PREVIEW: USWNT Takes on Australia in Bronze Medal Match At Tokyo 2020
The U.S. Women’s National Team will play its sixth and final game of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on August 5 when it takes on Australia at 5 p.m. local/4 a.m. ET in the bronze medal match. The game will be played at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium in Kashima, Japan and will be available for viewing in the United States on the USA Network and Telemundo with streaming coverage also available through NBCOlympics.com and through the Telemundo Deportes App.
Playing in its seventh Olympic, the USA looks to capture its sixth Olympic medal overall. The USA already leads the all-time women’s Olympic soccer medal charts with four golds and one silver. The next closest nation is Germany – who did not qualify for Tokyo 2020 – with four total medals.
While the USA will be playing in its first bronze medal match in Olympic history, the USWNT has played in three third-place games in its World Cup history, defeating China PR, 2-0, in 1995, defeating Canada, 3-1, in 2003 and Norway, 4-1, in 2007.
The bronze medal match against Australia will be a rematch of the USA’s final group stage game, a 0-0 draw against the Matildas on July 27. Despite the scoreless draw, the results were enough to send both teams through to the quarterfinals, with the USA finishing second in Group G and Australia third.
Sweden and Canada will meet in the gold medal match at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium at 11 a.m. local on August 6/10 p.m. ET on August 5.
Fans will also be able to follow the action via Twitter (@USWNT), Instagram (@USWNT), Facebook and the official U.S. Soccer App.
USWNT OLYMPIC WOMEN’S SOCCER ROSTER BY POSITION (CAPS/GOALS)
GOALKEEPERS (3): 22-Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 5), 18-Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 7), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 78)
DEFENDERS (7): 17-Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City, ENG; 74/0), 12-Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 38/1), 2-Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 121/24), 20-Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars; 35/0), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit; 144/2), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 192/0), 14-Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 57/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 8-Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 115/20), 9-Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 103/23), 16-Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 61/15), 19-Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 8/1), 6-Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 28/4), 3-Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage; 82/24)
FORWARDS (6): 7-Tobin Heath (Unattached; 176/35), 10-Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 311/126), 13-Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 185/111), 11-Christen Press (Unattached; 154/64), 15-Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 184/59), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 40/12)
LET’S RUN IT BACK
The group stage matchup between the USA and Australia ended in a scoreless draw despite the USA creating the better chances from the run of play. Alex Morgan threatened first for the USA when she split the defense on a nice counterattacking run inside the first 10 minutes but Australia goalkeeper Teagan Micah saved her shot. The Matildas created some danger on set plays, a few throw-ins and a number of corner kicks, but the USA almost totally shut down the Aussies from the run of play while keeping star striker Sam Kerr under wraps for most of the night. U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher did have to make one tough save, leaping to push a header off the crossbar in 18th minute. The U.S. was the only team to put the ball in the net on the night, nearly opening the scoring on a corner kick. After forward Megan Rapinoe played short to right back Kelley O’Hara on the right side, she swung a ball into the box which Morgan met just outside the six-yard box and sent a clinical header into the back of the net. The assistant referee raised the flag and after an extended VAR review it was deemed that Morgan was offside by mere inches, perhaps the closest of the USA’s nine disallowed goals in the tournament.
NAEHER OUT OF BRONZE MEDAL GAME
U.S. Women’s National Team goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher suffered a hyperextension of her right knee and a bone contusion when she landed awkwardly in the 22nd minute while contesting a cross on Aug. 2 in the Olympic semifinal match. She tried to stay in the game, and did so for eight more minutes, but then had to be subbed off. Naeher had an MRI following the game which showed no ligament damage, but she will not be available for the bronze medal match on Aug. 5 vs. Australia in Kashima, Japan. She will likely be sidelined for several weeks.
INSIDE THE SERIES: USA vs. AUSTRALIA
The USA has played Australia 31 times overall, with four previous meetings at world championship events – two draws at the Olympics and two victories for the USA at the World Cup.
The USA leads the all-time series between the teams, 26-1-4 and while the two countries first met in 1987, Australia only beat the USA for the first time on June 27, 2018, a 1-0 victory in Seattle, Washington. The teams tied 1-1 on June 29, 2018, in East Hartford, Connecticut, but the USA picked up a rousing win in the most recent meeting prior to the Olympics, a 5-3 triumph on April 4, 2019, in Commerce City, Colorado. Alex Morgan scored her 100th international goal, Mallory Pugh tallied a brace in front of her hometown crowd, and Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath added goals of their own in a thrilling matchup that also saw the USA erase a 2-1 deficit.
Over its last four games with Australia, the USA has a record of 1-1-2 and all four matches have been decided by two goals or fewer.
LLOYD CONTINUES TO CLIMB CAP CHARTS
Forward Carli Lloyd is by far the most experienced player on the roster with 311 caps and is now tied with Christie Pearce Rampone for the second-most ever caps in USWNT history. With her next appearance for the USWNT, the 39-year-old Lloyd will take sole possession of the second-most caps in international soccer history, trailing only her former teammate and USWNT legend Kristine Lilly, who amassed 354 caps in her international career.
Should Lloyd see time in the bronze medal game against Australia, it would give her 22 career appearances at the Olympics, tying Pearce Rampone for the most Olympic caps in USWNT history.
On June 30, the International Olympic Committee agreed to a more flexible approach towards the participation of the alternate players in the Olympic Football Tournaments, ruling that all participating countries were entitled, if they choose, to reconstitute their teams ahead of every match. This means that while each team must still only have 18 players on its game day roster for each Olympic match, teams now can choose those 18 from a total of 22 players – the original 18 named to the Olympic Team plus the four named alternates, who became members of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team. The IOC made it clear that this is an exception made only for the Tokyo 2020 Games and does not create a precedent for future Olympics.
The IOC also ruled that a player must be on an 18-player game day roster in order to be considered an Olympian and receive a medal if her team does win one. With former alternates Catarina Macario, Jane Campbell and Casey Krueger appearing on the USA’s 18-player roster for the July 24 match vs. New Zealand and Lynn Williams making the roster against Australia, all 22 players on the USA’s roster are now officially deemed Olympians and are medal eligible.
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
With goalkeeper Adrianna Franch’s appearance in the semifinal, 21 of the USA’s 22 players on the Olympic roster have seen action through the first five games. Goalkeeper Jane Campbell is the only player yet to see game action at the Olympics, though she was on the matchday roster for the USA’s July 24 match vs. New Zealand.
Crystal Dunn leads the USA in minutes played at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with 464, Julie Ertz has played 435, Alyssa Naeher finishes her tournament with 420 minutes, and Lindsey Horan has played 409. Dunn and Horan are the only players to start each of the first five games for the USA at Tokyo 2020.
Carli Lloyd has the most Olympic appearances with 21 and the most Olympic goals with eight. Tobin Heath has made 17 Olympic appearances. The USWNT record for most Olympic appearances is 22, held by Christie Pearce Rampone. With her substitute appearance against Sweden on July 21, Lloyd moved into second place all-time in Olympic appearances, breaking a tie with Julie Foudy, Kate Markgraf, Kristine Lilly, Joy Fawcett and Hope Solo. Heath’s 17 Olympic caps make her 3rd all-time in USWNT Olympic history, behind only Lloyd and Pearce Rampone.
Lloyd scored the winning goal in the gold medal game at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. In 2008, she scored the USA’s lone goal in a 1-0 overtime victory against Brazil, and in 2012 she scored both goals in the USA’s 2-1 victory against Japan. Lloyd is the team’s leading scorer heading into the Olympics with 126 career goals, which also ranks fourth in USWNT history. Her eight career goals at the Olympics rank second in USWNT history, trailing only Abby Wambach with nine.
Of the 19 field players named to the roster, only Sauerbrunn, Dahlkemper (her center back partner), Sonnett and Krueger have yet to score an international goal. In fact, Sauerbrunn is one game away from breaking the record for most USWNT caps without scoring a goal, currently held by USWNT General Manager Kate Markgraf, who scored her first – and only – goal for the USWNT in her 193rd cap. Should Sauerbrunn play in the bronze medal match, it will be her 193rd cap.
Six different players have scored for the USA at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the most distinct scorers the USWNT has had at an Olympics since 2008, when a record seven different players found the back of the net.
Lloyd and Morgan rank second and third, respectively, for the most Olympic goals scored in USWNT history, trailing only Abby Wambach, who scored nine goals combined at the 2004 and 2012 Olympics.
A total of 11 players have made their Olympic debuts for the USA this Olympics. Six did so on July 21 vs. Sweden: Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, defenders Abby Dahlkemper and Tierna Davidson, and midfielders Rose Lavelle, Kristie Mewis and Samantha Mewis, and three more on July 24 vs. New Zealand: Emily Sonnett, Catarina Macario and Casey Krueger. Forward Lynn Williams was the only player to make her Olympic debut on July 27 vs. Australia and Adrianna Franch made her debut on Aug. 2 vs. Canada.
The USA has now reached the medal round in six of its seven trips to the Olympics. In its previous five such trips, the USA has captured four gold medals and one silver.
So far this year, 12 players have scored the USA’s 45 goals: Megan Rapinoe (7), Christen Press (6), Samantha Mewis (6), Alex Morgan (4), Lindsey Horan (4), Carli Lloyd (3), Lynn Williams (3), Kristie Mewis (2), Tobin Heath (2), Margaret Purce (2), Rose Lavelle (2) and Catarina Macario. Three of the USA’s 45 goals in 2021 have been own goals.
Seventeen different players have also tallied an assist in 2021: Carli Lloyd (6), Christen Press (5), Lindsey Horan (4), Samantha Mewis (3), Rose Lavelle (2), Megan Rapinoe (2), Kristie Mewis (2), Crystal Dunn (2), Julie Ertz (2), Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger, Emily Sonnett, Casey Krueger, Sophia Smith, Tierna Davidson, Tobin Heath and Lynn Williams.
Overall, 19 different players have been directly involved in at least one of the USWNT’s 45 goals in the 2021 calendar year.
Press (6 goals, 5 assists) leads way with 11 goal contributions followed by Samantha Mewis (6 goals, 4 assists) with 10 and Rapinoe (7 goals, 2 assist) and Lloyd (3 goals, 6 assists) with nine goal contributions each.
IN FOCUS: AUSTRALIA | FIVE THINGS TO KNOWFIFA World Ranking: 9
Olympic Appearances: 4th (2000, 2004, 2016, 2020)
Best Olympic Finish: Quarterfinals (2004, 2016)
Overall Record in Olympics: 4-7-5 (GF: 21, GA:24)
Record vs. USA: 1-26-4
Head Coach: Tony Gustavsson
AUSTRALIA OLYMPIC WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Lydia Williams (Arsenal, ENG), 18-Teagan Micah (Sandviken, NOR), 22-Mackenzie Arnold (West Ham United, ENG)
DEFENDERS (7): 4-Clare Polkinghorne (Vittsjo GIK, SWE), 14-Alanna Kennedy (Tottenham, ENG), 7-Steph Catley (Arsenal, ENG), 12-Ellie Carpenter (Lyon, FRA), 19-Courtney Nevin (Western Sydney Wanderers), 20-Charlotte Grant (Rosengard, Sweden), 21-Laura Brock (Guingamp, FRA)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 3-Kyra Cooney-Cross (Melbourne Victory), 5-Aivi Luik (Sevilla, ESP), 6-Chloe Logarzo (Kansas City, USA), 8-Elise Kellond-Knight (Hammarby, SWE), 10-Emily van Egmond (Unattached), 13-Tameka Yallop (West Ham United, ENG)
FORWARDS (6): 2-Sam Kerr (Chelsea, ENG), 9-Caitlin Foord (Arsenal, ENG), 11-Mary Fowler (Montpellier, FRA), 15-Emily Gielnik (Vittsjo GIK, SWE), 16-Hayley Raso (Everton, ENG), 17-Kyah Simon (PSV, NED)
AUSTRALIA ROSTER NOTES
Australia opened the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a 2-1 victory over arch-rivals New Zealand on July 21 at Tokyo Stadium. Australia started the match on the front foot and opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a goal by Tameka Yallop and doubled its advantage in the 33rd when Kerr headed in a corner kick from Steph Catley. New Zealand pulled one back in the 91st minute, but the Matildas held on to take all three points and outshot New Zealand, 16-5, on the night with a 10-1 advantage on corner kicks.
Australia then lost 4-2 to Sweden in Saitama in its second group match. The Swedes opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a goal by Fridolina Rolfo, but the Matlidas responded and tied the match before halftime off a Sam Kerr header in the 36th minute. Australia would take the lead just minutes into the second half as Kerr tallied her second goal of the game and third of the tournament with another stellar header, but Sweden would score three unanswered goals to win the match, 4-2 and clinch its spot in the knockout round with six points through two matches. In the 69th minute with Australia trailing 3-2, Kerr had an opportunity to tie the match from the penalty spot, but her attempt was saved by Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl.
In the quarterfinal, Australia met Great Britain and prevailed in a wild 4-3 match after overtime. Defender Alana Kennedy scored in the 35th minute to stake the Matildas the lead, but GBR forward Ellen White struck in 57th and 66th. Kerr rescued Australia with an 89th minute equalizer and then young star Mary Fowler scored in the 103rd followed by another Kerr goal in the 106th to seemingly put the match away. White completed her hat trick 115th to make the end of the game interesting, but Australia was able to hold on.
In the semifinal, Australia out-shot Sweden 13-9, but both teams had four shots on goal and Sweden’s Fridolina Rolfo scored the only goal of the game in the 45th minute to send the Matildas to the bronze medal game.
Outside back Ellie Carpenter received a straight red card in stoppage time of the semifinal and will be suspended for the bronze medal game. When she debuted for the Portland Thorns, Carpenter was the youngest player at the time to play in the NWSL. She made her debut on May 9, 2018, on the road against Houston at 18 years, 12 days. She is also the youngest player to score in the NWSL, tallying on May 19, 2018 on the road against Washington Spirit at age 18 years, 22 days.
With 47 international goals in 98 caps, Kerr is the leading scorer on the Matildas roster and is tied with Lisa De Vanna as the all-time leading scorer in Australia Women’s National Team history. With five goals and an assist, Kerr has been directly involved in six of the eight goals Australia has scored at Tokyo 2020 and her five goals rank fourth among all individual players at these Olympics.
Kerr, the 2017 NWSL MVP and leading scorer who is also the all-time leading scorer in NWSL history with 77 goals (plus one in the playoffs). Lynn Williams is second with 55.
Almost all of Australia’s top players have at one time or another played in the NWSL, but only one is playing this season, Chloe Logarzo for Kansas City. Fourteen members of the Matildas have been rostered with NWSL clubs.
On Australia’s 22-player Olympic roster are 17 players who were a part of its 2019 Women’s World Cup squad.
Australia, despite having the majority of its roster in their 20s or younger, is one of the most experienced teams in the world. Three players have 40 or more caps, led by defender Clare Polkinghorne, who has played 134 times and scored 11 goals for the Matildas. Midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight (113/2), who turned out for the Seattle Reign and Washington Spirit in the NWSL and midfielder Emily van Egmond (107/23), who played for the Reign, Red Stars and Orlando Pride in NWSL is the other members of the Century Club on the roster, but seven players have cap totals in the 80s and 90s.