Welcome to your live thread for the United States Women’s National Team against Spain in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Round of 16. The two teams will fight today for the right to play against host France in the quarterfinals. The USWNT’s World Cup title defense continues today in Reims (12 p.m., FS1, Telemundo).
The USWNT has played Spain only once before, but you don’t have to look back very far to find that meeting. Christen Press scored the game’s only goal in the 54th minute to lead the Yanks to a 1-0 win over Spain back on Jan. 22 of this year at Estadio José Rico Perez in Alicante. The U.S. didn’t play particularly well in the January friendlies in Europe, but did enough to get the W in Spain.
The Spanish side have fallen one spot in FIFA world rankings since the teams met in January. No. 12 back then, Spain is now ranked No. 13 in the world. La Roja qualified for the knockout stages by finishing second in Group B, earning the right to take on Group F’s winners. Spain finished 1-1-1 in group play — level on points (4) with China, but holding a slightly better goal differential of +1. La Roja opened the tournament with a 3-1 win over South Africa, lost a close 1-0 affair against group-winning Germany, then drew China, 0-0.
As the United States found out back in January, Spain can be organized defensively, as the side has allowed only two goals so far in this competition. However, the inverse is that the Spanish don’t score a lot either, with the three goals against South Africa in the opener standing as the only tallies of their tournament so far.
Striker Jennifer Hermoso scored two of Spain’s three goals in the tournament, but both were from the penalty spot against the South Africans. Lucía García Córdoba has Spain’s only goal in the run of play in the 2019 World Cup, which came in the 89th minute of that win over South Africa.
The Spanish won UEFA’s Group 7 in qualifying, sweeping all eight matches against its opponents (Austria, Finland, Serbia, and Israel), while out-scoring those opponents, 25-2. Hermoso scored seven goals in the qualifying group. She’ll be the player the USWNT back line will need to watch carefully, particularly on the counter.
The United States has squandered scoring opportunities in the last couple of matches, after opening the tournament with a 13-0 shellacking of Thailand. Part of that has to do with Christiane Endler’s Player-of-the-Match performance in goal in the Chile match, but the Yanks lacked sharpness in the final third against Sweden, which fielded some non-starters. Megan Rapinoe in particular hasn’t looked herself in this tournament and the U.S. will need her to get going at some point, particularly if the USWNT advances and meets host France.
Orlando Pride striker Alex Morgan exploded for five goals against Thailand, then did not feature against Chile before returning against Sweden. Morgan subbed off early against the Swedes after taking a bit of a knock — hopefully as a precaution and not due to any serious injury. The U.S. will hope to have Julie Ertz (thigh) available after she was forced to miss the Sweden match. At least the official word is that the U.S. should be at full strength.
Look for Spain to focus on gumming up the works and trying to limit U.S. scoring chances. The Yanks managed only an un-USWNT-like nine shot attempts in the January meeting in Spain. The Spanish won’t be intimidated by playing the U.S. after their close loss in January, as all 15 players who faced the Yanks in that match — and 22 of the 25 from that night’s roster — are on the World Cup squad.
Goalkeepers (3): 21-Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 1/0), 18-Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 21/0), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 49/0).
DEFENDERS (7): 7-Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage; 43/0), 12-Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 21/1), 19-Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage; 87/24), 11-Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 101/1), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 120/2), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 160/0), 14-Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 34/0).
Midfielders (6): 6-Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 83/6), 8-Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 84/19), 9-Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 71/10), 16-Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 29/9), 20-Allie Long (Reign FC; 46/6), 3-Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage; 52/14).
Forwards (7): 17-Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 152/30); 10-Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 277/113), 22-Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage; 8/2), 13-Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 165/106), 23-Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 119/48), 2-Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 56/17), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 155/45).
Goalkeepers (3): 1-Dolores Gallardo (Atlético Madrid), 23-Maria Quinones (Real Sociedad), 13-Sandra Panos (FC Barcelona).
Defenders (7): 2-Celia Jimenez (Reign FC, USA), 3-Leila Ouahabi (FC Barcelona), 4-Irene Paredes (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), 5-Ivana Andres (Levante UD), 7-Marta Corredera (Levante UD), 8-Marta Torrejon (FC Barcelona), 20-Andrea Pereira (FC Barcelona).
Midfielders (7): 6-Vicky Losada (FC Barcelona), 11-Alexia Putellas (FC Barcelona), 12-Patri Guijarro (FC Barcelona), 14-Virginia Torrecilla (Montpellier HSC, FRA), 15-Silvia Meseguer (Atlético Madrid), 18-Aitana Bonmati (FC Barcelona), 19-Amanda Sampedro (Atlético Madrid).
Forwards (6): 9-Mariona Caldentey (FC Barcelona), 10-Jennifer Hermoso (Atlético Madrid), 16-Maria Leon (FC Barcelona), 17-Lucia Garcia (Athletic Bilbao), 21-Andrea Falcon (Atlético Madrid), 22-Nahikari Garcia (Real Sociedad).
How to Watch
Match Time: 12 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Stade Auguste-Delaune — Reims, France.
TV: FOX Sports 1, Telemundo.
Streaming: FOX Sports GO, fuboTV, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo, NBC Sports Live Extra app.
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow @StarsStripesFC, @ussoccer_wnt, and @TheManeLand.
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 the person 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!