The United States Women’s National Team will face England today in the World Cup semifinals at Groupama Stadium in the Lyon suburb of Décines-Charpieu (3 p.m. FOX, Telemundo). The Yanks and Lionesses are two of the world’s best teams and for the second match in a row the U.S. will play a game that feels like it should be a final.
The USWNT is 10-4-2 against England in the all-time series. The teams played earlier this season on March 2 to a 2-2 draw in the SheBelieves Cup in Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Megan Rapinoe opened the scoring for the U.S. but England took the lead on goals from Steph Houghton and Nikita Parris. Tobin Heath equalized in the 66th and England went on to win the tournament in large part because the U.S. had allowed a stoppage-time equalizer in the opener against Japan.
These two sides battled for the 2018 SheBelieves Cup on the final match day of the tournament, with the USWNT prevailing on an England own goal to win, 1-0. That game took place at Orlando City Stadium, with Millie Bright knocking a Rapinoe cross off goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and into the net for the game’s only goal.
These teams like to play nailbiters, finishing with a 1-0 score line in each of the last three meetings prior to the draw on March 2.
Orlando Pride striker Alex Morgan hasn’t scored since the opener against Thailand, when she netted five shots. Teams have tried beating her up but part of her goal drought has to do with her teammates either not seeing runs or using them as a decoy for low-percentage shots from outside the area. Today would be a good day for Morgan to break out again.
England was the No. 4 team in the world the last time these teams met but the Lionesses have climbed to No. 3 in the latest FIFA world rankings, with the USWNT holding the No. 1 spot.
Ellen White will be the player the U.S. back line will have to worry about. She has caught up to Morgan (and Sam Kerr and Rapinoe) in the Golden Boot race. England moves the ball well and the Lionesses have enough athleticism to get at the USWNT defense. Lucy Bronze can create issues from England’s back line and is having an outstanding tournament. Having her run at Crystal Dunn all day (and vice versa) should be one of the best match-ups to watch today.
The Lionesses haven’t conceded since their opening game against Scotland. England won Group D by beating the Scots, plus Argentina, and Japan. In knockout stage play, England beat Cameroon and Norway by identical 3-0 score lines.
The winner of this match will go on to final against the winner of Sweden and the Netherlands on Sunday.
DEFENDERS (7): 7-Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage; 45/0), 12-Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 21/1), 19-Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage; 89/24), 11-Ali Krieger(Orlando Pride; 101/1), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 122/2), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 162/0), 14-Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 34/0).
Midfielders (6): 6-Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 83/6), 8-Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 86/19), 9-Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 73/10), 16-Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 31/9), 20-Allie Long (Reign FC; 46/6), 3-Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage; 54/14).
Forwards (7): 17-Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 154/30); 10-Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 279/113), 22-Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage; 8/2), 13-Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 167/106), 23-Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 121/48), 2-Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 56/17), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 159/47).
Goalkeepers (3): 1-Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), 21-Mary Earps (Wolfsburg, GER), 13-Carly Telford (Chelsea).
Defenders (8): 2-Lucy Bronze (Olympique Lyon, FRA), 3-Alex Greenwood (Manchester United), 5-Steph Houghton (Manchester City), 6-Millie Bright (Chelsea), 12-Demi Stokes (Manchester City), 14-Leah Williamson (Arsenal), 15-Abbie McManus (McManus), 17-Rachel Daly (Houston Dash, USA).
Midfielders (6): 4-Keira Walsh (Manchester City), 8-Jill Scott (Manchester City), 16-Jade Moore (Reading), 19-Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), 20-Karen Carney (Chelsea), 23-Lucy Staniforth (Birmingham City).
Forwards (6): 11-Toni Duggan (Barcelona, ESP), 22-Beth Mead (Arsenal), 7-Nikita Parris (Manchester City), 9-Jodie Taylor (Reign FC, USA), 18-Ellen White (Birmingham City), 10-Fran Kirby (Chelsea)
How to Watch
Match Time: 3 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Groupama Stadium — Décines-Charpieu, France.
TV: FOX, Telemundo.
Streaming: FOX Sports GO, fuboTV, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo, NBC Sports Live Extra app.
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Enjoy the match. Go America!