Welcome to your live thread for the United States Women's National Team’s second game of the 2018 SheBelieves Cup. Just like a year ago, the U.S. opened this tournament with a 1-0 win over Germany on Thursday. But last year the Yanks went on to drop their final two SheBelieves games without scoring a goal. Jill Ellis’ side will hope to avoid duplicating that with this afternoon’s match against France, the world’s No. 6 team.
Today’s match at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ, kicks off at 12 p.m. (ESPN2) and will be followed by Germany vs. England at 3 p.m.
Orlando Pride stars Alex Morgan and Ashlyn Harris are once again on the U.S. roster, marking the third trip to the tournament for each. Morgan played most of the opener against Germany, assisting on the winning goal, but she saw her three-match international goal-scoring streak snapped. Morgan may be a sub today instead of a starter after playing in the harsh conditions Thursday. With three games in a week, it’s possible Harris could get a game, but I’m not betting on it. If she does play in the tournament it would likely be today. If she sits today, look for Alyssa Naeher to get all 270 minutes of SheBelieves Cup action.
France opened the tournament with a 4-1 loss to England, looking completely lost and un-France-like much of the match. Look for the French to come out today with much more steel and purpose after that embarrassing loss. Speaking of embarrassing, the USWNT lost 3-0 to France in this fixture in last year’s tournament.
The Americans are 17-2-2 against France, including a 1-0 win in the 2016 SheBelieves Cup on Alex Morgan’s stoppage-time goal in Nashville. The U.S. also beat the French by the same score line in the Olympics that year on Carli Lloyd’s goal. The USWNT holds a 52-18 goal advantage in the series but the players will remember last year’s shock defeat, which was the most recent meeting.
France manager Corinne Diacre is testing some younger players in this tournament but still has a number of dangerous players, led by world-class forward Eugénie Le Sommer from Olympique Lyonnais, and midfielders Gaёtane Thiney and Amandine Henry — the latter is team captain and a former member of the NWSL’s Portland Thorns. Thiney scored France’s consolation goal in the loss to England on Thursday.
The French aren’t in their best form of late, going winless in four straight (0-2-2) with lopsided losses to England (4-1) and Germany (4-0) to go alongside draws against Sweden (0-0) and Italy (1-1). France has only scored two goals in that span. Still, the French will be a stiff test for Jill Ellis’ side, particularly if they rebound from a poor SheBelieves opener with more resolve.
The tournament will be decided the same way as in years past. The team with the most total points will claim the SheBelieves Cup. The first tiebreaker is goal difference, followed by goals scored, head-to-head result, and, if necessary, FIFA ranking. Hey, at least coin flips don’t come into play. England leads the tournament entering today by virtue of the goal difference tiebreaker. The Lionesses are +3 to the USWNT’s +1 with both teams on three points.
One other note about today’s match: look for the U.S. Olympic women’s hockey team to be honored for its Gold Medal-winning performance.
Defenders (7): 7-Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 15/0), 17-Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 2/0), 14-Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars; 3/0), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 106/2), 2-Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 20/0), 22-Taylor Smith (Washington Spirit; 9/0), 16-Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 14/0).
Midfielders (6): 6-Morgan Brian (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 70/6), 8-Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 59/15), 9-Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 45/4), 10-Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 248/98), 20-Allie Long (Seattle Reign FC; 34/6), 3-Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 8/0).
Forwards (7): 19-Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 58/23), 21-Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue FC; 2/0), 13-Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 136/81), 23-Christen Press (Houston Dash; 97/44), 11-Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 31/8), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 131/35), 12-Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 17/4).
Goalkeepers (3): Karima Benameur (Paris FC), Sarah Bouhaddi (Olympique Lyonnais), Solène Durand (EA Guingamp).
Defenders (8): Estelle Cascarino (Paris FC), Laura Georges (Paris Saint-Germain), Sakina Karchaoui (Montpellier HSC), Amel Majri (Olympique Lyonnais), Griedge MBock (Olympique Lyonnais), Eve Perisset (Paris Saint-Germain), Marrion Torrent (Montpellier HSC), Aïssatou Tounkara (Paris FC).
Midfielders (6): Maéva Clemaron (Fleury 91), Aminata Diallo (Paris Saint-Germain), Kadidiatou Diani (Paris Saint-Germain), Grace Geyoro (Paris Saint-Germain), Amandine Henry (Paris Saint-Germain), Gaёtane Thiney (Paris FC).
Forwards (6): Vivianne Asseyi (Olympique de Marseille), Valérie Gauvin (Montpellier HSC), Marie-Charlotte Leger (Montpellier HSC), Eugénie Le Sommer (Olympique Lyonnais), Faustine Robert (EA Guingamp), Ouleymata Sarr (Lille OSC).
How to Watch
Match Time: 12 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Red Bull Arena — Harrison, NJ.
Streaming: Watch ESPN/ESPN3.
Match Thread Rules
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Enjoy the match. Go America!