PREVIEW: USWNT Starts 2021 WNT Summer Series Pres. By AT&T 5G With Showdown Against PortugalWatch USA-Portugal on Thursday, June 10; Pregame Coverage Begins at 8 p.m. ET on FS1
With the opening match of the delayed 2020 Olympics only six weeks away, the U.S. Women’s National Team continues its preparations for Tokyo, taking on Portugal on June 10 in the first of three matches at the 2021 WNT Summer Series, Presented by AT&T 5G. The match will be played at BBVA Stadium in Houston, home of the Houston Dash (NWSL) and Houston Dynamo (MLS). Broadcast coverage of USA-Portugal begins at 8 p.m. ET on FS1 with official kickoff slated for 8:38 p.m. ET.
Jamaica and Nigeria will meet in the opening match of the Summer Series earlier in the day, with kickoff of that match – which will be streamed live on ussoccer.com – at 5:38 p.m. ET.
The top-ranked team in the world, the USA heads into the Summer Series on a 39-game unbeaten streak, the third-longest such streak in team history. Through eight games in 2021, the USA has outscored the opposition 22-1, thanks to a well-balanced attack that has seen 11 different players find the back of the net and a staunch defense that has allowed just eight total shots on goal this year.
Following the game against Portugal, the USA will return to action in Houston on Sunday, taking on Concacaf foe Jamaica on June 13 (10 p.m. ET on FS1).
USWNT DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 5), Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns; 4), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 69)
DEFENDERS (8): Alana Cook (OL Reign, 2/0), Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City, ENG; 66/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 29/1), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 111/24), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit; 136/2), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 6/1), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 184/0), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 51/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 93/20), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 53/14), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA; 3/1), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 22/4), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage; 72/21), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 16/0)
FORWARDS (6): Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 301/124), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 175/109), Christen Press (Manchester United, ENG; 144/60), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 175/59), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 4/0), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 34/10)
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.
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.
SUMMER SERIES GIVES USA MATCHES IN TEXAS HEAT, REPLICATES GROUP PLAY AT OLYMPICS
TheU.S. Women’s National Team is 6-0-1 in this COVID-impacted year and has five matches left before kicking off play in the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics: three friendlies 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.
The USA begins the Summer Series against Portugal on June 10 in Houston, followed by a meeting with Jamaica on June 13 (9 p.m. CT / 10 p.m. ET on FS1), also at BBVA Stadium, before traveling to Austin to face Nigeria on June 16 (8 p.m. CT / 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2). The match in Austin at the home of Major League Soccer’s newest club, Austin FC, will be the first soccer game at the brand new, state-of-the-art, 20,500 seat Q2 Stadium. The two dates in Houston will be doubleheaders, with Jamaica facing Nigeria on June 10 (4:30 p.m. CT / 5:30 p.m. ET) and Portugal playing Nigeria on June 13 (6 p.m. CT / 7 p.m. ET). The two matches not involving the USA can be watched on www.ussoccer.com.
INSIDE THE SERIES: USA vs. PORTUGALThe USA and Portugal have played nine times previously and most recently met in two games on the Victory Tour after the historic triumph at the 2019 Women’s World Cup. Following a 4-0 USA win in Philadelphia on Aug. 29, 2019 – with goals by Morgan Brian, Allie Long, Tobin Heath and Carli Lloyd -- and a 3-0 win in St. Paul, Minnesota on Sept. 3 (two goals from Lloyd and one from Lindsey Horan), the USA is now 9-0-0 all-time against Portugal.
Four of the meetings between the teams took place at the Algarve Cup in Portugal, which is a large part of U.S. Women’s National Team history. Between 1994 and 2015, the USA played 79 matches at twenty Algarve Cup tournaments, all held on the southern coast of Portugal. In 2018, the USA defeated Portugal, 1-0 on Nov. 8, 2018, in Lisbon. That win marked the 500th victory in USWNT history.
LAST TIME OUTThe USA’s most recent on-field action came in a 2-0 victory over France on April 13 at Stade Océane in Le Havre, France. In a showdown between (at that time) two of the top three teams in the FIFA World Rankings, No. 1-ranked USA got on the board early vs. then-No. 3 France as Megan Rapinoe converted her second penalty kick in as many games in the fifth minute of play. Alex Morgan doubled the advantage 14 minutes later, scoring in the 19th minute off a well-timed pass from Christen Press. Morgan’s goal was her second of the year – and second since becoming a mother – while Rapinoe kept her scoring streak alive with her fifth goal in four games for the USA. The four-game scoring streak is the longest of Rapinoe’s career and she leads the USWNT in scoring in 2021 with seven goals in seven games. A stout defensive showing and persistent pressure all over the field limited Les Bleues to just one shot on goal on the night, as the USA kept its seventh clean sheet in eight games in 2021.
SUCCESS ON HOME SOILThe Summer Series marks the first time the USWNT will be playing at home since Feb. 24 when it won the 2021 SheBelieves Cup with a 6-0 triumph over Argentina. The USA’s two April matches were in Europe, a 1-1 draw with Sweden in Stockholm that featured a set-play goal from both teams, and the 2-0 win over France in Le Havre. The draw vs. Sweden ended the USA’s winning streak at 16 matches – the third longest in team history – but kept alive an unbeaten streak that has since stretched to 39 matches. This current unbeaten streak is the third-longest in USWNT history, trailing only a 43-game unbeaten run that began in March 2012 and ran to March 2014 and its record 51-match unbeaten streak from December 2004 to September 2007.
The USA is also currently on a 53-game home unbeaten streak which includes 48 wins and five draws. During this home unbeaten streak, the USA has outscored its opponents 190-27, including 56-1 margin during its last 14 matches at home. The USWNT has won 15 straight home matches dating 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.
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.
Forward Carli Lloyd, who earned her historic 300th cap on April 10 vs. Sweden in Stockholm, is by far the most experienced player on the roster with 301 caps. Lloyd will be honored for the achievement prior to the USA’s June 16 match vs. Nigeria in Austin. The next most experienced player -- defender Becky Sauerbrunn – is 117 caps behind her with 184. The other players on the roster with over 100 caps are forwards Alex Morgan (175), Megan Rapinoe (175), Christen Press (144), and defenders Kelley O’Hara (136) and Crystal Dunn (111).
On the other end of the spectrum, ten players on this roster have 36 caps or fewer, though every player on the Summer Series roster has at least one cap.
So far this year, 11 players have scored the USA’s 22 goals: Megan Rapinoe (7), Samantha Mewis (3), Alex Morgan (2), Kristie Mewis (2), Christen Press (2), Rose Lavelle, Lindsey Horan, Catarina Macario, Margaret Purce, Lynn Williams and Carli Lloyd.
Twelve different players have also tallied an assist in 2021: Carli Lloyd (4), Lindsey Horan (4), Christen Press, Crystal Dunn, Ali Krieger, Samantha Mewis, Megan Rapinoe, Emily Sonnett, Rose Lavelle, Kristie Mewis, Casey Krueger and Alex Morgan.
U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski is 17-0-1 in his first 18 games (two at the end of 2019, nine in 2020 and seven 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.
FIFA World Ranking: 29
IN FOCUS: PORTUGAL | FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
UEFA Ranking: 18
World Cup Appearances: N/A
Olympic Appearances: N/A
Record vs. USA: 0-9-0
Head Coach: Francisco Neto
PORTUGAL DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Inês Pereira (Sporting Lisbon), 12-Bárbara Santos (Maritimo SC), 22-Rute Costa (Famalicão FC)
DEFENDERS (7): 2-Catarina Amado, (Benfica), 3-Alícia Correia, (Sporting Lisbon), 4-Sílvia Rebelo (Benfica), 5-Joana Marchão (Sporting Lisbon), 15-Carole Costa (Benfica), 17-Mariana Azevedo (Famalicão FC), 19-Diana Gomes (S.C. Braga)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 6-Andreia Jacinto (Sporting Lisbon), 8-Andreia Norton (S.C. Braga), 11-Tatiana Pinto (Sporting Lisbon), 13-Fátima Pinto (Sporting Lisbon), 14-Dolores Silva (S.C. Braga), 18-Beatriz Cameirão (Benfica), 20-Lúcia Alves (Benfica), 21-Andreia Faria (Benfica)
FORWARDS (5): 7-Francisca Nazareth (Benfica), 9-Melissa Gomes (Stade de Reims, FRA), 10-Jéssica Silva (Kansas City NWSL, USA), 16-Diana Silva (Aston Villa, ENG), 23-Telma Encarnação (Maritimo SC)
PORTUGAL ROSTER NOTES
Just twelve of the players called for this roster were on the 23-player roster that faced the USA during the 2019 Victory Tour as head coach Francisco Neto rebuilds his squad for a run towards the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Portugal came razor-thin close to qualifying for the delayed 2022 UEFA Women’s Euros, which will be staged in England, but fell on a 1-0 aggregate score over two legs vs. Russia. Portugal lost the first leg 1-0 in Lisbon and tied 0-0 in Moscow.
Sixteen of the players on the Portugal roster come from the top three clubs in the Portuguese First Division - three from2020-2021 champion S.C. Braga, six from Sporting Lisbon (who finished second by
just three points), and seven from third-place Benfica.
Portugal will play its second and final game of the 2021 WNT Summer Series, Presented by AT&T 5G on June 13 against Nigeria. The match will begin at 7:00 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on ussoccer.com.
Following the Summer Series, Portugal will turn its attention to UEFA qualifiers for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The group stage for UEFA qualifying begins during the September FIFA International Window.