Sports

USWNT sets trio of friendlies ahead of Olympics

The United States women’s national team will play a trio of June friendlies for preparation for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The USWNT will play a pair of matches at Houston’s BBVA Stadium, the first coming against Portugal on June 10 followed by Jamaica three days later. The final match will take place at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas against Nigeria on June 16.

The Nigeria match will be the first to take place at the new venue, home to Major League Soccer expansion team Austin FC.

The matches, touted as the Summer Series, will serve as the final tune-ups before U.S. manager Vlatko Andonovski names his 18-player Olympic roster. The U.S. is the only one of the four teams in the Summer Series that will compete in the Olympics.

The U.S. will also play two more home friendlies in early July prior to the team’s departure for Tokyo.

“In these COVID times, we’re grateful that U.S. Soccer has been able to organize a schedule of games for us to prepare for the Olympics and getting these three during the Summer Series against teams we don’t play very often will be important in helping us make the final decisions on the Olympic Team,” said Andonovski. “Choosing the Olympic Team has been a long process, with a big break in the middle, but we’ll take all the information from our trainings, the National Team games and club matches so we can make the best choices to give our team the best chance for success in Japan.”

Once in Japan, the U.S. will face Sweden (July 21 in Tokyo), New Zealand (July 24 in Saitama) and Australia (July 27 in Kashima) during group play.

The U.S. Soccer Federation also announced that it will no longer hold the Tournament of Nations due to FIFA changing the international match window in June from a three-match window to a two-match window starting in 2022.

The U.S. has a combined record of 17-0-0 against the three teams. The match against Nigeria, managed by University of Pittsburgh women’s head coach Randy Waldrum, will mark the first time the USWNT has ever faced the Super Falcons outside of a World Cup. The most recent meeting came at the 2015 World Cup with the U.S. prevailing 1-0 on an Abby Wambach goal.

The most recent encounter with Portugal took place on the 2019 Victory Tour, with the Americans winning 3-0 on two goals from Carli Lloyd and another from Lindsay Horan. The U.S. last played Jamaica during CONCACAF qualifying for the 2019 World Cup, winning 6-0.

Once the teams arrive in Houston, and for the U.S. and Nigeria, in Austin, all the players and staffs will operate inside highly controlled environments at the host hotels. The staging trainings and the matches will fall under the comprehensive U.S. Soccer Return to Play Protocols and Guidelines and in accordance with the CONCACAF Return to Play Protocols. Everyone entering the controlled environment will be tested for COVID-19 before traveling, upon arrival and periodically thereafter. The teams will not begin full team training until the results of all arrival tests are confirmed.

Most Related Links :
usnewsmail Governmental News Finance News

Source link

Back to top button