The USA and the Republic of Ireland have met 12 times. The most recent meeting was a January 23, 2016 clash in San Diego that the USA won 5-0. The WNT is 12-0-0 all-time vs. Ireland and of the 12 meetings, seven have seen the USA score five goals. Ahead of the team’s showdown at the historic Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on Saturday, Aug. 3 (7 p.m. PT; ESPN2, Galavision), here are five things to know about The Republic of Ireland:
Breaking Down the Ireland Roster
Ireland has a well-rounded core, but also a young squad with 14 players having fewer than 20 caps. The most experienced players are in the back, with SC Sand (GER) defender Diane Caldwell (70 caps), six-foot Arsenal defender Louise Quinn (73 caps) and Liverpool defender Niamh Fahey (84 caps). Quinn is the top scorer on the roster with 11 international goals.
IRELAND ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Marie Hourihan (Braga, POR), 16-Grace Moloney (Reading, ENG)
DEFENDERS (8): 3-Harriet Scott (Birmingham City, ENG), 4-Louise Quinn (Arsenal, ENG), 5-Niamh Fahey (Liverpool, ENG), 7-Diane Caldwell (SC Sand, GER), 8-Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion, ENG), 14-Lauren Dwyer (Wexford Youths), 15-Claire O'Riordan (MSV Duisburg, GER), 20-Eabha O'Mahony (Cork City)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 6-Alex Kavanagh (Shelbourne FC), 10-Eleanor Ryan-Doyle (Peamount United), 13-Jess Gargan (Shelbourne FC), 17-Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United), 18-Claire Walsh (Peamount United)
FORWARDS (5): 2-Heather Payne (Florida State, USA), 9-Amber Barrett (FC Köln, GER), 11-Katie McCabe (Arsenal, ENG), 12-Rianna Jarrett (Wexford Youths), 19-Emily Whelan (Shelbourne FC)
International Experience Sprinkled Throughout Ireland Squad
Eleven of Ireland’s 20 players play their club soccer outside the country, six in England, two in Germany and one in the USA and Portugal. Of note is Forward Heather Payne, who currently plays college soccer for reigning NCAA Champion, Florida State.
Last Time Out on the Field
The Republic of Ireland’s Women’s national team will arrive in Pasadena with its most recent game a 2-1 loss to Italy (one of the darlings of the 2019 Women’s World Cup) in a friendly on April 9, 2019. Ireland captain Katie McCabe struck the first blow for the Irish in the opening half. Italy’s Barbara Bonansea leveled the game before the break. The Irish put on a strong defensive display, but in the 53rd minute Daniela Sabatino secured the 2-1 lead and victory for Italy, who reached the quarterfinals of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World cup after a strong showing in group play.
Ireland has moved on from long-time goalkeeper Emma Byrne, who also protected the goal for Arsenal for many years. The six-footer amassed more than 140 caps for her country. The Irish ‘keepers are Marie Hourihan and Grace Moloney. Hourihan is the most experienced of the two with 18 caps under her belt.
Ireland Under Head Coach Tom O’Connor
Ireland is playing under interim head coach and former assistant coach Tom O’Connor. Former head man Colin Bell was appointed head coach of Ireland on February 8, 2017 but recently left to join Huddersfield Town of the English League Championship as of June 29, 2019.