Five Things to Know About: SpainPRESENTED BY THORNE
The U.S. Women’s National Team claimed first place in Group F after a convincing 2-0 victory against Sweden at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. By earning the top spot, the USA will face Spain in the Round of 16 on Monday, June 24 in at Stade Auguste Delaune in Reims, France (12 p.m. ET; FS1 and Telemundo). Although this is only Spain’s second Women’s World Cup, the rising European power lost 1-0 to perennial European champion Germany and dominated its other two group games, against South Africa and China PR to finish second in Group B.
Here are five things to know about Spain…
SPAIN WOMEN’S WORLD CUP ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Dolores Gallardo (Atlético Madrid), 23-Maria Quinones (Real Sociedad), 13-Sandra Panos (FC Barcelona)
DEFENDERS (7): 2-Celia Jimenez (Reign FC, USA), 3-Leila Ouahabi (FC Barcelona), 4-Irene Paredes (Paris Saint-Germain), 5-Ivana Andres (Levante UD), 7-Marta Corredera (Levante UD), 8-Marta Torrejon (FC Barcelona), 20-Andrea Pereira (FC Barcelona)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 6-Vicky Losada (FC Barcelona), 11-Alexia Putellas (FC Barcelona), 12-Patri Guijarro (FC Barcelona), 14-Virginia Torrecilla (Montpellier HSC, FRA), 15-Silvia Meseguer (Atlético Madrid), 18-Aitana Bonmati (FC Barcelona), 19-Amanda Sampedro (Atlético Madrid)
FORWARDS (6): 9-Mariona Caldentey (FC Barcelona), 10-Jennifer Hermoso (Atlético Madrid), 16-Maria Leon (FC Barcelona), 17-Lucia Garcia (Athletic Bilbao), 21-Andrea Falcon (Atlético Madrid), 22-Nahikari Garcia (Real Sociedad)
Forward Jennifer Hermoso is known for her ability to be dangerous in the final third and is one of the most experienced players on Spain’s roster. She leads the offensive charge with 30 career goals, nine assists and 71 caps. Hermoso netted seven goals alone in World Cup qualifying and bagged a brace in Spain’s match against South Africa in this World Cup.
Defender Celia Jiménez attended college at the University of Alabama. She continued her career in the U.S. by signing with Reign FC in the NWSL. At age 24, she has seen action is 24 international games for Spain.
Spain saw Women’s World Cup action for the first time in Canada 2015, where they were defeated by Brazil and Korea Republic, and tied with Costa Rica. After a few changes in coaching staff and within its roster, Spain qualified for France 2019 by easily winning UEFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying Group 7. La Roja won all eight matches, against Austria, Finland, Serbia and Israel, outscoring its opponents 25-2 over the eight games. By earning a spot in the Round of 16, this is the first time Spain has advanced past the group stage of the World Cup.
ON THE RISE
While Spain is a growing country for women’s football, they have a young yet experienced roster. The oldest player on the team is 30-years-old and the youngest comes in at 20-years-old. The average age for Spain’s roster is about 25, versus the USA’s which is 29. Eight players have passed the 50-cap milestone on Spain’s 23-woman team, giving them significant experience in international play.
The United States and Spain met for the first time in their history on January 22, 2019 in Alicante, Spain during an international friendly. The game was scoreless at halftime but a brilliant goal off an individual effort in the 54th from halftime substitute Christen Press gave the USA a 1-0 win.