U.S. WNT KICKS OFF WORLD CUP YEAR AGAINST WORLD CUP HOSTS FRANCE IN LE HAVRE: The U.S. Women’s National Team will kick off its World Cup year on Jan. 19 against 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup hosts France at Stade Océane in Le Havre (2:30 p.m. ET on FS1 & UDN). Le Havre is one of the nine venues for this summer’s tournament and the site of the USA’s third Group F match against Sweden that will take place on June 20. The USA will then continue on to Spain for the second match of the challenging two-game set of away matches in Europe, playing on Jan. 22 at Estadio José Rico Perez in Alicante (2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 & UDN). It will be the USA’s first match in and against Spain, which will also play in France this summer after qualifying for its second Women’s World Cup. Follow all the #USWNT action on Twitter on @ussoccer_wnt, and on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (ussoccer_wnt).
U.S. WNT ROSTER BY POSITION: FRANCE & SPAIN 2019 (CAPS/GOALS)
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18- Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 3/0); 21- Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), 24- Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 19/0), 1- Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 38/0)
DEFENDERS (8): 7- Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 30/0), 12- Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 12/1); 19- Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 75/24), 26- Emily Fox (UNC; 2/0), 5- Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 112/2); 4- Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 149/0), 14- Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0), 2- Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 26/0)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 6- Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 81/6), 22- Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars; 2/0), 8- Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 73/18); 9- Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 62/7), 16- Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 20/6), 3- Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 41/8), 27- Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 11/0), 25- McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 7/0)
FORWARDS (7): 17- Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 142/25); 10- Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 265/105), 20- Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 3/1), 13- Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 153/98), 23-Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 106/46), 11- Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 43/12), 15- Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 145/41)
WNT KICKS OFF ’19 SCHEDULE IN FRANCE: For the 10th time in its history, the U.S. Women’s National Team will open its yearly schedule in Europe. It will also be the second time the USA has opened in France, most recently to start the last World Cup year in 2015 when the Americans squared off with the French in Lorient, a 2-0 loss in a game played on artificial turf. Opening againsta European team is far more common for the USA. This will be the 25th yearly opener against a European opponent. Following the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2012 Olympics, both of which were held in Europe (Germany and the UK, respectively), the USA has played 20 matches in Europe. Of those, 12 were at the Algarve Cup in Portugal and the Americans posted a 7-2-3 record in those games, losing only to Sweden and Denmark. The other eight matches were played, chronologically, in Germany, Netherlands, France, England, Sweden, Norway, Portugal and Scotland, with the USA going 6-1-1 in those games. The lone loss came to France in 2015 and the draw was against Germany (3-3) in Offenbach in 2013.
COUNTDOWN TO THE CUP: The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be the eighth consecutive World Cup appearance for the USA, which has appeared in each of the previous seven tournaments that have been contested and won in 1991, 1999 and 2015. The USA is one of six countries to qualify for all eight Women’s World Cups along with Brazil, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden and Nigeria. The tournament will be held from June 7-July 7 in nine cities in France. The USA’s Draw and placement in Group F gave the USA venues that are all within a two-hour drive of each other, with the opening game taking place in Reims, followed by Paris and then Le Havre. Before the World Cup, the USA will play 10 matches – two in Europe followed by eight domestic games. The “Countdown to the Cup” will take the U.S. team to all four times zones in the continental United States, giving fans across the country a chance to cheer the team on to France.
COUNTDOWN TO THE CUP
|Jan. 19||France||2:30 p.m. ET||Stade Océane; Le Havre, France|
|Jan. 22||Spain||2:30 p.m. ET||Estadio José Rico Perez; Alicante, Spain|
|Feb. 27||Japan – SheBelieves Cup||7 p.m. ET||Talen Energy Stadium; Chester, Pa.|
|March 2||England – SheBelieves Cup||3:30 p.m. CT||Nissan Stadium; Nashville, Tenn.|
|March 5||Brazil – SheBelieves Cup||8 p.m. ET||Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.|
|April 4||Australia||7 p.m. MT||Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.|
|April 7||Belgium||6 p.m. PT||Banc of California Stadium; Los Angeles, Calif.|
|May 12||South Africa – Send-Off Series, Presented by Volpi Foods||1:30 p.m. PT||Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, Calif.|
|May 16||New Zealand – Send-Off Series, Presented by Volpi Foods||7 p.m. CT||Busch Stadium; St. Louis, Mo.|
|May 26||Mexico – Send-Off Series, Presented by Volpi Foods||12 p.m. ET||Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.|
2019 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP
|June 11||Thailand – 2019 WWC||3 p.m. ET||Auguste Delaune Stadium; Reims, France|
|June 16||Chile – 2019 WWC||12 p.m. ET||Parc des Princes; Paris, France|
|June 20||Sweden – 2019 WWC||3 p.m. ET||Stade Océane; Le Havre, France|
U.S. SOCCER FEDERATION AND VOLKSWAGEN ANNOUNCE MULTI-YEAR PRESENTING PARTNERSHIP: U.S. Soccer and Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced a landmark, integrated partnership making Volkswagen the presenting automotive partner to the Federation through 2022. As part of Volkswagen’s long-term commitment, the automobile maker will help U.S. Soccer with its mission to become the preeminent sport in the United States by increasing participation, developing world class players, coaches and referees, and increasing fan engagement around the sport. As part of the historic partnership, Volkswagen will have branding on training tops for all U.S. Soccer National Teams, including the Men’s and Women’s National Teams, all Youth National Teams and the Para 7-a-side, Beach and Futsal National Teams, and the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
JILL ELLIS FACT FILE: Jill Ellis is the third U.S. coach – and first female American coach – to win a Women’s World Cup (2015) at the senior level, following Anson Dorrance (1991) and the late Tony DiCicco (1999). Ellis was named the 2015 FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Soccer on Jan. 11, 2016. She was also named the Concacaf Female Coach of the Year. Ellis, who previously served two stints as interim head coach of the U.S. WNT, is the eighth official head coach in U.S. history. She coached seven games as interim coach in 2012 (5-0-2) and two games (1-0-1) as interim in 2014 before she officially came on board, which gave her a 6-0-3 record before she ever was formally named the head coach in May of 2014. She has gone 82-6-13 since then for an overall record of 88-6-16. She earned her 75th career win on April 8 vs. Mexico and with the victory against Scotland on Nov. 13, 2018, moved past April Heinrichs into third on the all-time wins list behind only Pia Sundhage (91) and Tony DiCicco (105). The match against Australia on July 29 marked her 100th game on the bench for the USA, making her the fourth coach in U.S. history to coach in 100 or more games. She has moved past Pia Sundhage into third all-time in games coached with 109 and is well within reach of the two coaches ahead of her: April Heinrichs (124 games coached) and DiCicco (121). Since taking over as head coach, Ellis has won seven tournaments: the 2015 Algarve Cup, the 2015 Women’s World Cup, the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, the 2016 SheBelieves Cup, the 2018 SheBelieves Cup, the 2018 Tournament of Nations and the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship.
U.S. ROSTER NOTES
- Before traveling to northern France, the USA spent just over nine days in Portugal for a “pre-season” camp conducted in a perfect weather and training environment. U.S. head coach Jill Ellis and her staff chose 27 players for the January Camp and will choose 20 players to suit up for each of the two matches.
- The U.S. Women’s National Team reached an impressive milestone on Nov. 8, 2018 with its 1-0 victory against Portugal that was the 500th win in program history. Since its inception in 1985, the U.S. WNT has compiled a record of 501 wins, 65 losses and 74 ties. Over the history of the program, the USA has gone 282-28-20 (85% winning percentage) at home, 51-13-17 away (62%) and 168-33-28 (73%) on neutral ground. Of the USA’s 65 losses, 12 (18%) came at the Algarve Cup in Portugal.
- The USA is unbeaten in its last 28 matches (25-0-3). The USA has averaged 3.3 goals per game and has outscored its opponents 93-17 over those 28 matches while scoring in all 28 games. Since the 2017 SheBelieves Cup, the USA has failed to score in just one game (vs. Australia at the 2017 ToN). That’s a 33-game span.
- Nineteen of the 20 players on the roster for the USA’s victorious run at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship are on this roster.
- Ten different players scored the USA’s 26 goals in World Cup qualifying: Alex Morgan (7), Heath (4), Rose Lavelle (3), Carli Lloyd (3), Megan Rapinoe (3), Julie Ertz (2), Crystal Dunn, Horan, Press and Samantha Mewis.
- Morgan won the Golden Boot as the top scorer in the tournament while Ertz won the Golden Ball as the MVP. The USA also won the Fair Play Award.
- Nine U.S. players had assists in the tournament with Horan leading the way with five.
- Since the start of 2017, eight players have been directly involved (goals or assists) in more than 10 goals: Morgan (30), Rapinoe (27), Horan (16), Pugh (15), Heath (13), Press (12), Lloyd (11) and Ertz (10).
- In 2018, the USA scored 65 goals – 47 of which were assisted. Rapinoe, Heath, Pugh and Lavelle combined for 22 of the assists. Additionally, 2018 ended the same way it started for the U.S. WNT – an Alex Morgan goal assisted from Mallory Pugh.
- Alex Morgan scored 18 goals in 2018 on the way to being named U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year and now has and 98 career goals in 153 caps. At age 29, she sits in sole possession of seventh place on the USA’s all-time goal list. Tiffeny Milbrett is sixth with 100 career goals.
- Morgan has scored 25 goals over her last 26 WNT matches, a span that runs from the end of 2017. During that 25-goal streak, she has scored on about a quarter of her shots, scoring eight goals with her right foot, 14 with her left and three with her head. The 25 goals have included six braces and one hat trick.
- Morgan scored the game-clincher in the 2-0 victory against Canada in the title game of the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship and tallied the USA’s final goal of 2018 in a 1-0 victory against Scotland on Nov. 13.
- Morgan’s brace vs. Jamaica on Oct. 14 marked the 22nd two-goal game of her career. She is third all-time in two-goal games (22), behind only Wambach (37) and Hamm (28). With her hat trick against Japan on July 26, the fourth of her career, Morgan is now tied with Michelle Akers for third all-time in multi-goal games (26) behind only Abby Wambach (45) and Mia Hamm (38).
- Her second goal vs. Jamaica on Oct. 14 was the second of her international career to come via a penalty kick.
- For players with more than 50 goals/assists combined, Morgan has averaged a goal or an assist for every 70.1 minutes on the field in her international career. The only player who has done better is Hamm (68.5). Wambach averaged a goal or assist for every 71.5 minutes. Akers finished her career at 74.0 minutes per goal or assist.
- Megan Rapinoe has 41 international goals which is good for 15th on the all-time goals list. She had a team-leading 12 assists in 2018 and has 56 assists for her career, moving her to sole possession of sixth place on the U.S. all-time list. Rapinoe’s 56 assists in 145 caps is the best ratio of anyone ahead of her on the all-time list except for Hamm, who had a remarkable 147 assists in her 276 caps. Seven of Rapinoe’s 12 assists last year were on Alex Morgan goals and Rapinoe created a team-leading 61 chances for teammates.
- Rapinoe was one of 10 finalists for the 2018 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year and finished fourth in the voting, just one percentage point out of third. She won the 2018 ESPY for Best NWSL player. Rapinoe was also a nominee for the first France Football Women’s Ballon d’Or.
- Carli Lloyd is a two-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year (2015 & 2016) and the USA’s all-time active caps leader with 265. She is in sole possession of fifth place on the all-time U.S. caps list.
- She scored her historic 100th goal on April 8, 2018 vs. Mexico to become the sixth player to score 100 or more for the USA, and first since 2009 when Abby Wambach scored her 100th.
- On Oct. 7, 2018 vs. Panama, Lloyd scored her eighth career hat trick and upped her career total to 105 goals. She is now two away from tying Michelle Akers for fourth all-time in the U.S. goals list. With her hat trick, Lloyd tied Mia Hamm for most three-goals games all-time in WNT history. Hamm also had two four-goal games in her career.
- Lloyd is tied with Kristine Lilly and Cindy Parlow for fifth-all time in multi-goal games with 17.
- Against Panama, Lloyd (36 years, 83 days) became the oldest player to score a hat trick for the U.S. WNT. She broke Wambach’s record of 34 years, 186 days.
- Lloyd is the highest active goal scorer in U.S. history with the players ahead of or tied with her – Hamm, Wambach, Lilly, Akers and Tiffeny Milbrett – all retired.
- Lloyd scored 36 international goals between the time she debuted six days before her 23rd birthday, and her 30th birthday. Since turning 30, she has scored 69 goals in 130 games in six and a half years. The 130 games after the age of 30 rank her fourth all-time in U.S. history in that category and she is two games away from tying Shannon Boxx in third place. Christie Rampone is far and away the leader with 175.
- Lloyd has 50 career assists and is in 9th place all-time, three behind eighth-place Shannon MacMillan.
- Her appearance in the Concacaf Women’s Championship title game made Lloyd the USA’s all-time leader in games played in World Cup qualifying with 18, moving her past Kristine Lilly.
- Tobin Heath scored her second career brace on Oct. 14, vs. Jamaica, in World Cup qualifying, to up her 2018 total to six goals and her career to 25. She has 141 caps and is in 22nd place on the USA’s all-time caps list.
- In 2018, Heath didn’t return to the U.S. lineup until June 12 after completing her long recovery from injury, but she was on fire for the rest of the year, scoring seven goals with six assists in just 10 games and 657 minutes. She averaged a goal or an assist for every 50 minutes on the field in the latter part of the year.
- Mallory Pugh doubled her career goals in 2018, finding the next six times.
- Pugh scored in her senior team debut (the 19th U.S. WNT player to score in her first cap) on Jan. 23, 2016, vs. Ireland at 17 years, 8 months and 25 days old, becoming the youngest player to debut for the U.S. in the previous 11 years. Since then, she has earned 43 caps and has been one of the USA’s most dangerous players, mostly attacking from the wings.
- Pugh is currently sixth in caps (43) before the age of 21, fifth in starts (31), tied for third in goals (12), and tied for first in assists (14).
- Christen Press has 106 caps and 46 career goals after scoring vs. Panama on Oct. 7. She is now in 13th place on the all-time WNT goals list. She averages 0.43 goals per game and 0.76 goals per every 90 minutes she’s on the field.
- Forward Jessica McDonald, who had a stellar 10-goal season with NWSL champions North Carolina Courage and then scored once in the semifinal and twice in the championship game to help her club claim the title, got her first call-up since the 2017 SheBelieves Cup when she was named to the roster for the USA’s November 2018 trip to Europe.
- McDonald’s first career cap came against Romania on Nov. 10, 2016, in San Jose, Calif. She earned her second career cap and start vs. Portugal on Nov. 8 and scored the game-winning goal – her first international score. She also played off the bench against Scotland on Nov. 13.
- The Courage are the sixth NWSL club for McDonald who has 41 career goals in the league, good for second all-time behind only Sam Kerr.
- Julie Ertz was named the MVP of the Concacaf Women’s Championship while playing the entire tournament at defensive midfielder. It was a completely different experience for Ertz than four years earlier when she was not initially named to the roster for the World Cup qualifying tournament but was added due to an injury to Crystal Dunn, and then did not see action over the five games.
- Ertz scored against Jamaica in the CWC semifinal on Oct. 14, and in group play against Mexico on Oct. 4, to up her career goal total to a remarkable 18 international goals in 73 caps.
- Lindsey Horan had a stellar 2018 season with the Portland Thorns, earning NWSL MVP and tying for second in the league in goals with 13. Horan was also a nominee for the first France Football Women’s Ballon d’Or.
- Horan also excelled with the WNT as a consistent starter (only Alex Morgan had more starts, but two other players also had 16) and scored three goals. She also had eight assists in 2018, second-most on the team.
- Rose Lavelle scored twice, her first career brace, against T&T on Oct. 10 during group play at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship. She also scored the game-winning goal in the title game, a 2-0 victory against Canada, and with three goals in the qualifying tournament, doubled her career total coming into the competition. She now has 20 caps and six career goals.
- Samantha Mewis missed much of 2018 due to injury but started her return to form during the NWSL season and it continued into the latter part of 2018. Currently at 41 caps, she scored her only goal of 2017, the eighth of her international career, vs. Panama on Oct. 7 during World Cup qualifying in her club’s home stadium in Cary, N.C.
- Morgan Brian played in 12 games in 2018, starting seven. She has 81 career caps and is still just 25-years-old.
- Andi Sullivan , the top pick in the 2018 NWSL Draft by the Washington Spirit, was last called into the WNT in April last year for the two friendlies against Mexico and then again for the USA’s trip to Europe last November where she started against Portugal on Nov. 8. She earned her 11th cap vs. Portugal.
- The 22-year-old Sullivan led Stanford to the NCAA title as a senior and won the Hermann Trophy as the top player in college soccer. After a year away from the U.S. team while rehabbing a knee injury, Sullivan returned to the roster for the Oct. 19, 2017, against Korea Republic, a year to the date after her first cap.
- McCall Zerboni, long one of the top midfielders in the NWSL, returns to the U.S. roster after recovering from surgery after suffering a severely broken elbow in September vs. Chile just five minutes into her first WNT start.
- Herfirst call up came as an injury replacement for the USA’s match against Korea Republic in Cary, N.C. in October of 2017 and she earned her first cap when she entered the match at halftime. Zerboni, who was just a few months shy of her 31st birthday when she debuted, became the oldest player to earn a first cap for the WNT.
- She earned her second cap and first start on June 7 vs. China PR, going the entire 90 minutes in center midfield and earning Player of the Game honors. She suffered her arm injury in her seventh cap.
- After a quality NWSL season with the Chicago Red Stars, Danielle Colaprico got a call-up last November since she was last called in October of 2016. She earned her first career cap vs. Portugal on Nov. 8, playing the entire second half of the 1-0 win, and earned her second off the bench against Scotland on Nov. 13. She became the 231st women to be capped by the senior U.S. Women’s National Team in its history.
- Becky Sauerbrunn played in 14 games last year, starting 12, and with 149 caps, is in 20th place on the all-time caps list. With one more cap, she will become the 20th player, and just the third player who has played exclusively defender, to play 150 times for the U.S. WNT. She earned her seventh career assist on Oct. 4 vs. Mexico on a Morgan goal.
- Abby Dahlkemper played in 17 games last year, starting 16, and played the full 90 in 12 of them.
- Crystal Dunn solidified her spot as an outside back for the USA in 2018, a position where she played the final 16 of her 18 caps last year. The always versatile Dunn came off the bench to play outside back against France on March 4 after Casey Short was injured about 30 minutes after coming on as a sub herself and has been playing in that position ever since.
- Tierna Davidson helped lead Stanford to the NCAA Championship in 2017 as a sophomore and was a consistent call-up in 2018 as the youngest player on the roster. She started and played the entire 90 minutes to earn her first cap in the 5-1 victory against Denmark on Jan. 21 in a game where she picked up the game-winning assist on Julie Ertz’ goal. She went the full 90 minutes in all three SheBelieves Cup matches in what were serious tests for the 19-year-old that she passed with honors. Davidson played 90 minutes against Mexico on April 5 and when she came out of the came in the 60th minute on April 8, it was the first time she had left the field this year.
- Davidson got her seventh consecutive start on June 7 against China PR at center back, then moved to the outside left and eventually moved back into the middle, showing her versatility. She started and played 90 minutes on June 12 against China and July 26 vs. Japan. The Australia game on July 29 was the first of her WNT career where she did not start or play. She had previously started every one of her nine caps so far. She returned to the field on Aug. 2 against Brazil, and scored an unfortunate own goal that gave Brazil a brief lead, but rallied to play an excellent match to earn her 10th cap.
- She evened up her ledger against Chile on Aug. 31, scoring her first WNT goal via a header off a Tobin Heath corner kick.
- Davidson was injured early in her junior season with Stanford and did not play again. This December, she decided to leave college a year early, declaring for the 2019 NWSL Draft, and was taken #1 overall by the Chicago Red Stars, making her the sixth consecutive U.S. WNT player drafted #1.
- She is the third teenager since 2013 to earn a first cap for the WNT. Pugh (17 in 2016) and Horan (19 in 2013) are the most recent teenagers to debut for the WNT.
- Emily Sonnett has earned 26 caps. The Portland Thorns standout she played in three games at World Cup qualifying and has shown her versatility to play outside back with the WNT and center back in the NWSL.
- Casey Short has started 19 of her 27 games for the USA, playing mostly left back, but has also played some outside midfield and centrally. She played in one CWC group game and at the very end of the championship game.
- Emily Fox, a veteran of the USA’s last two FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Teams and one of the top outside backs in the college game, gets her second senior team call-up. The University of North Carolina sophomore earned 34 caps and scored four goals at the U-20 level. She started all 22 games she played this past season for UNC, helping the Tar Heels NCAA Championship game. She earned her first international appearance for the WNT on Nov. 8 vs. Portugal, playing 63 minutes in the 1-0 win, to become the 230th woman to earn a cap for the U.S. WNT, and also started against Scotland on Nov. 13, playing 76 minutes, to earn her second cap.
- Alyssa Naeher has 21 career shutouts in her 39 caps. Naeher earned 13 caps in 2017 and 16 in 2018. She is the fifth goalkeeper in U.S. history to earn 30 or more caps.
- Veteran Ashlyn Harris has 19 caps, earning her most recent game against Scotland on Nov. 13 when she went 90 minutes to earn the win, while make a big game-preserving save need the end of the match. It was her sixth career shutout.
- Adrianna Franch trained with the USA to add support to the goalkeeper corps during the entire Concacaf Women’s Championship. She is uncapped but has seen training time with the WNT on-and-off for the past five years. She injured her meniscus and had to have surgery early in the NWSL season but came back strong to earn her second consecutive NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year award.
- Jane Campbell earned her first call-up since last April when she played in a 6-2 win over Mexico. Campbell had a solid season as the starter for the Houston Dash, playing a key role in the late season run, and has three career caps.
IN FOCUS: FRANCE
France Football Federation
FIFA World Ranking: 3
UEFA Ranking: 2
World Cup Appearances: 4 (2003, 2011, 2015, 2019)
Best Women’s World Cup finish: 4th in 2011
Record vs. USA: 2-17-3
Head Coach: Corinne Diacre
France Women’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Sarah Bouhaddi (Olympique Lyonnais), Solène Durand (EA de Guingamp), Pauline Peyraud-Magnin (Arsenal FC, England)
DEFENDERS (8 ): Julie Debever (EA de Guingamp), Sakina Karchaoui (Montpellier HSC), Charlotte Lorgere (EA de Guingamp), Amel Majri (Olympique Lyonnais), Ève Perisset (Paris Saint-Germain FC), Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyonnais), Marion Torrent (Montpellier HSC), Aïssatou Tounkara (Atlético Madrid, Spain)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Charlotte Bilbault (Paris FC), Élise Bussaglia (Dijon FCOF), Onema Grace Geyoro (Paris Saint-Germain FC), Amandine Henry (Olympique Lyonnais)
FORWARDS (8): Viviane Asseyi (FC Girondins de Bordeaux), Delphine Cascarino (Olympique Lyonnais), Kenza Dali (Dijon FCO), Kadidiatou Diani (Paris Saint-Germain FC), Valérie Gauvin (Montpellier HSC), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (Paris Saint-Germain FC), Eugénie Le Sommer (Olympique Lyonnais), Gaëtane Thiney (Paris FC)
USA VS. FRANCE
- The USA is 17-2-3 all-time against France, but the last eight games following the meeting at the 2012 Olympics have produced a 4-2-2 record for the USA as France has risen into the world’s elite.
- The USA’s first loss to France came on Feb. 8, 2015, a 2-0 setback in Lorient, France that kicked off the 2015 schedule for both teams. The USA avenged the loss with a 2-0 victory in the championship game of the 2015 Algarve Cup in Portugal as Julie Ertz (neé Johnston) and Christen Press scored. The USA’s second loss came at the 2017 SheBelieves Cup.
- The most recent meeting between the USA and France came last March at the 2018 SheBelieves Cup, a 1-1 draw in an evenly-played game that saw a few quality chances for both teams in what was a tight match. Mallory Pugh scored for the USA in the 35th minute while Eugénie Le Sommer scored for France just four minutes later.
- Fourteen of the 17 U.S. players who played against France at the 2018 SheBelieves Cup are on this U.S. roster, including 10 who started.
- For France, 11 of the 12 players who played against the USA at the 2018 SheBelieves Cup are on this roster, including 10 who started.
- The USA played France twice in 2016, winning 1-0 each time, at the SheBelieves Cup on March 6 in Nashville, Tenn., on a goal in second half stoppage time from Alex Morgan, and then in group play of the 2016 Olympics in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on a goal from Carli Lloyd.
- Despite first playing France in 1988, the U.S. Women do not have an extensive history against France, having played just 22 times and only 10 times after a 2006 meeting at the Algarve Cup in Portugal.
- The USA and France also faced each other twice in June 2014, a 1-0 U.S. victory in Tampa, Florida, on a goal from Sydney Leroux and a 2-2 draw in East Hartford, Connecticut, as Alex Morgan scored both goals, equalizing twice to cancel out scores from Louisa Necib (on a penalty kick) and Amandine Henry.
- Before those games, there came an epic pair of matches in world championships. The USA defeated France 3-1 on July 13, 2011, in the FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal in Monchengladbach, Germany. The U.S. also won the Olympic curtain raiser 4-2 on July 25, 2012, in Glasgow, Scotland, as the USA came back from a 2-0 deficit with Alex Morgan scoring twice, and Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd contributing a goal each.
- Before the 2-2 draw in 2014, the first tie between the teams came at the Four Nations Tournament in Guangzhou, China, in 2006, a 0-0 draw.
- Several U.S. players have experience in France. Lindsey Horan played with and against many of the French players while playing with Paris Saint-Germain. Horan lived and played in Paris for three-and-half years. Alex Morgan played for three months for Olympique Lyon in 2017, helping the club to the League, Cup and Champions League title. Morgan Brian also had a brief stint with Lyon last year.
- Megan Rapinoe played in Lyon over 2013-2014 while Tobin Heath did a short stint for PSG during a six-month period in 2013.
- Alex Morgan has six career goals against France, one in the World Cup, two in the Olympics, one in the SheBelieves Cup and two in a friendly match.
- Carli Lloyd has two goals against France, one each at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
- Over the last four matches vs. France, the U.S. has scored one goal in three of them and zero in the other. Since the beginning of 2015, no U.S. player has scored more than once against Les Bleus.
- Despite only facing off against Les Bleues twice in France, the U.S. has played in France six times, compiling a record of 5-1 with the only loss coming to France in 2015. This will be the USA’s first match in Le Havre.
- France will play in Group A at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and will face Korea Republic, Norway and Nigeria, in that order. France will open in Paris, face the Norwegians in Nice and the Super Falcons in Rennes.
- France finished third at the 2018 SheBelieves Cup, tied with Germany on four points each but with an inferior goal difference.
- Les Bleues have not lost in France since the beginning of 2016, compiling a record of 21-0-3 at home over that time. They ended 2018 on a seven-game win streak in which they outscored their opponents, 27-1.
- In 2018, France saw 15 players get on the scoresheet, led by Eugénie Le Sommer’s nine goals. Gaëtane Thiney had five assists to go along with three goals. Thiney was one of three French players with multiple assists and the only player with more than two.
- Although several veterans and other top talents have retired since the last World Cup, France has some highly experienced players including Thiney, who plays for Paris FC and a dynamic forward in Le Sommer of Olympique Lyon. They are France’s main scoring threats, having combined for more than 120 international goals.
- Towering center back Wendie Renard missed the SheBelieves Cup due to an ankle injury but is back in the side for this match and it one of the most dangerous players in the world on set plays.
- Goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi is the long-time starter. She was France’s starter in the 2015 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.
- Like the USA, France has been in transition with some younger players who have come up through the youth National Team ranks include defender Griedge M’bock Bathy (who is injured and not available for the match), defender Grace Geyoro, defender Aissatou Tounkara and midfielder Kadidiatou Diani, who were all major parts of the France team that won the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. Diani scored four times in the tournament and M’bock Bathy once.
- Twenty-year-old PSG forward Marie-Antoinette Katoto, who helped lead France to the title at the 2016 UEFA U-19 Championship and to fourth place at the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France (she is the only player from the U-20 WWC on France’s roster) – is tied for the most goals in the French Feminine Division 1 with 15 – seven of which have been the first goals of a match (also a league best). Only eight other players have at least seven goals this season.
- This friendly match is important for France, which did not have any World Cup qualifying matches to prepare as it got an automatic berth as host.
- Since the start of 2017, France has lost just three times, once at the Euros to England, once to Germany in a friendly in Germany on Nov. 20, 2017, a 4-0 setback, and once to England (4-1) at the 2018 SheBelieves Cup.
- Since the start of 2017, their overall record, including the Euros and the SheBelieves Cup, is 17-3-7.
- France has five players on its roster from two-time UEFA Women’s Champions League champs Olympique Lyon, which is once again atop the tables for the Ligue 1 Feminin. Those are former Portland Thorns midfielder Amandine Henry, who helped the Portland Thorns to the 2017 NWSL, Bouhaddi, defender Amel Majri, Renard and Le Sommer. There are four PSG players on the roster.
- France’s head coach is former star player Corinne Diacre. She debuted for France at the age of 18 and compiled 121 caps for Les Bleus. She played in the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 1997, 2001 and 2005 European Championships, where she was the team captain.
- Diacre gained some worldwide notoriety when she took after as the coach of the French men’s professional club, Clermont Foot, in 2014. She coached the Ligue 2 side until 2017 when she took over the France Women’s National Team and is charged with the large and important task of leading her home country into a Women’s World Cup on home soil in 2019.
- Diacre called up players from seven different French clubs – as well as Atletico Madrid in Spain and Arsenal in England – reflecting her philosophy of expanding the French player pool as it prepares to host the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
- France’s 4-1 loss to England at the 2018 SheBelieves Cup, in a match in which they played a very young side, was just the second loss for France against England since 1974. The first came at the 2017 UEFA Women’s Euros when England knocked France out of the tournament with a 1-0 victory.
On the field for the USA vs. France:
March 4, 2018 – Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.
2018 SheBelieves Cup
USA 1 Pugh 35
FRA 1 Le Sommer 38
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 22-Taylor Smith (2-Casey Short, 44, 23-Christen Press, 76), 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 17-Tierna Davidson, 5-Kelley O’Hara; 3-Andi Sullivan (10-Carli Lloyd, 73), 6-Morgan Brian, 9-Lindsey Horan (21-Savannah McCaskill, 46); 11-Mallory Pugh (19-Crystal Dunn, 73), 13-Alex Morgan (capt.), 15-Megan Rapinoe (12-Lynn Williams, 46)
Substitutes: 8-Julie Ertz, 14-Sofia Huerta, 16-Emily Sonnett, 18-Jane Campbell, 20-Allie Long, 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
FRA: 16-Sara Bouhaddi; 17- Marion Torrent, 19-Griedge Mbock Bathy, 2-Aïssatou Tounkara, 7-Amel Majri; 18-Viviane Asseyi, 23-Grace Geyoro, 6-Amandine Henry, 9-Eugénie Le Sommer; 13-Valérie Gauvin (20- Kadidiatou Diani, 86), 12- Gaëtane Thiney
Substitutes: 1-Karima Benameur, 3-Eve Perisset, 4-Laura Georges, 5-Estelle Cascarino, 8-Maeva Clemaron, 11-Ouleymata Sarr, 15-Marie-Charlotte Leger, 22-Sakina Karchaoui
Head Coach: Corinne Diacre