USWNT Continues W Gold Cup Group Play Against Argentina

Watch Argentina-USA on Friday, Feb. 23 at 10:15 p.m. ET on Paramount+, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+

The U.S. Women’s National Team opened the Olympic year with a comprehensive 5-0 win over the Dominican Republic in its first match at the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup. Four different players scored for the U.S. in the win as the Americans rose to the top of Group A following the first matchday of play. The USA will now square off against Argentina, the second-place team in Group A, on Friday, Feb. 23 at Dignity Health Sports Park. The match kicks off at 10:15 p.m. ET / 7:15 p.m. PT and will be broadcast in English on Paramount+ and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes and ESPN+.

With the top two teams from each group and two best third-place finishers advancing to the knockout rounds, the USA can secure its spot in the quarterfinals with a win on Friday night.

Following the match against Argentina, the U.S. will play its third and final group stage game on Monday, Feb. 26, taking on Mexico (10:15 p.m. ET / 7:15 p.m. PT  on Paramount+, ESPN Deportes, ESPN+) to close out the opening round.

Fans will also be able to follow all the action from the W Gold Cup via X (formerly Twitter - @USWNT), Instagram (@USWNT), Facebook and the official U.S. Soccer App.

U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB)

GOALKEEPERS (3): 21-Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), 18-Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

DEFENDERS (8): 2-Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC), 19-Crystal Dunn (NJ/NY Gotham FC), 12-Tierna Davidson (NJ/NY Gotham FC), 23-Emily Fox (Arsenal FC, ENG), 4-Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), 20-Casey Krueger (Washington Spirit), 3-Jenna Nighswonger (NY/NJ Gotham FC), 5-Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC)

MIDFIELDERS (6): 15-Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), 17-Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), 10-Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), 16-Rose Lavelle (NJ/NY Gotham FC), 13-Olivia Moultrie (Portland Thorns FC), 14-Emily Sonnett (NJ/NY Gotham FC)

FORWARDS (6): 7-Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC), 9-Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), 22-Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), 8-Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC), 11-Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), 6-Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC)

Interim head coach Twila Kilgore named the 23-player roster for the Concacaf W Gold Cup on Feb. 7, though two changes have since been made as center back Alana Cook was forced to withdraw due to a minor knee injury sustained during NWSL preseason and was replaced by veteran defender Becky Sauerbrunn. Forward Mia Fishel tore her ACL during training on Feb. 19 and was also forced to withdraw from the roster. She was replaced by veteran forward Alex Morgan. 

LAST TIME OUT

The USWNT opened its W Gold Cup campaign on Tuesday night with a convincing 5-0 win against the Dominican Republic led by a brace from 18-year-old midfielder Olivia Moultrie and two assists from forward Midge Purce. Forwards Lynn Williams and Alex Morgan also added goals of their own while defender Jenna Nighswonger scored her first career goal from the penalty spot.

The five-goal outpouring marked the USA’s most goals scored in a game since Jan. 21, 2023 and the Americans ended the night with 31 shots – the most in any match since April 2022 – and 10 on target while limiting the Dominican Republic to just one shot total on the evening.

MOULTRIE MAKES HER MARK

Moultrie, who earned her first call-up to the senior national team in October 2023 and earned her first cap on Dec. 2 in Ft. Lauderdale, made the most of her first start for the U.S., netting her first and second international goals. At 18 years and 156 days of age, Moultrie became the 33rd teenager all-time to score for the USWNT and the third youngest player in team history to net a brace. The only players younger – and the only other players to score multiple goals in a game at age 18 or younger – are Mia Hamm and Cindy Parlow Cone.

NAEHER NEARING 100 CAPS

Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher recorded her 60th career clean sheet in the USA’s Feb. 20 win over the Dominican Republic, which was also her 98th cap for the team. Naeher is now just two caps away from becoming the third goalkeeper and 42nd player overall in U.S. Women’s National Team history to reach the 100 cap milestone. Naeher is, and has been for a while, the goalkeeper with the third-most caps (98), wins (80) and shutouts (60) in U.S. history, trailing only Hall-of-Famers Briana Scurry and Hope Solo.

A two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion, Naeher debuted for the USWNT in December of 2014 and became a consistent starter following the 2016 Olympics. She matched her calendar-year high with nine shutouts for the USWNT in 2023, three of which came at the World Cup as the U.S. allowed just one goal the entire tournament and has recorded a clean sheet in each of her last five appearances.

INSIDE THE SERIES: USA vs. ARGENTINA

Friday’s matchup in Carson will be the fifth meeting all-time between the USA and Argentina and the first in an official competition. The U.S. has won each of the previous four meetings, the most recent of which came nearly three years ago on February 24, 2021, during the SheBelieves Cup. The USWNT won that match 6-0 in Orlando, Florida behind a brace from Megan Rapinoe and goals from Carli Lloyd, Kristie Mewis, Christen Press and Alex Morgan. Rose Lavelle, Casey Krueger, Lindsey Horan and Sophia Smith, all of whom are on the U.S. roster for the W Gold Cup, tallied assists in that match as the USA clinched its fourth SheBelieves Cup title, becoming the first back-to-back champions in tournament history.

The other three meetings between the teams all came in friendlies, a 7-0 win for the U.S. in Brazil on December 18, 2014, in which goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher earned her first cap – and first shutout – and two victories for the Americans in April of 1998, an 8-1 win in Fullerton, California and a 7-0 victory in San Jose.

Overall, the USWNT is unbeaten in its last 25 matches against CONMEBOL competition and has won 16 of its last 17 games against South American opponents. The USA faced two South American opponents in 2023, defeating Brazil 2-1 in the finale of the 2023 SheBelieves Cup and faced Colombia twice during the October international window – a 0-0 draw in Sandy, Utah on Oct. 26 and a 3-0 win for the Americans on Oct. 29 in San Diego.

CALIFORNIA STATE OF MIND

All six possible games for the USWNT at this Concacaf W Gold Cup will be played inside the friendly confines of California. The USWNT has played more matches in California (54) than any other state in the country and has never lost a match in the Golden State, boasting an overall record of 50W-4D-0L.

The U.S. was won 32 of its last 33 games played in the state of California and is unbeaten all-time at the Dignity Health Sports Park, at which it has played more matches than any other venue in the country. The U.S is unbeaten at the Carson, Calif. venue, going 18W-1D-0L since playing its first game there in September of 2003 shortly after the stadium opened.

Overall, the U.S. is unbeaten in its last 20 games overall and its last 14 games on home soil, both streaks that date back to the year-end victory over Germany to close out the 2022 campaign. During the 13-game run at home, the U.S. has kept 11 clean sheets and has outscored the opposition 30-3.

ALL ABOUT THE GOLD CUP

The Concacaf W Gold Cup is the region's new flagship competition for Women's National Teams, providing additional opportunities for competition and exposure. The field for the final tournament was finalized on Feb. 17 as the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Puerto Rico won their Preliminary Round matches to secure their spot in the 12-team field. The Dominican Republic topped Guyana 1-0 to join the USA in Group A, Puerto Rico upset Haiti 1-0 to join Group B and El Salvador defeated Guatemala 3-1 to secure a spot in Group C.

The 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup is being played in four venues across the United States, with matches being played at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif., Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, Shell Energy Stadium in Houston and BMO Stadium in Los Angeles.

Group A will be played entirely at Dignity Health Sports Park, while Group B, which features Brazil, Colombia, Panama and Puerto Rico, will play all its group matches at Snapdragon Stadium. Canada, Costa Rica, Paraguay and El Salvador make up Group C, which will play its group games at Shell Energy Stadium in Houston.

The top two finishers from each group will advance to the knockout rounds, along with the two best third-place teams overall. The knockout rounds begin with the Quarterfinal Round on March 2 and 3 at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles, with the pairings to be determined by the group stage standings. The team accumulating the most points overall in group play (with various tie-breakers in place to for teams which accumulate the same amount of points) will face the country that finishes eighth, the second place team will face the seventh place team, and so on, so the #1 seed will face the #8 seed, #2 will play #7, #3 will play #6 and #4 will play #5.

The winners of the single-match elimination games will then advance to the semifinal and final rounds.

The tournament will then head to San Diego where the Semifinal (March 6) and Final (March 10) will be played at Snapdragon Stadium, home of the 2023 NWSL Shield Winners San Diego Wave FC.

HAYES TO THE HELM IN MAY

After a worldwide search process led U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Matt Crocker, Emma Hayes was officially announced as the 10th head coach in U.S. Women’s National Team history on November 14, 2023. The long-time head coach for English powerhouse Chelsea FC, Hayes started her coaching career in the United States in the early 2000s and more than two decades later will take the helm of the USWNT. Due to her contact with Chelsea, Hayes will finish the 2023-24 Women’s Super League season in England and then join the U.S. team officially two months prior to the start of the Olympics. U.S. Soccer has put a comprehensive plan and process in place to maximize the productivity in all aspects of moving the USWNT forward leading into the Olympics, a key part of which is interim head coach Twila Kilgore continuing in her role and then joining Hayes’ staff full-time as an assistant coach in late May.

SHEBELIEVES CUP ON THE HORIZON

Following the completion of the Concacaf W Gold Cup, the U.S. will turn its attention to the 2024 SheBelieves Cup, presented by Visa. The USA will host Brazil, Canada and Japan in the ninth edition of the four-team tournament. All four participants are ranked in the top 11 in the world and competed in last year’s tournament, where the U.S. took first, followed by Japan in second, Brazil in third and Canada in fourth. In the Semifinals on April 6 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, the USA (#2) will face Japan (#8) at 12:30 p.m. ET (TNT, Universo, Max & Peacock) and Brazil (#11) will take on Canada (#10) at 3:30 p.m. ET (Universo, Max & Peacock).

The four nations will then travel to Columbus, Ohio with Lower.com Field hosting the final two games of the tournament at 4 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. ET on April 9 as the Semifinal winners play in the Championship and the losers play in the Third-Place Match. The USA will play in the 7 p.m. ET time slot (TBS, Universo, Max & Peacock) whether it is playing in Championship or Third-Place Match, and the other game will be at 4 p.m. ET (TBS, Universo, Max & Peacock).

Tickets are available for purchase now at ussoccer.com/tickets.

PATHWAY TO PARIS

Five months until the start of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, the USWNT is deep in preparation for its pursuit of a fifth Olympic gold medal. The Olympic Football Tournament features 12 teams and will be contested in seven different venues across France from July 25 to August 10: Parc des Princes in Paris, Stade de Lyon, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Etienne, Stade de Marseille, Stade de Nice, Stade de Bordeaux and Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes. The USA is one of just six teams to have already qualified for Paris, joining hosts France, South American qualifiers Brazil and Colombia, New Zealand from Oceania and Canada, which secured Concacaf’s second berth to the Olympics berth by beating Jamaica in a two-game playoff during the September international window.

The USA qualified for Paris by virtue of winning the 2022 Concacaf W Championship in Monterrey, Mexico, which served as the region’s qualification for the Olympics as well as the 2023 World Cup.

All but one of the remaining Olympic berths will be determined during this February International Window, with the 2024 UEFA Women’s Nation’s League Finals and the 2024 AFC Olympic Qualifying Tournament set to conclude later this month. The 2024 CAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament will wrap up in early April to produce two qualifiers from Africa  while the Final Draw to set the tournament schedule will be held in late March.

USA ROSTER NOTES

  • Becky Sauerbrunn (218), Alex Morgan (216), Crystal Dunn (140 caps) and Lindsey Horan (139 caps) are the only players on this roster with 100+ international appearances.
  • Five players on this roster have fewer than 10 caps, four of whom debuted in 2023: 23-year-old Jenna Nighswonger (3 caps), 20-year-old midfielder Korbin Albert (2 caps), 19-year-old Jaedyn Shaw (5 caps) and 18-year-old Olivia Moultrie (3 caps).
  • Seven players on this roster – Naomi Girma, Sophia Smith, Nighswonger, Trinity Rodman, Albert, Shaw and Moultrie – were born after the historic 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary this summer. Smith became the first player born after the ’99 World Cup to earn a USWNT cap when she debuted for the U.S. on November 27, 2020, against the Netherlands.
  • Morgan is the top scorer on this roster with 122 career international goals, followed by Horan with 31 goals, Lavelle and Dunn with 24 each, Williams with 18 and Smith with 15. 
  • Four different players have scored so far for the USWNT in 2024 – led by two goal from Moultrie and one each from Williams, Nighswonger and Morgan.
  • Midge Purce leads the U.S. with two assists in 2024 while Smith also has one assist on the year.
  • Overall, Moultrie (two goals) and Purce (two assists) lead the USWNT in 2024 with two goal involvements each.
  • Twelve players called up for this camp were on the USA’s roster at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and nine – Dahlkemper, Davidson, Dunn, Horan, Lavelle, Morgan, Naeher, Sauerbrunn and Sonnett – were on the roster for the 2019 Women’s World Cup Champions.
  • Eight of the 14 NWSL clubs are represented on this roster, led by seven players from NJ/NY Gotham FC. Portland Thorns FC and San Diego Wave FC have four players each.
  • Three players on this roster play for clubs in Europe – two in France (Lindsey Horan at Olympique Lyon and Korbin Albert at Paris Saint-Germain) and one in England (Emily Fox at Arsenal FC).

IN FOCUS: ARGENTINA | FIVE THINGS TO KNOW

FIFA World Ranking: 31
CONMEBOL Ranking: 3
Olympic Appearances: 1 (2008)
Best Olympic Result: Group Stage (2008)
Record vs. USA: 0W-0D-4L (GF:1, GA: 28)
Last Meeting vs. USA: Feb. 24, 2021 (6-0 win for the USA in Orlando, Fla. in the 2021 SheBelieves Cup)
Head Coach: German Portanova (ARG)

ARGENTINA WOMEN’S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB)

GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Vanina Correa (Rosario Central), 12-Laurina Oliveros (Boca Juniors)

DEFENDERS (7): 2-Adriana Sachs (Racing Club), 3-Eliana Stabile (Boca Juniors), 4-Julieta Cruz (Boca Juniors), 6-Aldana Cometti (Madrid CFF, ESP), 13-Sophia Braun (Kansas City Current, USA), 18-Celeste Dos Santos (Boca Juniors), 21-Catalina Roggerone (Cal-State Bakersfield, USA)

MIDFIELDERS (7): 5-Vanina Preininger (Boca Juniors), 7-Romina Nuñez (UAI Urquiza), 8-Daiana Falfan (Granada, ESP), 10-Dalila Ippolito (Pomigliano, ITA), 14-Miriam Mayorga (Boca Juniors), 15-Maricel Pereyra (San Lorenzo), 17-Camila Gomez Ares (Boca Juniors)

FORWARDS (6): 9-Estefania Palomar (Boca Juniors), 11-Yamila Rodriguez (Palmerias, BRA), 16-Lorena Benitez (Palmeiras, BRA), 19-Mariana Larroquette (Orlando Pride, USA), 20-Chiara Singarella (University of South Alabama, USA), 22-Nina Nicosia (Pachuca, MEX)

ARGENTINA TEAM NOTES

  • Argentina was invited to participate in the 2024 Concacacf W Gold Cup after finishing fourth at the 2022 Copa America Femenina.
  • At that tournament, which was held in Colombia in July of 2022, Argentina qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup by defeating Paraguay 3-1 in the Third-Place Match. The dramatic victory saw Argentina fall behind on an own goal, before storming back to score three goals in the final 12 minutes of play – including a game winner in the 90th – to punch its ticket to Australia and New Zealand.
  • The 2023 World Cup was Argentina’s second consecutive and fourth Women’s World Cup overall. La Albiceleste finished fourth in Group G, drawing South Africa and playing Italy and Sweden to hard-fought losses.
  • Defender Sophia Braun, who grew up in Oregon and plays for the Kansas City Current in NWSL, and midfielder Romina Nuñez, scored for Argentina in the 2-2 draw against South Africa.
  • With just two goalkeepers for the tournament, Argentina’s roster for the Concacaf W Gold Cup stands at 22 players – 15 of whom were on the roster for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
  • The roster features two current NWSL players in Braun, who signed with the Current in January of 2024 from Club Léon in Liga MX Femenil, and Mariana Larroquette, who is set to begin her second season with the Orlando Pride and spent time with the KC Current in 2021, scoring two goals in 19 appearances.
  • Two more players on this roster are currently competing for U.S. colleges in University of Southern Alabama forward Chiara Singarella and CSU Bakersfield defender Catalina Roggerone.
  • Twelve players on Argentina’s roster play domestically, the remaining eight players are spread out across the world in the USA, Mexico, Spain and Brazil.