Welcome to your live thread for tonight's United States Women's National Team match against Puerto Rico. The game is the closing match of Group A play for the Americans in Olympic qualifying and the team has already clinched a berth in the semifinals.
Because the U.S. has all but clinched the top spot in Group A, don't be surprised to see the likes of Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd starting on the bench. Between NWSL play, last year's World Cup, and the Victory Tour, the U.S. regulars have put a ton of miles on their legs. A game against an opponent nowhere near the level of the Yanks is a chance for some of the stars to rest up and prepare for the semifinals, which is the biggest game of the tournament because both finalists qualify for Rio.
If Morgan and Lloyd get a breather tonight, look for Christen Press and Mallory Pugh to get some more playing time. Press is enjoying a nice scoring run. She's scored in three of the last five games for the U.S., and nearly had another Saturday that hit the post. Pugh has played in both qualifiers so far, but has yet to make a substantial impact. A chance to play more than 15 or 20 minutes would be great experience for the U-20 captain and in a game with little pressure on the team, this is a chance for Pugh to maybe take a few chances and possibly bag her second career goal at the senior level.
The U.S. will encounter a Puerto Rico side that is extremely over-matched. The last-place side in Group A has given up 15 goals in two games so far in qualifying, and has failed to score a single goal. If the team could not score on Mexico and Costa Rica, the odds of scoring against the Yanks are about as slim as Aston Villa's odds of winning the Premier League.
If Puerto Rico is to keep this respectable, the island nation should take a page out of Mexico's playbook. On Saturday, the Mexicans played a physical style of soccer from the first whistle and threw the U.S. off of its rhythm. If Puerto Rico can rough the Stars and Stripes up a little bit, and avoid getting stretched too far, there is a chance the score can stay down below double digits.
The USWNT has never played Puerto Rico according to soccerway.com. This first meeting should be a chance for U.S. fans to see plenty of goals on a Monday night.
How to Watch:
Match Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Toyota Stadium -- Frisco, TX
TV: NBCSN, NBC Universo
Live Stream: NBC Deportes En Vivo Extra
Match Thread Rules:
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Enjoy the game. Go USA!