PREVIEW: WNT Opens 2019 vs. World Cup Hosts France | Saturday, Jan. 19 | 2:30 p.m. ET on FS1 & UDN

The U.S. Women’s National Team will kick off its World Cup year on Jan. 19 against 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup hosts and FIFA-ranked No. 3 France at Stade Océane in Le Havre, France (2:30 p.m. ET on FS1 & UDN). Before traveling to northern France, the USA spent just over a week in Portugal for a “pre-season” camp conducted in a perfect weather and an ideal training environment. U.S. head coach Jill Ellis and her staff chose 27 players for the January Camp and will choose a game-day roster to suit up for each of the two matches.

The USA is unbeaten in its last 28 matches (25-0-3). The USA has averaged 3.3 goals per game and has outscored its opponents 93-17 over those 28 matches while scoring in all 28 games. Since the 2017 SheBelieves Cup, the USA has failed to score in just one game (vs. Australia at the 2017 ToN). That’s a 33-game span.


GOALKEEPERS (3): 18- Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 3/0); 21- Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), 24- Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 19/0), 1- Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 38/0)
DEFENDERS (8): 7- Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 30/0), 12- Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 12/1); 19- Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 75/24), 26- Emily Fox(UNC; 2/0), 5- Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 112/2); 4- Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 149/0), 14- Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0), 2- Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 26/0)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 6- Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 81/6), 22- Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars; 2/0), 8- Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 73/18); 9- Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 62/7), 16- Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 20/6), 3- Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 41/8), 27- Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 11/0), 25- McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 7/0)
FORWARDS (7): 17- Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 142/25); 10- Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 265/105), 20- Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 3/1), 13- Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 153/98), 23- Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 106/46), 11- Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 43/12), 15- Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 145/41)


USA vs. France: The USA is 17-2-3 all-time against France, but the last eight games following the meeting at the 2012 Olympics have produced a 4-2-2 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.

Familiarity Between the Teams : The most recent meeting between the USA and France came last March at the 2018 SheBelieves Cup, a 1-1 draw in an evenly-played game that saw a few quality chances for both teams in what was a tight match. Mallory Pugh scored for the USA in the 35th minute while EugénieLe Sommer scored for France just four minutes later. Fourteen of the 17 U.S. players who played against France at the 2018 SheBelieves Cup are on this U.S. roster, including 10 who started. For France, 11 of the 12 players who played against the USA at the 2018 SheBelieves Cup are on this roster, including 10 who started.

Americans in Paris (and Lyon): Several U.S. players have experience in France. Lindsey Horan played with and against many of the French players while playing with Paris Saint-Germain. Horan lived and played in Paris for three-and-half years. Alex Morgan played for three months for Olympique Lyon in 2017, helping the club to the League, Cup and Champions League title. Morgan Brian also had a brief stint with Lyon last year. Megan Rapinoe played in Lyon over 2013-2014 while Tobin Heath did a short stint for PSG during a six-month period in 2013.

Le Havre in January and June: Stade Océane in Le Havre is one of the nine venues for this summer’s tournament and the site of the USA’s third Group F match against Sweden that will take place on June 20. The USA announced the match vs. France on Nov. 9 and found out its World Cup matches and venues on Dec. 8 at the Final Draw in Paris. Despite only facing off against Les Bleues twice in France, the U.S. has played in France six times, compiling a record of 5-1 with the only loss coming to France in 2015. This will be the USA’s first match in Le Havre.

100 Goals Watch: After scoring against Scotland on Nov. 13 to close out 2018, Alex Morgan – the 2018 U.S. Soccer Player of the Year, now has 98 goals and at age 29 sits in sole possession of seventh place on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list. She has scored 25 goals over her last 26 WNT matches through the end of 2017 and 2018. With her hat trick against Japan on July 26, the fourth of her career, Morgan is now tied with Michelle Akers in third place all-time in multi-goal games (26) behind Abby Wambach (45) and Mia Hamm (38). She has 22 career two-goal games. Morgan has scored against 28 different countries and in 11 different countries, including 12 goals in Portugal – all at the Algarve Cup – and three in Scotland, two against France at Hampden Park in Glasgow during the 2012 Olympics, and one against Scotland on Nov. 13. Alex Morgan has six career goals against France, one in the World Cup, two in the Olympics, one in the SheBelieves Cup and two in a friendly match.

U.S. Soccer Federation and Volkswagen Announce Multi-Year Presenting Partnership: U.S. Soccer and Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced a landmark, integrated partnership making Volkswagen the presenting automotive partner to the Federation through 2022 . As part of Volkswagen’s long-term commitment, the automobile maker will help U.S. Soccer with its mission to become the preeminent sport in the United States by increasing participation, developing world class players, coaches and referees, and increasing fan engagement around the sport. As part of the historic partnership, Volkswagen will have branding on training tops for all U.S. Soccer National Teams, including the Men’s and Women’s National Teams, all Youth National Teams and the Para 7-a-side, Beach and Futsal National Teams, and the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

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