Preview: USWNT to Face Nigeria at Austin’s Q2 Stadium in Finale of 2021 WNT Summer Series Pres. By AT&T 5GWatch USA-Nigeria on Wednesday, June 16 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2
The U.S Women’s National Team will close out the 2021 WNT Summer Series, presented by AT&T 5G on June 16, taking on Nigeria at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT. The game against the Super Falcons will be played at brand-new, state-of-the-art Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas, with official kickoff at 9:08 p.m. ET / 8:08 p.m. CT.
The USA is coming off a 4-0 victory over Jamaica on June 13, which featured goals by Carli Lloyd, Lindsey Horan, Margaret Purce and Alex Morgan.
Prior to the match, Lloyd will be honored for earning her 300th career cap – a feat only achieved by three other players in the history of international soccer.
USWNT DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 5), Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns; 5), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 70)
DEFENDERS (8): Alana Cook (OL Reign, 2/0), Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City, ENG; 68/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 31/1), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 113/24), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit; 137/2), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 7/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 185/0), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 53/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 95/21), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 55/14), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA; 4/1), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 23/4), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage; 74/22), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 17/0)
FORWARDS (6): Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 303/125), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 177/110), Christen Press (Manchester United, ENG; 146/60), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 176/59), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 6/0), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 36/10)
Head coach Vlatko Andonovski called up 23 players for the three games of the Summer Series, while forward Tobin Heath is also in camp as a training player as she continues her comeback from a knee injury. All 23 players were available for the matches against Portugal and Jamaica, with a total of 21 players seeing action so far across the first two games of the Summer Series. Jane Campbell and Alana Cook are the only players on the training camp roster who have yet to see game action.
Nine of the 23 players on the USA’s Summer Series roster have experience in the Olympic Games, while 15 were members of the 2019 Women’s World Cup champions. The Summer Series roster features 20 NWSL players and three from clubs in Europe.
INSIDE THE SERIES: USA vs. NIGERIA
The June 16 meeting will be the sixth meeting all-time between the USA and Nigeria, and the first ever meeting between the teams in a friendly competition. The teams have met five times previously, all at world championship events – four times at the Women’s World Cup (1999, 2003, 2007, 2015) and once in the Olympics (2000).
The USA won all of those matches, but none were easy, aside from perhaps the 7-1 win in group play of the 1999 Women’s World Cup, but that match saw the Super Falcons take a lead just two minutes into the game before the Americans exploded for five half goals and two in the second.
The USA and Nigeria have not met for six years, but the most recent two matches – in group play at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup and 2015 Women’s World Cup, both ended in 1-0 wins for the USA, with the goal coming in 2007 from Lori Chalupny in the first minute and in 2015 from Abby Wambach, which turned out to be her last World Cup goal and second to last goal of her 184-goal career. Four players on the USA’s current training camp roster saw time in that 2015 World Cup matchup against Nigeria: Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe.
Overall, the USWNT has a perfect record against CAF opposition, winning all seven of its matches against Nigeria (5) and South Africa (2).
LAST TIME OUT
The U.S. Women’s National Team rolled past Jamaica 4-0 in its second match of the 2021 Summer Series, presented by AT&T 5G. The USA’s victory came on the strength of three first-half goals and a second-half stoppage time exclamation point and was sparked by the second-fastest tally in team history when Carli Lloyd netted just 23 seconds into the match. At 38 years and 332 days old, the goal saw Lloyd become the oldest-ever scorer for the USWNT. Lindsey Horan converted a penalty kick and Margaret Purce netted her second international goal before the break while Alex Morgan capped off the evening with a late tally.
The U.S. got off to an exceptionally speedy start as Rose Lavelle teed up Lloyd for her 125th career international goal mere seconds into the match. The goal puts Lloyd within five goals of Kristine Lilly (130 goals) for third place on the USWNT’s all-time scoring list. Lilly previously held the record as the oldest player to score a goal for the USA at 38 years, 264 days and remarkably, Lilly still holds the record as the youngest player to ever score for the USWNT.
While Jamaica was able to make a few forays into U.S. territory, the USWNT controlled nearly the entire match, outshooting the Reggae Girlz 15-2 and out-possessing them 72 percent-28 percent.
#CARLI300 MAKES MORE HISTORY
On April 10 in Stockholm, U.S. forward Carli Lloyd hit an historic milestone by earning her 300th cap in a U.S. uniform. She will be honored for the achievement prior to the match against Nigeria. 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 is now in her 17th year of international competition and has appeared for the USA in three different decades, at four World Cups and in three Olympic Games. Not only has Lloyd’s longevity been truly remarkable, but her production as well. Her 125 career goals are fourth all-time in U.S. history and her 62 career assists are sixth all-time.
Lloyd also added another remarkable chapter to her career when she became the oldest player in USWNT history to score a goal after tallying just 23 seconds into the June 13 win vs. Jamaica. Lilly was previously the oldest player to score a goal for the USA at 38 years, 264 days. Lloyd was 38 years, 332 days old on June 13 when she scored against Jamaica.
Lloyd’s blistering strike against the Reggae Girlz goal was the second-fastest in USWNT history after Alex Morgan’s score 12 seconds into a match vs. Costa Rica on Feb. 10, 2016. It was Lloyd’s second first minute goal. She also scored in the first minute on Sept. 15, 2016, netting 39 seconds into a 6-0 win vs. Thailand.
PRESS IN PRIME FORM
Christen Press is in the middle of one of the finest stretches of her career – and of anyone’s career for the USWNT – as she has been directly involved in 32 goals in her last 34 games for the USWNT, scoring 13 goals with 19 assists. She also served in the free kick that led to Rose Lavelle’s game-winner vs. Canada on Feb. 18 in the USA’s opening game of the 2021 SheBelieves Cup. Press has 11 goals in her last 18 games for the USA while making 13 starts during that stretch.
In fact, since the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, Press has scored or assisted in 18 of her last 23 appearances for the USA.
Press is currently tied with Shannon MacMillan for ninth on the USWNT’s all-time scoring charts and ranks 13th all-time in assists.
FINAL TUNE-UP FOR TOKYO
TheU.S. Women’s National Team is 8-0-1 in this COVID-impacted year and has three matches left before kicking off play in the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics: the remaining friendly against Nigeria in the 2021 WNT Summer Series, Presented by AT&T 5G, and two in the WNT Send-Off Series, Presented by Visa, which will see the USA play Mexico in Connecticut on July 1 and 5. All the matches will be played in heat and humidity, replicating the conditions the U.S. team will encounter in Japan, while the Summer Series schedule also replicates Group play at the Olympics, where the USA will have two days of rest between matches.
SUCCESS ON HOME SOIL
With its wins over Portugal and Jamaica to open the Summer Series, the USA has extended its home unbeaten streak to 55 consecutive games. The current 55-game home unbeaten streak includes 50 wins and five draws. During this home unbeaten streak, the USA has outscored its opponents 194-27, including a 64-3 margin during its last 17 matches at home, all of which have been wins.The USA’s current 17-game home winning streak dates back to a 3-2 win over Sweden on November 7, 2019, which was also Vlakto Andonovski’s first match in charge of the USWNT.
The USA is also riding a 41-game overall unbeaten streak – 37 wins and four ties – across all matches and has scored multiple goals in 34 of those games. The current 41-game unbeaten streak is the third-longest in USWNT history. The USA’s longest unbeaten streak spanned 51 matches from December 2004 to September 2007. Most recently, the USA had a 43-game unbeaten run that began in March of 2012 and ran to March 2014.
GEARED UP FOR GROUP G
The Final Draw for the 2021 Olympic Football Tournament was held – virtually – on April 21 to determine the groups and schedule for the 12 teams competing in Tokyo. The U.S. was drawn into Group G and will open Olympic play on July 21 – two days before the Olympic Opening Ceremonies – against Sweden (5:30 p.m. local / 4:30 a.m. ET) at Tokyo Stadium. The Americans will play their second match in Saitama against New Zealand on July 24 (8:30 p.m. local / 7:30 a.m. ET). The USA will finish group play against Australia on July 27 (5 p.m. local / 4 a.m. ET) at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium in Kashima.
The Olympic Football Tournament runs from July 21-Aug. 6 with six group games taking place on each of the first-round dates -- July 21, 24 and 27 -- giving all nations only two days of rest between matches. The Olympics is an intense tournament as there are also only two rest days between the second and third group games, between the end of group play and the quarterfinal, and between the quarterfinal and the semifinal. Teams that make the Final will be gifted with a third rest day before squaring off for the gold medal.
The 12countries that have will be playing in the Olympic women’s soccer tournament are the USA and Canada from Concacaf; Australia, Japan and China PR from Asia; Great Britain, Netherlands, and Sweden from Europe; Brazil and Chile from South America; New Zealand from Oceania and Zambia from Africa.
U.S. SOCCER UNVEILS DEIB INIATIVES AROUND USWNT AND USMNT MATCHES
Under the umbrella of ‘One Nation,’ U.S. Soccer’s social responsibility platform, the Federation is focused on taking specific actions to inspire greater inclusion and generate real change in the communities it visits. In each city that the senior National Teams play, U.S. Soccer will connect with minority-owned business, organizations and individuals serving marginalized populations in the area and recognize an individual making an impact in the community as its “Game Ambassador.” Free coach education opportunities in underserved communities will also be available with support from state and local members. At the stadium, U.S. Soccer is partnering with Vote.org to drive voter registration for important state and local elections that happen every year and is working with KultureCity to make all matches sensory inclusive, providing sensory bags to ensure a positive experience for all fans with a sensory issue.
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.
USA ROSTER NOTES
The average age for this travel roster is 28 and the average caps per player is 76.
The average age for this travel roster is 28 and the average caps per player is 78.
On the other end of the spectrum, ten players on this roster have 36 caps or fewer.
Carli Lloyd is by far the most experienced player on the roster with 303 caps. The next most experienced player -- defender Becky Sauerbrunn – is 118 caps behind her with 185. The other players on the roster with over 100 caps are forwards Alex Morgan (177), Megan Rapinoe (176), Christen Press (146), and defenders Kelley O’Hara (137) and Crystal Dunn (113).
The USA has scored in 70 consecutive matches and has averaged just more than three goals per game in that time. The run of 70 consecutive matches with a goal is the longest such streak in USWNT history and began following a 1-0 loss to Australia in the 2017 Tournament of Nations.
The USA is riding a 41-game unbeaten streak – 37 wins and four ties – which is the third-longest in USWNT history. The USA’s longest unbeaten streak spanned 51 matches from December 2004 to September 2007. Most recently, the USA had a 43-game unbeaten run that began in March 2012 and ran to March 2014.
So far this year, 11 players have scored the USA’s 27 goals: Megan Rapinoe (7), Samantha Mewis (4), Alex Morgan (3), Lindsey Horan (2), Kristie Mewis (2), Christen Press (2), Margaret Purce (2), Carli Lloyd (2), Rose Lavelle, Catarina Macario and Lynn Williams.
Twelve different players have also tallied an assist in 2021: Carli Lloyd (4), Lindsey Horan (4), Christen Press (3), Samantha Mewis (2), Rose Lavelle (2), Crystal Dunn, Ali Krieger, Megan Rapinoe, Emily Sonnett, Kristie Mewis, Casey Krueger and Alex Morgan.
Overall, 15 different players have been directly involved in at least one of the USWNT’s 27 goals in the 2021 calendar year.
U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski is 19-0-1 in his first 20 games (two at the end of 2019, nine in 2020 and nine so far in 2021), setting a record for best start for a head coach in USWNT history. In his 11 events as head coach, Andonovski has called up 57 different players for training camp, with 57 of those players earning at least one cap. Andonovski has given 16 players their first senior team call-ups and, so far, five players their first senior team caps: Alana Cook, Margaret Purce, Sophia Smith, Jaelin Howell and Catarina Macario.
IN FOCUS: NIGERIA | FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
FIFA World Ranking: 38
CAF Ranking: 1
World Cup Appearances: 8 (1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019)
Olympic Appearances: 3 (2000, 2004, 2008)
Record vs. USA: 0-5-0
NIGERIA DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Yewande Balogun (California Storm, USA), Sunday Etim (Abia Angels), Tochukwu Oluehi (CD Pozoalbense, ESP)
DEFENDERS (8): Blessing Demehin (Sunshine Queens FC), Onome Ebi (FC Minsk, BLR), Onyinechi Ibe (Bayelsa Queens FC), Chidinma Okeke (Madrid CFF, ESP), Akudo Ogbonna (Sunshine Queens FC), Glory Ogbonna (Edo Queens), Nicole Payne (West Virginia University, USA), Salome Zogg (FC Zurich Frauen, SUI)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Toni Payne (Sevilla FC, ESP), Rita Chikwelu (Madrid CFF, ESP), Amanda Mbadi (Bayelsa Queens FC), Celine Ottah (Bayelsa Queens FC)
FORWARDS (11): Charity Adule (SD Edibars FC, ESP), Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid FC, ESP), Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash Reserves, USA), Roosa Ariyo (Tikkyurilian Palloseura, FIN), Ebinemiere Bokiri (Bayelsa Queens FC), Obianujuwan Ikechukwu (River Angels), Gift Monday (FC Robo Queens), Ijeoma Okoronkwo (Houston Dash Reserves, USA), Ifeoma Onumonu (NJ/NY Gotham FC, USA), Francisca Ordega (Levante UD, ESP), Asisat Oshoala (FC Barcelona, ESP)
NIGERIA ROSTER NOTES
Matches with African teams have been few and far in between for the USWNT, but the Americans do have an interesting history with Nigeria, having faced the perennial African champions five times, four in Women’s World Cup play – including every World Cup from 1999-2007 and again in 2015, as well as once in the Olympics in 2000.
One of Nigeria’s best players is forward Asisat Oshoala, who is fresh off winning the UEFA Champions League – and the treble -- with Barcelona. Oshoala has experience playing professionally in England for Liverpool and Arsenal and in China for Dailan and is the first African woman to win the UEFA Women’s Champions League. The 26-year-old has been named the African Women’s Footballer of the year on four occasions and was named the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2015 after helping Arsenal capture the FA Cup. She arrived late to Texas but played against Portugal on June 13.
Nigeria is coached by long-time college coach Randy Waldrum, who is currently the head coach at the University of Pittsburgh. He was also the head coach for the Houston Dash in the NWSL from 2014-2017 and for the Trinidad & Tobago Women’s National Team from 2014-2016. He got the job in May of 2020 after turning it down a few years ago.
One of his assistant coaches is Lauren Gregg, who was one of Tony DiCicco’s two assistant coaches during the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup and was the interim head coach for the USWNT for three games in 2000. She was also an assistant coach for the USA at the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1991.