PREVIEW: USWNT End 2021 Schedule Against the Matildas in Newcastle

Watch Australia - USA on Tuesday, November 30 at 4:05 a.m. ET on ESPN

CHICAGO (Nov. 29, 2021) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will play its final match of 2021 on Tuesday, November 30, when it squares off against Australia at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle at 8:05 p.m. local/4:05 a.m. ET on ESPN. The match comes three days after the USA bested the Matildas 3-0 on Saturday afternoon in front of a record crowd at Stadium Australia in Sydney. Goals from Ashley Hatch, Rose Lavelle and Lindsey Horan along with a stellar performance in goal from Casey Murphy proved to be the difference.


With a record of 17-2-4 so far in 2021, the USA looks to close out the calendar year with another positive result Down Under. This will be the fourth meeting this year between the USA and Australia, making the Matildas the teams’ most common foe in 2021.



Fans will also be able to follow the action via Twitter (@USWNT), Instagram (@USWNT), Facebook and the official U.S. Soccer App.



GOALKEEPERS (3): Bella Bixby (Portland Thorns FC; 0), Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 7), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 1)

DEFENDERS (8): Alana Cook (OL Reign; 3/0), Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC; 77/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 44/1), Imani Dorsey (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 0/0), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC; 7/0), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign; 8/0), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 198/0), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 62/0)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 107/25), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 67/18), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 12/3), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 32/4), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit; 1/0), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 21/2)

FORWARDS (6): Bethany Balcer (OL Reign; 1/0), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 3/1), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 8/2), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 10/1), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 44/13), Morgan Weaver (Portland Thorns FC; 1/0)



The U.S. got off to a fast start in Sydney with Ashley Hatch scoring just 24 seconds into the match off an assist from Lynn Williams. The goal was the third-fastest in USWNT history and was also the first international goal for Hatch, who made her first start for the USA in what was her first game for the National Team since 2018. The Matildas grew into the match as the half progressed and created some quality chances, but Murphy proved more than up to the task in her international debut and helped the USA maintain a 1-0 lead heading into the half.


Less than five minutes into the second half, Rose Lavelle doubled the USA’s advantage, capping off a brilliant counterattack spearheaded by Sofia Huerta and Margaret Purce. Lavelle’s goal was her fifth of the year and the 18th of her international career. Lindsey Horan, who captained the side, capped off the scoring by drawing and converting a penalty in the 68th minute. Murphy finished the night with eight saves as the USA kept its fifth consecutive clean sheet.




Murphy’s international debut was one for the record books as she recorded eight saves – the most by any USWNT goalkeeper in a single game since at least 2015 – while also becoming just the seventh goalkeeper in USWNT history to record a shutout in her first cap. Murphy is the first USWNT goalkeeper to record a clean sheet in her debut since Alyssa Naeher did so against Argentina in 2014.


Murphy also became the 240th player to earn a cap for the U.S. Women’s National Team and the 25th goalkeeper to earn a cap for the USWNT. At six-foot-one-inch Murphy also holds the distinction of being the tallest goalkeeper ever capped by the USWNT.



Murphy was one of four players to make their international debut for the USA in the match against Matildas. She was joined by forward Morgan Weaver in the 74th minute, forward Bethany Balcer in the 78th and midfielder Ashley Sanchez in the 84th.


The four debuts were the most for the USWNT in a single match since October 2016 vs. Switzerland and pushed the number of players capped by head coach Vlatko Andonovski to nine: Alana Cook and Purce in 2019, Sophia Smith and Jaelin Howell in 2020, and Catarina Macario, Murphy, Weaver, Balcer and Sanchez in 2021. Overall, 36 different players have now earned a cap for the USWNT in 2021, the most players used in any calendar year since 2018.



The roster for the Australia matches features 10 players who won bronze medals at the 2020 Olympics and six who were on the team that won the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but there are only two players on the roster age 30 or older – 36-year-old defender Becky Sauerbrunn and 30-year-old midfielder Kristie Mewis. Eleven players on this roster are 25 years old or younger and Saturday’s starting lineup against Australia marked the first time since April of 2013 that all eleven U.S. starters were under the age of 30.



The USA and Australia have now played 33 times overall, including three meetings this year. The U.S. leads the all-time series between the teams, 28-1-4, and has won all six of the meetings between the nations in Australia. The USA is unbeaten in its last five matches against Australia (3-0-2), though every of those matches apart from the 3-0 win in Sydney was decided by two goals or less.


Prior to the Nov. 27 matchup at Stadium Australia, the teams met twice earlier this summer at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan. The teams played to a 0-0 draw on July 27 in the final match of the group stage. The result sent the USA through as the second-place finisher in Group G while Australia advanced to the knockout rounds from third in the Group G standings. The teams met again nine days later in Kashima, Japan, squaring off in the bronze medal match. The Americans won 4-3 as Megan Rapinoe and the now-retired Carli Lloyd each scored twice, helping the USA claim its sixth all-time Olympic medal. Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord and Emily Gielnik scored for the Matildas in the defeat.



Prior to this trip, the U.S. Women’s National Team had not played in Australia in 21 years. The most recent visits were in 2000, a year in which the USA played in three different competitions in Australia, the final one being the Sydney Olympics where the USA earned a silver medal. The USA had never played Australia in Sydney, but did play the Matildas in Newcastle in 2000, winning 1-0, which was the most recent meeting between the teams Down Under.



With COVID-19 delaying the Olympics, there is now less than a year until the start of qualifying for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will be co-hosted in Australia and New Zealand beginning in July of 2023. The Concacaf qualifying tournament is scheduled to take place in July of 2022, with the top four teams guaranteeing their spot in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Two more Concacaf representatives will advance to a 10-team intercontinental playoff tournament to determine the final teams in the expand 32-team field for 2023.


Also new this cycle is the qualifying format for Concacaf itself. On August 19, the Confederation announced the qualifying path to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which is now also the path to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and, for a few teams, the newly instituted 2024 W Gold Cup. The newly dubbed 2021 Concacaf W Qualifiers will begin for all teams -- except the USA and Canada -- during the FIFA Women’s Match Windows in November 2021 and April 2022 and will serve as the preliminary round of the 2022 Concacaf W Championship. The eight team Concacaf W Championship will be held in July 2022 and will consist of group play, followed by semifinal and championship rounds. Along with qualifying for the World Cup, at conclusion of the Concacaf W Championship, the winning nation will also guarantee its place in the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games Women’s Football Tournament and the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup. The runner-up and the third-place nations will progress to a Concacaf Olympic play-in to be played in September of 2023. The winner of the play-in will also guarantee their place in the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games and the 2024 W Gold Cup.



The U.S. roster features six players who have played -- mostly on loan -- for clubs in the W-League during the Australian summer. Kristie Mewis played briefly for Canberra United in 2013 and Abby Dahlkemper played for Adelaide United in 2015. Sofia Huerta played two seasons, one for Adelaide United during the 2016-2017 season when she was named the club’s player of the year and one for Sydney FC during the 2018-2019 season. Huerta played every minute of every game for Sydney, scoring a goal in the semifinal match against Brisbane, which Sydney won 2-1. Huerta scored again in the Grand Final, helping Sydney to a 4-2 victory over Perth, to win the 2018-19 W-League Championship. Ashley Hatch played for Melbourne City in 2017-2018, the same season Emily Sonnett played for Sydney FC. Lynn Williams played briefly for Western Sydney in 2019.



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.



•          Becky Sauerbrunn is by far the most experienced player on the roster with 198 caps. Lindsey Horan (107) caps is the only other player on this roster with 100+ caps.

•          Thirteen players on this USA roster have 10 caps or fewer, including two uncapped players: defender Imani Dorsey and goalkeeper Bella Bixby.

•          Rose Lavelle and Lindsey Horan have played in 21 matches this year, Alex Morgan and Becky Sauerbrunn have played in 20 matches each while Megan Rapinoe has played in 19. 

•          Overall, 22 different players have been directly involved in at least one of the USWNT’s goals during the 2021 calendar year with either a goal or an assist. Horan leads this current roster with 11 goal involvements on the year (six goals, five assists) followed by Lavelle with 10 (five goals, five assists) and Lynn Williams with nine (five goals, four assists).

•          Eight of the 10 NWSL clubs have players on the roster with Portland Thorns FC having five. OL Reign and the Washington Spirit have four each.

•          Eleven players on the roster have represented the USA in a FIFA Women’s World Cup at the youth level.

•          Vlatko Andonovski is 28-2-4 in 34 games as head coach of the USWNT (two at the end of 2019, nine in 2020 and 23 so far in 2021), setting a record for best start for a head coach in USWNT history.

•          Of Andonovski’s first 34 games, 24 have been at home and 16 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.



FIFA World Ranking: 11

AFC Ranking: 2

World Cup appearances: 7 – 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019

2023 World Cup Qualifying: Automatic qualifier (co-host)

Record vs. USA: 1-28-4

Last Meeting vs. USA: Nov. 27, 2021 (USA won, 3-0)

Head Coach: Tony Gustavsson



GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Lydia Williams (Arsenal, ENG), 12-Teagan Micah (Rosengård, NOR), 18-Mackenzie Arnold (West Ham United, ENG) 

DEFENDERS (9): 4-Clare Polkinghorne (Vittsjo GIK, SWE), 14-Alanna Kennedy (Manchester City, ENG), 7-Steph Catley (Arsenal, ENG), 21-Ellie Carpenter (Lyon, FRA), 3-Courtney Nevin (Melbourne Victory), 8-Charlotte Grant (Rosengård, Sweden), 5-Karly Roestbakken (LSK Kvinner, NOR), 2-Angela Beard (Fortuna Hjørring, DEN), 24-Jessika Nash (Sydney FC)

MIDFIELDERS (4): 19-Kyra Cooney-Cross (Melbourne Victory), 10-Emily van Egmond (Orlando Pride), 13-Tameka Yallop (West Ham United, ENG), 6-Clare Wheeler (Fortuna Hjørring, DEN)

FORWARDS (9): 20-Sam Kerr (Chelsea, ENG), 9-Caitlin Foord (Arsenal, ENG), 11-Mary Fowler (Montpellier, FRA), 15-Emily Gielnik (Aston Villa, ENG), 16-Hayley Raso (Everton, ENG), 17-Kyah Simon (Tottenham Hotspur, NED), 22-Bryleeh Henry (Western Sydney Wanderers), 23-Remy Siemsen (Sydney FC), 25-Charlize Rule (Sydney FC)



•          Veteran Tameka Yallop earned her 100th cap vs the USA in Sydney. Yallop is the 12th Matilda all-time to reach 100 caps. The USA has 41 players who have played 100 or more times for the USA, 11 who have played 200 or more times and three in the 300-cap club.

•          Australia has 12 players on its roster who have scored at the full international level. The USA has 10.

•          Only six of Australia’s players are currently with clubs in their homeland. Only one is currently in the USA (Emily van Egmond for the Orlando Pride) and the other 18 are spread out over Europe. England is a popular destination for the Matildas, with nine players playing in the Women’s Super League, but three players are in Sweden, two are in France (including defender Ellie Carpenter at Lyon where she’s a teammate with the USA’s Catarina Macario), two are in Denmark and one player is in Norway.

•          With 49 international goals, Kerr is not only the leading scorer on the Matildas roster but is the all-time leading scorer in Australia Women’s National Team history, and with one more goal, will tie Tim Cahill as the all-time leader in Australia soccer history.

•          Australia is preparing for the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup that will be contested in January 20-Feb. 6 in India. The 12-team tournament is split into three groups of four teams each. Australia was drawn into Group B with Indonesia (Jan. 21), Philippines (Jan. 24) and Thailand (Jan. 27). All three of Australia’s group games will be played in Mumbai.