Welcome to your live thread for the United States Women's National Team’s third and final game in the inaugural Tournament of Nations. The USWNT faces Japan (10 p.m. ET, ESPN2), meaning Alex Morgan and Ali Krieger won’t be facing any Orlando Pride teammates for a change. Jill Ellis has yet to use Krieger in this tournament and with the Pride facing Chicago on Saturday, maybe it’s best from a club perspective for her to once again sit this one out. [/Jill plays her all 90 minutes]
The U.S. is coming off a furious rally on Sunday night, when the Yanks erased a late 2-1 deficit, scoring three goals in a nine-minute span to beat Marta, Camila, Monica and their Brazilian mates, 4-3. The win, which looked like it would be a loss for much of the second half, snapped the USWNT’s uncharacteristic three-game home losing streak to top 10 FIFA competition. The U.S. is 1-1-0 in the tournament and looking to finish strong, while Japan is 0-1-1 after losing to Australia, 4-2, on Sunday and drawing Brazil in the opener, 1-1.
Asako Takakura’s Japan side is No. 6 in the FIFA world rankings — the highest of the three teams the U.S. will face in this tournament. The U.S. is 26-1-7 in the all-time series against the Japanese, with a 7-0-4 mark on home soil. The USWNT has gone up against the Nadeshiko in three of the last four world championships (two World Cups and one Olympics). But the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup winner is in the midst of a bit of a rebuild. It finished as the runner-up in the 2015 World Cup, only to turn around and fail to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.
Mina Tanaka scored a goal and assisted on another in Japan’s 4-2 loss to Australia Sunday in San Diego. Yuka Momiki scored Japan’s lone goal in the opening draw to Brazil.
Look for the Japanese to stay well organized and play precise passes for one another. They excel in the fundamental aspects of the game, shielding the ball and winning fouls. The USWNT will need to stay patient and then take their chances when they come.
Defenders (7): 7- Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), 8- Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), 11- Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), 5- Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), 4- Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), 7- Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), 16- Taylor Smith (NC Courage).
Midfielders (6): 6- Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), 10- Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), 20- Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), 3- Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), 17- Margaret Purce (Boston Breakers), 15- Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign).
Forwards (7): 19- Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC), 9- Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), 2- Sydney Leroux (FC Kansas City), 13-Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), 23-Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), 22- Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), 12- Lynn Williams (NC Courage).
Goalkeepers (3): 21-Ayaka Saito (Vegalta Sendai), 1-Sakiko Ikeda (Urawa Red Diamonds), 18-Ayaka Yamashita (NTV Beleza).
Defenders (7): 3-Aya Sameshima (INAC Kobe Leonessa), 4-Miho Manya (Vegalta Sendai), 8-Riho Sakamoto (AC Nagano Parceiro), 2-Hikari Takagi (Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara), 20-Ayumu Oya (Ehime FC), 19-Hikaru Kitagawa (Urawa Red Diamonds), 23-Nana Ichise (Vegalra Sendai).
Midfielders (8): 10-Mizuho Sakaguchi (NTV Beleza), 5-Madoka Haji (Iga FC Kunoichi), 6-Rumi Utsugi (Seattle Reign FC), 7-Emi Nakajima (INAC Kobe Leonessa), 12-Hikaru Naomoto (Urawa Red Diamonds), 14-Yu Nakamori (NTV Beleza), 16-Rin Sumida (NTV Beleza), 17-Yui Hasegawa (NTV Beleza).
Forwards (5): 22-Shiho Tomari (AC Nagano Parceiro), 13-Yuika Sugasawa (Urawa Red Diamonds), 9-Kumi Yokoyama (FFC Frankfurt), 11-Mina Tanaka (NTV Beleza), 15-Yuka Momiki (NTV Beleza).
How to Watch
Match Time: 10 p.m. (ET).
Venue: StubHub Center — Carson, CA.
Streaming: Watch ESPN.
Match Thread Rules
This is your live thread for posting comments on the match. So use our comments section below to talk about the game in real time with other supporters. If you're new, welcome to our happy home! While you're here, please observe a few basic rules:
- Absolutely no links to illegal streams. They can get us in trouble, and no one wants that.
- Try not to be "that guy" who spews nothing but venom and hate for the team. It's OK to be critical, and, let's face it, sometimes even the best teams can be frustrating to watch, but being overly negative relentlessly can sap the enjoyment for others.
- Keep it somewhat clean and fair when criticizing players / officials. You never know who might be reading.
- Do unto others in the match thread, the way you would have others do unto you. We are a fun community and want to keep it this way. We have a moderator, but we'd rather let him enjoy the game instead of having to play babysitter.
Enjoy the match. Go America!