its No. 1 ranking.

USA: Since Australia faces Japan in the first game on the tournament’s final match day, the USA will know prior to its clash with Brazil what result it needs to win the Tournament of Nations for the first time. If both the USA and Australia win, that will give both teams seven points; therefore, to finish first, the USA will need to compile a superior goal difference, or if tied in that first tiebreaker, maintain its edge in total goals scored. The USA can win the tournament with a tie, but only if Australia and Japan tie (and the USA maintains its edge in goals scored), or if Australia loses to Japan.

Historic Matchups – USA vs. Brazil: The USA and Brazil have a long history dating back to 1986 when the teams met in just the eighth match ever played by the U.S. Women, a 2-1 U.S victory in Italy. The USA has played Brazil seven times since the start of 2012 and has a record of 4-1-2 over that span. The U.S. team has for the most part dominated the series, going 27-3-5 over the years, but Brazil picked up a historic win at the 2007 Women’s World Cup, a 4-0 semifinal victory that remains the worst loss in U.S. history.

Brazil has won or tied in three of the last five most recent meetings between the teams, with the first two of those matches taking place at the International Tournament of Brasilia at the end of 2014. The USA lost 3-2 in group play as Marta scored all three goals. Brazil only had four shots on goal during that match, but scored on three of them, to hand U.S. head coach Jill Ellis her first loss at the helm of the U.S. team and one of just six total.

The teams met in the gold medal games of the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, with the USA winning 1-0 in Athens, Greece and 2-1 in Beijing, China, both after extra time. Wambach scored the game-winner in 04 and Lloyd bagged the game-winner in 08. One of the most well-known matches between the countries was the quarterfinal of the 2011 Women’s World Cup as Wambach famously tied the match at 2-2 at the very end of overtime and the USA triumphed in penalty kicks to move on to the semifinal. Marta scored both goals for Brazil in that match.

Drama at Last Year’s Tournament of Nations: The most recent meeting was one of the most memorable, as Brazil took at 3-1 lead into the waning minutes of last year’s meeting at the 2017 Tournament of Nations before the Americans roared back with three goals in a nine-minute span to win 4-3. Samantha Mewis scored the first U.S. goal in the first half to equalize after an early Brazil goal, but Brazil scored in the 63rd and 78th minutes through Andressinha and Bruna Benites, respectively to seemingly clinch the match before the USA started the comeback with a goal from Christen Press in the 80th minute. Megan Rapinoe equalized in the 85th minute before Julie Ertz scored that dramatic game-winner in the 89th minute to send the crowd into a frenzy. The win began the USA’s current 18-game unbeaten streak.

Nine players on Brazil’s roster played against the USA in that game, including seven starters, while 12 players on the USA’s 2018 ToN roster played against Brazil last year, including nine starters.

History in Bridgeview:  The U.S.Women have played 12 matches in Chicago/Bridgeview, seven at Soldier Field and five at Toyota Park, including the 1-0 victory against Italy in the World Cup playoff that sealed the USA’s berth to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. Amy Rodriguez scored on a chilly day in late November to complete a two-game sweep over the Italians on a 2-0 aggregate score. The USA has never lost in Chicago/Bridgeview, with the only blemish being a 1-1 draw with Germany in October of 2012.