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Tournament of Nations Primer: USWNT Set to Host Australia, Brazil, and Japan

The Orlando Pride have seven players participating in the upcoming Tournament of Nations, so now is a good time to familiarize yourself with the competition.

Soccer: Women’s National Team Friendly-Russia vs USA Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

From today through Aug. 3, the Tournament of Nations will take place on the West Coast, with the U.S. Women’s National Team hosting a round-robin tournament with Japan, Brazil, and Australia. This is the first edition of the Tournament of Nations, but it’s an event that U.S. Soccer is planning to host during years without a World Cup or Olympic games. Given that it will be a regular competition and that this edition will feature seven members of the Orlando Pride, now’s a good time to get acquainted with the setup.

The USWNT will start its tournament off tonight at 10 p.m. ET, and the Yanks will do so at CenturyLink Field in Seattle with Pride stars Ali Krieger and Alex Morgan on the roster. The Aussies will also feature a pair of Pride players in Steph Catley and Alanna Kennedy — plus former Orlando players Lisa De Vanna and Laura Alleway — while the other three Pride players in the tourney will feature for Brazil in Marta, Monica, and Camila. The seven Pride players represent 20% of the 34 total NWSL players who will participate.

The good news for the Pride is that these squad members won’t miss many matches — Orlando doesn’t play another NWSL match until Aug. 5 (though that game will likely be affected due to two days rest and travel back from the West Coast) — but the team will be short-handed in training without them in the interim, which poses a bit of a challenge for Head Coach Tom Sermanni.

“We’ll be seven players down in training, but we’ll just have to go in with a smaller squad and that happens from time to time,” Sermanni said. “We just need to get the players who are not going to the tournament prepared and ready because we don’t know if any of the seven players playing in the tournament will be able to start (Aug. 5).”

The winner of the round-robin format will be decided based on points in the same way that the SheBelieves Cup was earlier this year. A win will be worth three points and a draw worth one, with the first tie-breaker being goal difference.

The tournament will take place entirely on the West Coast, with Seattle hosting in addition to Qalcomm Stadium in San Diego and StubHub Center in Carson, CA. It will consist of three double-headers, taking place today, July 30, and Aug. 3. The USWNT will face Brazil in San Diego on July 30 and Japan in Carson on Aug. 3 in their last two matches after facing Australia, and every game will be available to watch on ESPN, ESPN2, or streaming through ESPN3. Plus we’ll have full coverage here at The Mane Land.

The Americans hold a significant all-time advantage against all three of their opponents, going 25-0-2 vs. Australia, 26-3-5 vs. Brazil, and 26-1-7 vs. Japan.