PREVIEW: USWNT Faces France in Familiar VenueWatch France-USA on Tuesday, April 13 at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2
CHICAGO (April 12, 2021) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will finish its two-game European tour with a match against third-ranked France on April 13 at Stade Océane in Le Havre (ESPN2 at 3 p.m. ET / 9 p.m. local). The Americans are coming off a 1-1 draw with Sweden on April 10 in Stockholm that featured two set play goals, for Sweden via Lina Hurtig off a corner kick in the first half and a late equalizer from the penalty spot by Megan Rapinoe. The draw ended the USA’s winning streak at 16 matches – the third longest in team history – but kept alive an unbeaten streak that has stretched to 38 matches.
The USA’s unbeaten streak began following a 3-1 defeat to France on January 19, 2019 at Stade Océane – the venue for Tuesday’s match. The upcoming game will be the 25th all-time between the nations and their first since the quarterfinal round of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
2021 USWNT MEDIA GUIDE
The 2021 U.S. Women’s National Team Media Guide is available for download. The Media Guide features all the history and statistics of the USWNT, as well as full bios on technical staff and the current top players, information on the USA’s Youth National Teams, and general important information on U.S. Soccer.
USWNT DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS)
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 5), 21-Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 0), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 68)
DEFENDERS (8): 25-Alana Cook (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA; 2/0), 7-Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City, ENG; 65/0), 12-Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 29/1), 19-Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 110/24), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit; 135/2), 20-Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 6/1), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 183/0), 14-Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 51/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 8-Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 109/20), 9-Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 92/20), 16-Rose Lavelle (Manchester City, ENG; 52/14), 22-Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 22/4), 3-Samantha Mewis (Manchester City, ENG; 71/21), 26-Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 16/0)
FORWARDS (6): 10-Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 300/124), 13-Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 174/108), 23-Christen Press (Manchester United, ENG; 143/60), 15-Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 174/58), 2-Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 3/0), 6-Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 34/10)
Head coach Vlatko Andonovski called up 23 players for the two matches against Sweden and France, but only 18 will suit up for each of the two matches, in which each team is allowed six substitutes. A total of 15 players saw game action in the April 10 draw against Sweden. Ten players on this USA roster have experience in the Olympic Games. Eighteen players play in the NWSL and the remaining five in Europe, four in England and one in France. Defender Alana Cook – who celebrated her 24th birthday on April 11 – plays for Paris Saint-Germain, who currently sit atop the standings of the French League. Six of her PSG club teammates are on this current roster for France.
LAST TIME OUT
A late Megan Rapinoe penalty kick helped the U.S. Women’s National Team secure a 1-1 draw against Sweden in an international friendly between two of the world’s top-five ranked teams on Saturday evening at an empty Friends Arena.
Sweden took the lead in the 38th minute off a set piece, as towering forward Lina Hurtig rose high to head in a corner kick from Kosovare Asllani, marking the first goal the USA has allowed since March 12, 2019 against Japan, and ending a run of six straight clean sheets. It was also the first goal scored on USA goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher in 10 matches, ending her U.S. record shutout. Naeher would come up huge just before the break by denying forward Fridolina Rolfo on a one-on-one opportunity that came from a USA give-away to keep the match within reach.
Trailing at halftime for the first time since Jan. 19, 2019 and trailing for the first time at any point in 17 matches under Andonovksi, the USA created a number of solid chances throughout the final 45 minutes, firing 13 shots to Sweden’s three. However, it took until the 87th minute for the U.S. to find an equalizer, as Megan Rapinoe buried a penalty kick with three minutes left for her team-leading sixth goal of the year after Kelley O’Hara was chopped down on the right edge of the penalty area. The goal was the 58th of Rapinoe’s international career, moving her to within two of tying Shannon MacMillan and Christen Press for ninth on the all-time list.
USA Lineup: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 12-Tierna Davidson, 19-Crystal Dunn; 8-Julie Ertz, 16-Rose Lavelle (3-Samantha Mewis, 65), 9-Lindsey Horan; 6-Lynn Williams (15-Megan Rapinoe, 57), 10-Carli Lloyd (Capt.) (13-Alex Morgan, 65), 23-Christen Press (22-Kristie Mewis, 85)
Substitutes Not Used: 18-Jane Campbell, 14-Emily Sonnett, 25-Alana Cook
With her goal against Sweden, Megan Rapinoe has now scored in three straight USWNT matches for the first time in her career. Rapinoe opened her streak with a second-half goal in the USA’s 2-0 win over Brazil on Feb. 21 at the SheBelieves Cup (followed by an equally emphatic celebration). She then followed it up with a first-half brace in the SheBelieves Cup finale against Argentina on Feb. 24.
Rapinoe, who scored both goals – including one from the penalty spot – in the USA’s 2-1 win over France at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, leads the USA in scoring with six goals in six matches in 2021. She scored two goals in eight appearances in 2020.
This is Rapinoe’s finest run of goalscoring form since the knockout stages of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, at which she took home Golden Boot and Golden Ball honors. In that tournament, Rapinoe scored twice in the USA’s Round of 16 win over Spain and bagged another brace in the quarterfinal win over France. After sitting out the semifinal against England, she converted the game-winning penalty in the World Cup Final, scoring five of the USA’s eight goals during that four-game gauntlet.
On April 10 in Stockholm, U.S. forward Carli Lloyd hit an historic milestone by earning her 300th cap in a U.S. uniform. Only two players – men or women – had previously played 300 international matches and both are Lloyd’s former teammates, Kristine Lilly (354) and Christie Pearce Rampone (311). Lloyd debuted in 2005 and this is her 17th year of international competition. Through 300 caps, the USA has an overall record of 249-15-36 in games in which she has played, good for a winning percentage north of 89%. She has appeared for the USA in three different decades, at four World Cups and in three Olympic Games. Not only has her longevity been truly remarkable, but her production as well. Her 124 career goals are fourth all-time in U.S. history and her 62 career assists are sixth all-time. While she has played forward in the latter part of her career, she is still the highest scoring midfielder in U.S. history. Lloyd might also add remarkable chapter to her career during this trip as her next goal would make her the oldest player in USWNT history to score a goal. Lilly is currently the oldest player to score a goal for the USA at 38 years, 264 days. Lloyd will be 38 years, 271 days old on April 13 when the USA squares off against France.
While the draw against Sweden ended the USA’s winning streak at 16 consecutive games – the third longest such streak in program history, the USWNT heads to Le Havre on a 38-game unbeaten streak, which started following its January 19, 2019 loss to France.
One driving force behind the win streak has been the USA’s high-octane offense. The USA has scored in 67 consecutive matches – the longest such streak in USWNT history - and has averaged just more than three goals per game in that time. During this 67-game run the USA has outscored the opposition 222-35.
INSIDE THE SERIES
The USA is 18-3-3 all-time vs. France, but the most recent 10 games between the teams dating back to 2014 have seen the USA compile a 5-2-3 record. In fact, the last five meetings have the teams knotted at 2-2-1 with France outscoring the USA 8-5 over that five-game stretch.
The most recent meeting between the USA and France came in the quarterfinal of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a historic victory in front of a sold-out crowd at Parc des Princes in Paris that is widely hailed as one of the most epic Women’s World Cup matches ever. Megan Rapinoe scored twice and Renard scored a late header, but the Americans expertly salted the game away to advance to the semifinal while France was knocked out of the tournament, and the Olympics, on home soil. Thirteen of the 14 U.S. players who played vs. France in the World Cup match in Paris are on this roster, with only the injured Tobin Heath missing.
The win in the World Cup also avenged the USA’s loss 3-1 to France on January 19, 2019, which was the last loss for the USA. That match was played in Le Havre at Stade Océane, the venue for the April 13 meeting between the teams. Since then, the USWNT is unbeaten in its last 38 matches. The U.S. also played at Stade Océane for its third match of group play in June of 2019 at the World Cup, a 2-0 win against Sweden.
This trip marks the fifth to Europe for friendly matches that the USWNT has undertaken in as many years, with four of those being two-game sets. In 2017, the USA played at Sweden and Norway in June. In 2018, the USA finished the year with games at Portugal and Scotland. In 2019, the USA started the year at France and Spain, and in 2020 the USA played at the Netherlands in November. Following the 1-1 draw with Sweden, the USA has now gone 6-1-1 in those previous eight friendly matches, but five of those wins were by 1-0 scores, and one, against the Dutch, was 2-0. The one loss came in Le Havre which is the USA’s most recent loss. Since then, the USA has run up a 34-0-4 record in its 38 matches following that defeat at Stade Océane.
With both Kristie (30-years-old) and Samantha Mewis (28) named to the roster, the Mewis sisters once again had the chance to play together for the USA, and did so at the end of the Sweden match when Samantha came on in the 65th minute and Kristie entered the game in the 85th. It was their fourth game together on the field for the USWNT, extending a record for most games played together as sisters on the U.S. team. Samantha has 71 caps and Kristie has 22, which means they are approaching 100 combined caps. Prior to April 10, the most recent time they shared the field came on Nov. 27 against the Netherlands, a match in which Kristie scored. The Mewis sisters both took part in the USWNT January Camp and matches against Colombia, and in fact scored all four of the USA’s goals in its Jan. 18 victory. However, they were not on the field at the same time during that match, nor the USA’s Jan. 22 meeting against Colombia. Samantha then missed the SheBelieves Cup as she recovered from an ankle injury. Together, the Mewis sisters have scored (5) or assisted (2) on seven of the USA’s 20 goals in 2021.
TEN TEAMS IN, TWO TO GO FOR TOKYO
Ten countries have secured their berths into the Olympic tournament: the USA and Canada from Concacaf, Australia and Japan from Asia, Great Britain, Netherlands, and Sweden from Europe, New Zealand from Oceania and Zambia from Africa. Chile and China PR got a leg up in the first legs of their respective playoff series with both teams winning 2-1 in the away legs and have one foot in Japan. Cameroon and Chile are playing their two-leg intercontinental play-off in Antalya, Turkey and the South Americans took the first leg on April 10. Goals from the central defensive pairing of Camila Saez and Carla Guerrero gave Chile a commanding lead, but Atletico Madrid striker Ajara Nchout Njoya cut the difference in half to keep her team alive. The second leg will be played on April 13.
The other berth will go to South Korea or China, which opened its two-leg series on April 8 with a 2-1 China victory in South Korea. The visitors took the lead in the 33rd minute in Goyang through Zhang Xin, but the Chinese advantage lasted only six minutes before Kang Chae-Rim equalized for the Koreans. A penalty kick from Wang Shuang in the 73rd minute settled the first leg, giving China the one goal advantage to defend on April 13 in Suzhou. With two away goals conceded, both South Korea and Cameroon will need to win the second leg by two clear goals, or score at least three in a victory, to secure the first Olympic appearance for the Taegeuk Nangja and second for the Indomitable Lionesses.
USA ROSTER NOTES
The average age for this travel roster is 28 and the average caps per player is 80.
Carli Lloyd is by far the most-capped player on the roster with 300, followed by defender Becky Sauerbrunn with 183 caps and Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, both with 174. Christen Press is currently at 143 while midfielder Julie Ertz (109) and defenders Kelley O’Hara (135) and Crystal Dunn (110) also represent the USA’s Century Club.
On the other end of the spectrum, nine players on this roster have 34 caps or fewer. Goalkeeper Casey Murphy is the only uncapped player on the roster. Every player on this roster has been on at least one match day roster already in 2021.
Six players – Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Carli Lloyd, Kristie Mewis and Megan Rapinoe have played in every game for the USA in 2021.
Ertz, Lavelle and Kristie Mewis are the only players to feature in all seven matches for the USA since resumption of play after the long break due to COVID.
So far this year, 11 players have scored the USA’s 20 goals: Megan Rapinoe (6), Samantha Mewis (3), Kristie Mewis (2), Christen Press (2), Rose Lavelle, Lindsey Horan, Catarina Macario, Margaret Purce, Lynn Williams, Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd.
Twelve different players have also tallied an assist in 2021: Carli Lloyd (4), Lindsey Horan (4), Crystal Dunn, Ali Krieger, Samantha Mewis, Megan Rapinoe, Emily Sonnett, Rose Lavelle, Kristie Mewis, Casey Krueger, Christen Press and Alex Morgan.
After entering the match for Lynn Williams in the 57th minute, Megan Rapinoe converted the game-winning penalty 30 minutes later, making it seven games in a row in which a second-half substitute has scored for the USA. Kristie Mewis scored in the USWNT’s wins over the Netherlands (Nov. 27) and Colombia (Jan. 18) while Midge Purce and Lindsey Horan both came on to score in the Jan. 22 win over Colombia. At the 2021 SheBelieves Cup, Rose Lavelle provided the game-winner off the bench against Canada (Feb. 18), Rapinoe added a late score against Brazil (Feb. 21) and Alex Morgan found the back of the net against Argentina (Feb. 24).
After missing the SheBeleives Cup due to injury, Samantha Mewis returned to the USA roster and played the final 25 minutes in the USA’s draw against Sweden. Mewis recently named as the #1 player in the world on the ESPN FC and espnW top-50 female players in the world list, one of 11 members of the USWNT – and 10 from this current roster – to be recognized in the rankings. Crystal Dunn (#6), Julie Ertz (#8), Tobin Heath (#13), Rose Lavelle (#15), Lindsey Horan (#23), Christen Press (#26), Abby Dahlkemper (#29), Alex Morgan (#38), Megan Rapinoe (#40) and Becky Sauerbrunn (#45) were also named to the inaugural list.
A total of five players on the U.S. roster either currently play in France (Alana Cook with PSG) or have played in France, as Lindsey Horan (PSG from 2012-2016), Megan Rapinoe (Lyon in 2013-2014), Alex Morgan (Lyon in 2017) and Casey Murphy (Montpellier in 2018-2019) have also plied their trade in France’s top division. Catarina Macario, who was a last-minute scratch from the roster due to a COVID outbreak on Olympique Lyonnais, also plays in France.
U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski is 16-0-1 in his first 17 games (two at the end of 2019, nine in 2020 and six so far in 2021), setting a record for best start for a head coach in USWNT history.
Of Andonovski’s first 17 games, 15 have been at home and nine have been against teams ranked in the top-13 in the world. Andonovski’s first game in charge was against Sweden, a 3-2 win on Nov. 7, 2019.
IN FOCUS: FRANCE | FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
FIFA World Ranking: 3
UEFA Ranking: 2
Olympic Appearances: 2 (2012 & 2016)
Best Olympic finish: 4th (2012)
Record vs. USA: 3-18-3
Head Coach: Corinne Diacre
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Solène Durand (Guingamp), 20-Pauline Peyraud-Magnin (Atletico Madrid, ESP), 16-Constance Picaud (Le Havre)
DEFENDERS (9): 19-Estelle Cascarino (FC Girondins de Bordeaux), 22-Élisa de Almeida (Montpellier HSC), 24-Océane
Deslandes (Stade de Reims), 25-Grace Kazadi (Atletico Madrid, ESP), 23-Perle Morroni (Paris Saint-Germain), 2-Ève Périsset (FC Girondins de Bordeaux), 3-Julie Thibaud (FC Girondins de Bordeaux), 4-Marion Torrent (Montpellier HSC), 5-Aïssatou Tounkara (Atletico Madrid, ESP)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 15-Kenzi Dali (West Ham United FC, ENG), 8-Grace Geyoro (Paris Saint-Germain), 6-Inès Jauréna (FC Girondins de Bordeaux), 7-Oriane Jean-François (Paris FC), 10-Léa Khelifi (Paris Saint-Germain), 14-Ella Palis (FC Girondins de Bordeaux)
FORWARDS (7): 18-Viviane Asseyi (FC Bayern Munich), 17-Sandy Baltimore (Paris Saint-Germain), 11-Kadidiatou Diani (Paris Saint-Germain), 20-Louise Fleury (Guingamp), 13-Valérie Gauvin (Everton), 12-Marie-Antoinette Katoto (Paris Saint-Germain), 9-Eugénie le Sommer (Olympique Lyonnais)
FRANCE ROSTER NOTES
France head coach Corrine Diacre named her 25-player squad at the start of the month and has had to go without several top players due to a COVID outbreak at Olympique Lyonnais, with Wendie Renard, Griedge Mbock, Sakina Karchaoui, Amandine Henry, Amel Majri and Delphine Cascarino all ruled out.
Only five players who played against the USA in the World Cup are on France roster, but four of them are very impactful forwards: Kadidiatou Diani, Valerie Gauvin, Eugenie Le Sommer and Viviane Asseyi, along with defender Marion Torrent. Several other experienced members of France’s 2019 World Cup Team that were on the bench that were on the bench for that World Cup meeting with the USA are on this roster, in goalkeepers Solene Durand and Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, defenders Eve Perisset and Aissatou Tounkara and midfielder Grace Geyoro.
Forward Eugenie Le Sommer (174 caps) is the veteran and only player with 100+ caps on this roster.
The average age for France’s current roster is 25 and the average caps per player is 21.
France has not lost a game since the epic quarterfinal of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, when it fell 2-1 to the USA. Since that match, France has gone 14-0-2.
This will be the fourth game for France in 2021, after two 2-0 victories over Switzerland in Metz in February and a 3-1 win over England on April 9.
France cruised through qualifying to earn its berth to the 2022 UEFA Women’s Championships, which will be staged in England. France earned 22 points from seven wins and a draw while piling up a 44-0 goal difference.
Named as France’s head coach in 2017, Diacre was a former standout as a player for Les Bleues. She debuted for France at the age of 18 and compiled 121 caps for Les Bleus. She played in the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 1997, 2001 and 2005 European Championships, where she was the team captain.