U.S. Soccer
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Five Things to Know About Denmark

The U.S. Women’s National Team will open its 2018 schedule on Jan. 21 (4:30 p.m. PT; ESPN) against 2017 UEFA Women’s EURO runners-up Denmark in San Diego, California. 

Denmark Women's National Team Roster by Position:

GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Stina Lykke Petersen (Kolding Q), 22-Line Johansen (Unattached) 

DEFENDERS (5): 3-Janni Arnth (Linköpings FC, Sweden), 8-Theresa Nielsen (Unattached), 18-Mie Leth Jans (Manchester City, England), 19-Cecilie Sandvej (1. FFC Frankfurt (Germany), 20-Stine Ballisager Pedersen (VSK Aarhus)      

MIDFIELDERS (7): 4-Maja Kildemoes (Linköpings FC, Sweden), 6-Nanna Christiansen (Brøndby IF), 7-Sanne Troelsgaard (FC Rosengård, Sweden), 11-Katrine Veje (Montpellier HSC, France), 13-Sofie Junge Pedersen (Levante UD, Spain), 15-Frederikke Thøgersen (Fortuna Hjørring), 21-Sarah Dyrehauge (Fortuna Hjørring)  

FORWARDS (6): 9-Nadia Nadim (Manchester City, England), 10-Pernille Harder (VfL Wolfsburg, Germany), 12-Stine Larsen (Brøndby IF), 14-Nicoline Sørensen (Linköpings FC, Sweden), 17-Signe Bruun (Fortuna Hjørring), 23-Caroline Moeller (Fortuna Hjørring)

Here are five things to know about The Red and White:

USA vs. Denmark History

The two teams have played each other 24 times in their history and the U.S. WNT is 16-5-3 all-time against Denmark, which is currently ranked 12th in the world. The match will mark the 24th time the U.S. has started the year against a European nation, and the third time that nation has been Denmark. Both previous matches were outside the USA, in Cyprus in 1993 and in Portugal in 2009.

The U.S. WNT has scored at least two goals against Denmark in the last six matches between the teams, but it will also be the first meeting since March of 2014 at the Algarve Cup in Portugal, a 5-3 loss for the USA, which set the record for most goals allowed by a U.S. WNT in a single match.

Danish Dynamite Excite at 2017 Women’s EURO
Denmark comes into 2018 after having one of its most successful years in its Women’s National Team history, finishing as the runners-up of the 2017 UEFA Women’s Euro. One of 16 teams to qualify for Europe’s most prestigious tournament, Denmark was drawn into Group A alongside hosts – and eventual Euro Champion Netherlands – Belgium and Norway.

Denmark advanced out of the group stage in second place by defeating Belgium, 1-0, losing to Netherlands 1-0, and defeating Norway, 1-0. In the knockout stage, Denmark earned a legendary result in ending Germany's 22-year reign as champions of Europe with a 2-1 win over the defending Olympic champions in the quarterfinal. It was just Germany's third loss in a Euro tournament since 1993.

In the semifinal, Denmark and Austria tied 0-0 after regulation and the match remained scoreless after 30 minutes of extra time, necessitating a shootout to determine a finalist. The Danes came out victorious with a 3-0 win in penalty kicks, setting up a championship game clash with host Holland.

The highly entertaining final game provided a breath of fresh air for European women’s soccer as it was the first time both nations had gotten that far in a European championship. A wild first half ended at 2-2, but the Dutch scored two more goals after the break for the eventual 4-2 victory that sent their soccer-mad country into a frenzy.

Algarve Cup History
The U.S. and Denmark have played each other 24 times and almost half of those have been at the Algarve Cup in Portugal. The first meeting between in Portugal came in on 1995 (and 2-0 U.S. loss) and since the turn of the century, out of the 13 games between the USA and Denmark, 10 took place at the Algarve Cup between the years 2000-2014.

In those 10 games, the U.S. amassed a 9-1-0 record with the only loss coming in the most recent game between the teams in 2014. The USA played Denmark in the championship game of the Algarve Cup in back-to-back years in 2007 and 2008, with the Americans winning 2-0 and 2-1, respectively.

2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualification – UEFA Group 4
Qualification for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Europe is underway and Denmark, which was drawn into Group 4 with Sweden, Denmark, Ukraine, Croatia and Hungary is looking to qualify for its first World Cup since 2007.

In European qualification, 35 teams (the 30 highest-ranked teams and five preliminary round qualifiers) were drawn into seven groups of five teams each. Each group plays a home-and-away round-robin format with the seven group winners qualifying directly for 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup while the four best runners-up advance to the playoffs.

Denmark has played two games and won both so far, but had to forfeit its match against Sweden due to a conflict with their Federation, which has since been resolved. The Danes received a “suspended ban” for pulling out of the game, but still have five more matches to secure a berth to France with the next qualifier taking place on April 9 against Ukraine.

Denmark’s Unique Talisman: Nadia Nadim
USA fans will likely think of one name when it comes to the Denmark Women’s National Team: Nadia Nadim. The dynamic and charismatic forward was a member of the Portland Thorns 2017 NWSL Championship squad before moving to England and Manchester City following the season.

Nadim’s journey is a fascinating one filled with heartbreak, perseverance and ultimately success. Born in Herat, Afghanistan in 1988, Nadim was 10 years old when her father, a general in the Afghan Army, was killed by the Taliban. With bleak prospects for a family of six women, Nadim, her mother and her four sisters fled to Denmark.

While Nadim had to learn to adapt to the countless cultural differences between the two countries, one that changed her life was the ability for girls to play soccer. With the opportunity to play for a club, her career began to blossom. She played for various clubs for more than a decade before coming to the U.S. and joining Sky Blue FC in 2014 and then eventually joining the Portland Thorns FC in January of 2016. In 2016, she finished as the Thorns top scorer with nine goals in 20 games as the team won the 2016 NWSL Shield. In 2017, she appeared in 18 matches, scoring six goals and recording four assists.

She attained Danish citizenship in 2008 and in 2009 made her National Team debut on March 4 against the United States at the Algarve Cup in Portugal, a 2-0 U.S. win. She became the first naturalized Dane (male or female), to earn a cap. She now has earned 75 caps and has scored 22 goals, sitting in 10th place on the all-time scorers list for the National Team.

Nadim, soccer’s renaissance woman, speaks nine languages and is currently undergoing studies in medical school at Aarhus University in Denmark.

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Davidson will then travel to join her U-20 teammates in Trinidad & Tobago for the remainder of the World Cup qualifying tournament that begins today as the USA takes on Nicaragua in Couva, Trinidad (5:30 p.m. ET on Univision Deportes Network and the CONCACAF YouTube page).

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2017 U-20 World Cup Vets Rising to MNT Future in 2018 January Camp

For the U.S. Men’s National Team right now, it’s all about the future. There’s no better punctuation of that theme than the composition of the current January Camp roster.

Upon the opening of camp last week, 21 of the 29 invitees were aged 24 and under. Fifteen of are uncapped and 10 have joined the MNT for the first time.

Clearly youth is the movement for the senior side, and the promise in the Youth National Team program is also showing through in this camp as 12 players on the roster have represented the U.S. at a Youth World Cup. Two more players – Russell Canouse and Kelyn Rowe -- were part of qualifying rosters during their respective youth team cycles.

Perhaps most instructive is the fact that four players from the USA roster at 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup are present in Carson, Calif.: Danny Acosta, Tyler Adams, Justen Glad and Brooks Lennon.

U.S. MNT - Adams, Lennon, Glad and Acosta
From left to right: Tyler Adams, Brooks Lennon, Justen Glad and Danny Acosta

Part of the first U.S. team to win the CONCACAF Championship at the U-20 level, they’re the initial crop from a group which ran to the quarterfinals in Korea Republic last summer to cycle into the senior team. Most certainly, they will not be the last. 

“From the beginning, we knew we had a talented group,” Acosta, a dual national with the U.S. and Honduras, told ussoccer.com “We had a team that worked hard for each other, represented our country well and showed that the future is bright for our national team program.”

At age 18, Adams is the youngest of the rising U-20 quartet, but has some seniority in that he already earned his senior team debut in the MNT’s 1-1 draw with Portugal last November. Long involved in the Youth National Team program, the New York Red Bulls utility man recalled an instance during his time with the U-17 MNT in agreeing with Acosta’s assessment.

“When I was in residency, I remember our U-17s scrimmaging the U-20 MNT,” Adams said. “At the time, the U-20 team had Rubio Rubin, Russell Canouse, Marky Delgado, Matt Miazga, Kellyn Acosta. Our U-17 team had myself, Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie. It’s nice to see we were all on the field at the same time and respectively everyone’s doing a good job at their club. Now were coming together making a rise with the National Team. That’s pretty cool as well.”

One of the underlying themes for the youthful MNT players in this camp and moving forward is taking the first steps in getting the senior team back on track towards Qatar in 2022.

“Every time you wear the crest, it’s a responsibility,” Acosta said. “We didn’t make the World Cup. We’re sad about that, we’re disappointed, but it’s a new start for everyone. I feel a responsibility now to help push things forward, and I would say the 28 other guys in this camp feel the same way.”

2018 January Camp Roster Representation at Youth World Cups

Player

Youth World Cups

YWC Qualifying

Danny Acosta

2017 U-20 WC

2017 U-20 CONCACAF

Tyler Adams

2015 U-17 WC
2017 U-20 WC

2015 U-17 CONCACAF

2017 U-20 CONCACAF

Juan Agudelo

2009 U-17 WC

2009 U-17 CONCACAF

Paul Arriola

2011 U-17 WC
2015 U-20 WC

2011 U-17 CONCACAF
2015 U-20 CONCACAF

Russell Canouse

N/A**

2015 U-20 CONCACAF

Cody Cropper

2013 U-20 WC

2011 U-20 CONCACAF
2013 U-20 CONCACAF

Marky Delgado

2015 U-20 WC

N/A

Justen Glad

2017 U-20 WC

2013 U-17 CONCACAF
2017 U-20 CONCACAF

Brooks Lennon

2017 U-20 WC

2017 U-20 CONCACAF

Ike Opara

2009 U-20 WC

N/A

Kelyn Rowe

N/A

2011 U-20 CONCACAF

Rubio Rubin

2015 U-20 WC

2013 U-17 CONCACAF

Zack Steffen

2015 U-20 WC

2015 U-20 CONCACAF

Wil Trapp

2013 U-20 WC

2013 U-20 CONCACAF

** Russell Canouse was named to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup roster, but had to withdraw due to injury

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