PREVIEW: FIFA-Ranked No. 1 USA vs. No. 6 Australia Clash in Denver | April 4 | 7pm MT on FS1

U.S. Soccer

TheU.S. Women’s National Team takes on growing rival Australia on April 4 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (7pm MT on FS1). The match, which is likely to be a sell-out, will feature two countries that are widely considered to be among the favorites to win the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer. The USA is 2-1-2 so far in 2019, all against World Cup-bound teams.

2019 Game Lineups || 2019 Statistics

U.S. WNT ROSTER BY POSITION: APRIL FRIENDLIES (CAPS/GOALS)

GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 1/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 20/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 41/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 35/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 17/1); Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 80/24), 11- Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 98/1), 4- Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 153/0), 14- Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 30/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 77/18), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 64/7), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 23/6), Allie Long (Reign FC; 40/6), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 45/8), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 11/0), McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 8/0)
FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 146/27); Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 269/105), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 6/1), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 158/99), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 111/47), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 48/13), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 149/43)

STORYLINES

USA vs. Australia: The last three games between the USA and Australia have highly competitive affairs. They produced a 3-1 win for the USA in the opening game of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a 1-0 loss for the USA at the 2017 Tournament of Nations and a 1-1 draw at the 2018 Tournament of Nations. In the most recent meeting between the teams, on July 29, 2018, the U.S. goal in the 1-1 tie came on a late equalizer by Lindsey Horan in a match that saw the USA out-shoot the Matildas 18-8. The tie kept the USA alive for the tournament title, which it won after defeating Brazil, 4-1, in its final match of the competition

The USA has a record of 25-1-3 against Australia dating back to 1987, and has outscored Australia 96-24, only allowing more than one goal against the Matildas on four occasions. Australia’s lone win came at the 2017 Tournament of Nations. Before the last two meetings at the ToN, the most recent meeting between the teams came at the 2015 Women’s World Cup in the opening game of the tournament for both teams. Megan Rapinoe scored early before Lisa De Vanna equalized in the 27th minute. Christen Press got the game-winner off an assist from Sydney Leroux in the 61st,before Rapinoe scored a dagger in the 78th to clinch the match.

Fifteen of the 16 players who played for the USA against Australia in last year’s ToN match are back, including 10 starters. Australia brings back 14 of 15 players who played, including all 11 starters. The U.S. has played Australia six times since 2012 and scored 16 goals. Five different players named to this roster have scored in those games: Morgan (3), Press (2), Rapinoe (2), Lloyd (1) and Horan (1). Lloyd has one other goal against Australia, a dramatic stoppage time game-winner in a driving rain storm in Cary, N.C. on April 27, 2008.

100 Goals Watch: After scoring against Japan on Feb. 27 in Chester, Pa., Alex Morgan – the 2018 U.S. Soccer Player of the Year, now has 99 goals and at age 29 sits in sole possession of seventh place on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list. She has scored 26 goals over her last 31 WNT matches through the end of 2017 and 2018 and into 2019. With her hat trick against Japan on July 26, 2018, 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.

Countdown to the Cup: The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cupwill be the eighth consecutive World Cup appearance for the USA, which has appeared in each of the previous seven tournaments that have been contested and won in 1991, 1999 and 2015. The USA is one of six countries to qualify for all eight Women’s World Cups along with Brazil, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden and Nigeria. The tournament will be held from June 7-July 7 in nine cities in France. The USA’s Draw and placement in Group F gave the USA venues that are all within a two-hour drive of each other, with the opening game taking place in Reims, followed by Paris and then Le Havre. The “Countdown to the Cup” will take the WNT to all four times zones in the continental United States, giving fans across the country a chance to cheer the team on to France.

COUNTDOWN TO THE CUP

Date

Opponent

Kickoff

Venue; City

April 4

Australia

7 p.m. MT

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.

April 7

Belgium

6 p.m. PT

Banc of California Stadium; Los Angeles, Calif.

May 12

South Africa – Send-Off Series, Presented by Volpi Foods

1:30 p.m. PT

Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, Calif.

May 16

New Zealand – Send-Off Series, Presented by Volpi Foods

7 p.m. CT

Busch Stadium; St. Louis, Mo.

May 26

Mexico – Send-Off Series, Presented by Volpi Foods

12 p.m. ET

Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.

2019 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP

June 11

Thailand - 2019 WWC

3 p.m. ET

Auguste Delaune Stadium; Reims, France

June 16

Chile – 2019 WWC

12 p.m. ET

Parc des Princes; Paris, France

June 20

Sweden – 2010 WWC

3 p.m. ET

Stade Océane; Le Havre, France

New Rules Get Test Run: In preparation for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, U.S. Soccer requested and received approval from the International Football Association Board (IFAB) to implement three changes to the Laws of the Game during the tournament. These changes, although not officially instituted until June, will be used for the USA’s April friendly matches. At the 133rd AGM of The IFAB held in Aberdeen, Scotland on March 2, 2019 these changes (as well as additional changes) were approved to the Laws of the Game for 2019/20:

  • A player being substituted must leave the field of play at the nearest point on the boundary line.
  • Yellow and red cards for misconduct can be issued to team officials.
  • On a goal kick and a free kick for the defending team in their own penalty area, the ball is in play as soon as the kick is taken so a player – or opponent as long as they started outside the penalty or were not given the proper time to exit the penalty – can play the ball before it leaves the penalty area.

Follow all the #USWNT action on Twitter using @uswnt and on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (ussoccer_wnt).

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