The final match of the SheBelieves Cup will determine the United States Women’s National Team’s fate. After losing to England on Saturday, the U.S. will have to defeat France in order to repeat as champions of the competition.
These two countries last met in the Olympic Games, where the U.S. was victorious by a final score of 1-0. The Americans have only lost to France twice in their 20-match history, and have outscored them, 52-15. In the 2016 edition of the SheBelieves Cup, Orlando Pride striker Alex Morgan netted a late goal to record a 1-0 victory against the French.
Coming into tonight’s matches, France sits atop the table, leading by one point over England and the USWNT, respectively, and three up on Germany. The French were victorious against the English in their opening match, scoring both of their goals in the game’s final 15 minutes. On Saturday, they battled Germany to a scoreless draw, which saw French goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi make a save on a penalty kick in the first half.
Thus far, the U.S. has struggled with scoring: The USWNT has a total of 29 shots in the first two matches, but only five have been on net. Lynn Williams has scored the only goal of the competition for the USWNT, and started on the bench against England. Christen Press also started on the bench, and replaced Morgan, who started for the first time since September.
After making seven changes from the Germany match, it would seem reasonable to think that there will be changes made to the lineup tonight. In net, Orlando Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris got the start on Saturday, so we could see the return of Alyssa Naeher, who played well against Germany a few nights earlier. Pride defender Ali Krieger started against England as well, and played the full 90 minutes.
Head Coach Jill Ellis has experimented with different combinations up top and in the midfield. Defensively, the U.S. has gone with a three-back lineup for the opening two matches.
The USWNT is undefeated at RFK Stadium, which, appears to be the perfect venue for the finale of the competition on paper.
Here are the scenarios for the final match day of the competition.
- The U.S. must win against France. Additionally, the USWNT would have to edge out England in goals scored if the English defeat the Germans in the first match of the day. Currently, the U.S. and England are both at zero for goal differential, but England has two goals to the USWNT’s one.
- France will win if it either ties or defeats the Americans. In case of a tie, the French would need England to either lose or draw to Germany.
- England needs to win to have any hope of claiming the title. The English need France to either lose or draw vs. the U.S., and have a higher amount of goals scored than the U.S.
Goalkeepers: Jane Campbell, Alyssa Naeher, Ashlyn Harris.
Defenders: Julie Johnston, Ali Krieger, Kelley O’Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn, Casey Short, Emily Sonnett.
Midfielders: Morgan Brian, Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Carli Lloyd, Allie Long, Samantha Mewis, Brianna Pinto.
Forwards: Crystal Dunn, Jessica McDonald, Alex Morgan, Christen Press, Mallory Pugh, Lynn Williams.
Goalkeepers: Sarah Bouhaddi, Méline Gérard, Laëtitia Philippe
Defenders: Laura Georges, Sakina Karchaoui, Griedge Mbock, Eve Périsset, Wendie Renard, Aïssatou Tounkara
Midfielders: Camille Abily, Élise Bussaglia, Grace Geyoro, Amandine Henry, Claire Lavogez, Amel Majri, Gaëtane Thiney, Sandie Toletti
Forwards: Camille Catala, Marie-Laure Delie, Kadidiatou Diani, Eugénie Le Sommer, Élodie Thomis
How to Watch
Time: 7 p.m. ET.
Venue: RFK Stadium — Washington, D.C.
Live Stream: FOX Sports GO, FOX Soccer 2GO.
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