The U.S. Women’s National Team will play one last friendly before traveling to New Zealand to prepare for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, taking on Wales on Sunday, July 9 in the World Cup Send-Off match, presented by Visa. The match, which will be the first-ever meeting between the USA and Wales, will kick off at 1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ET at PayPal Park in San Jose, Calif. with the broadcast coverage on TNT, Telemundo, Universo and Peacock. The USA heads into the match with a 7-0-0 record in 2023 while scoring 17 goals and allowing one.
Following the final whistle, fans in attendance are encouraged to stay and be part of the WWC Send-Off Ceremony, during which each player on the roster will be recognized prior to departing for New Zealand. The celebration will include pyrotechnics, in-stadium video displays and more to celebrate the team’s impending departure for the World Cup.
TWENTY-THREE STRONG FOR DOWN UNDER
On June 21, the USA’s roster for the Women’s World Cup was officially announced, unveiling the 23 players who will represent the crest Down Under. The roster, which will also serve as the roster for the Send-Off Match in San Jose, features nine players who were members of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship squad and 14 players who were named to their first World Cup roster.
U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS) – 2023 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP
GOALKEEPERS (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit; 1), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 14), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 90)
DEFENDERS (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign; 24/1), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage; 28/1), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 131/24), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC; 15/0), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign; 29/0), Kelley O’Hara (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 157/3), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign; 74/1)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC; 0/0), Julie Ertz (Angel City FC; 118/20), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 128/27), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 88/24), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 50/7), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit; 24/3), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 44/3)
FORWARDS (6): Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC; 206/121), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 199/63), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit; 17/2), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 29/12), Alyssa Thompson (Angel City FC; 3/0), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 52/15)
BAY AREA CONNECTIONS
Sunday’s Send-Off Match in San Jose holds extra significance for several of the players on this roster who have ties to the Bay Area. Defender Naomi Girma hails from San Jose, Calif., and attended Stanford University, as did Alana Cook, Kelley O’Hara, Andi Sullivan and Sophia Smith. Alex Morgan attended college at UC Berkeley and Sofia Huerta and Julie Ertz both attended Santa Clara University, which is just two miles from PayPal Park. Megan Rapinoe also hails from Redding, Calif, which is 245 miles north of PayPal Park, but the Bay Area is the most northern venue the USA has ever played in California.
GROUP E AWAITS AT 2023 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP
Following the match in San Jose, the USA will travel to New Zealand and face World Cup debutantes Vietnam and Portugal in the group stage, along with 2019 Women’s World Cup runners-up Netherlands. The USA will play the entirety of the group stage in New Zealand. The U.S. will open Group E play against Vietnam on July 22 at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau (1 p.m. local / 9 p.m. ET on July 21 on FOX, Telemundo, Universo and Peacock), which will also serve as the host venue for the Opening Ceremony of the 2023 World Cup on July 20 when New Zealand plays Norway. The USA then faces Netherlands on July 27 at Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara (1 p.m. local / 9 p.m. ET on July 26 on FOX, Telemundo, Universo and Peacock), followed by Portugal on Aug. 1 at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau (7 p.m. local / 3 a.m. ET on FOX, Telemundo and Peacock).
WORLD CUP FORMAT
The World Cup format calls for seven matches to win the tournament, including four in the knockout rounds, up from six matches it took to win the Women’s World Cups for all the tournaments from 1991-2011. The top two teams from each of the eight groups will qualify for the Round of 16. The USA is making its ninth appearance in a FIFA Women’s World Cup and is one of seven countries to appear in all nine editions of the tournament. The others are Brazil, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Norway and Sweden.
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAINS
On July 7, U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski named midfielder Lindsey Horan and forward Alex Morgan as captains of the USWNT leading into the Women’s World Cup. While both have served as USWNT captain on numerous occasions, with defender Becky Sauerbrunn missing the World Cup due to a foot injury, the duo will assume the honor which has been officially given to 18 different players over the 38 years of the program. When Horan and Morgan are on the field at the same time, Horan will wear the armband.
USA WORLD CUP ROSTER NOTES
- Alex Morgan is the top scorer on the USA’s World Cup roster with 121 goals. Megan Rapinoe has 63, Lindsey Horan has 27, Dunn and Lavelle each have 24 and Ertz has 20.
- The average age of the U.S. roster is 28.5 years old. The USA’s 2015 and 2019 Women’s World Cup rosters also averaged around 28-years-old.
- Thompson is the youngest player on the roster at age 18. She is the fourth teenager and second youngest player ever to be named to a U.S. World Cup roster behind current USWNT assistant coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak. Roberts was 18 years, 1 month and 1 day old when she started against China PR in the opening game of the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Thompson will be 18 years, 8 months and 15 days old when the USA opens the World Cup on July 22 vs. Vietnam.
- Naomi Girma, Trinity Rodman, Sophia Smith and Alyssa Thompson are the first players born in the 2000s to be named to a Women’s World Cup roster for the USA.
- Midfielder Savannah DeMelo, who is enjoying a stellar season for Racing Louisville FC, is the third player ever to make a U.S. World Cup roster without previously earning a cap. Debbie Keller was the first to do so in 1995 and Shannon Boxx was the second in 2003. DeMelo has been in training camps with the senior side, most recently being called up in the fall of 2022, and will have a chance for her debut cap in the USA’s WWC Send-Off Match on July 9 vs. Wales in San Jose, Calif.
- The Send-Off match could also be the 200th cap for Rapinoe, who is sitting on 199 appearances for the USA. Rapinoe would become the 14th player in USWNT history to reach the 200-cap milestone.
- Andonovski is 49W-6D-5L in 60 games and went unbeaten (22W-1D-0L) in his first 23 matches in charge of the USWNT, setting a record for the best start for a head coach in USWNT history. The USA opened the Andonovski era on a 16-game winning streak.
IN FOCUS: WALES
FIFA World Ranking: 31
UEFA Ranking: 10
World Cup Appearances: N/A
Best World Cup Finish: N/A
Record vs. USA: N/A
Head Coach: Gemma Grainger (ENG)
WALES WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION
Goalkeepers (3): 1-Laura O'Sullivan (Cardiff City Ladies), 12-Olivia Clark (Bristol City, ENG), 21-Saffia Middleton-Patel (Manchester United, ENG)
Defenders (9): 2-Lily Woodham (Reading (ENG), 3-Gemma Evans (Reading (ENG), 5-Rhiannon Roberts (Unattached), 18-Esther Morgan (Unattached), 23-Ffion Morgan (Bristol City, ENG)
Midfielders (11): 6-Jose Green (Leicester City, ENG), 7-Ceri Holland (Liverpool, ENG), 8- Angharad James (Tottenham Hotspur, ENG) , 10-Jess Fishlock (OL Reign, USA), 13-Mary McAteer (Unattached), 14-Hayley Ladd (Manchester United, ENG), 16-Charlie Estcourt (Unattached), 19-Megan Wynne (Southampton, ENG), 20-Carrie Jones (Manchester United, ENG), 22-Anna Filbey (Crystal Palace, ENG), 24-Chloe Williams (Blackburn Rovers, ENG)
Forwards (4): 9-Kayleigh Green (Unattached), 11-Hannah Cain (Leicester City, ENG), 15-Elise Hughes (Crystal Palace, ENG), 17-Ella Powell (Bristol City, ENG)
- Wales just missed qualifying for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, losing a single-leg match in the second round of the UEFA playoffs by a 2-1 score in overtime to Switzerland. Rhiannon Roberts scored in the 19th minute of that match, but Switzerland equalized in the 45th minute and dramatically won the game in 121st minute to avoid the imminent penalty kick shoutout.
- Wales midfielder Jessica Fishlock, one of her country’s most legendary players, has played in every season of the NWSL, all for OL Reign.
- Fishlock is by far the most capped player on the roster with 141 games played and by far the leading scorer with 36 career goals.
- Angharad James, who plays in England for Tottenham Hotspur, has 17 career goals to go with her 69 caps.
- Nine players on the Wales roster play in England’s top-flight, including three for Manchester United, while six play in the FA Women’s Championship (Second Division).
- Wales most experience goalkeeper is 31-year-old Laura O’Sullivan from Cardiff City Ladies who has 59 caps. She is the only player on the roster that plays in Wales, although five players are between clubs.
- Wales defender Sophie Ingle, who is the usual Wales captain and who plays for English power Chelsea, is suspended from this match after receiving a red card in her most recent international match, a 1-1 tie with Portugal on April 11.