Megan Rapinoe and her U.S. teammates face a challenging 10-game schedule in preparation for the Women’s World Cup. (Matthew Levine/Outfoxed Photos)
By Michael Lewis
ATLANTA — No one certainly will claim the American women won’t be ready for France 2019.
The U.S. women’s national team will face a challenging and comprehensive 10-game schedule against some of the top teams on the planet next year before departing for the Women’s World Cup. The squad’s Send-Off Series will climax with an international friendly against Mexico at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. May 26.
Some of the teams the U.S. will face include France, Australia, Brazil, England and Japan.
The Americans kick off their schedule with games in France Jan. 19 and in Spain Jan. 22 before returning home for eight matches in as many venues.
The SheBeleives Cup will boast the U.S. vs. Japan in Chester, Pa. Feb. 27, England in Nashville, Tenn. March 2 and Brazil March 5.
That competition will be followed by a pair of west coast friendlies as the Americans meet Australia in Commerce City, Colo April 4 and Belgium in Los Angeles three days later.
The USA will finish off their preparation with a three-game Send-Off Series, playing South Africa in Santa Clara, May 12, a team to be announced, depending on the Women’s World Cup draw in St. Louis and finally the game at RBA May 26.
The schedule features seven teams that will participate in the Women’s World Cup.
“This schedule checks a lot of important boxes in our preparation for the World Cup,” U.S. head coach Jill Ellis said. “We’ll get to experience a variety of teams in regard to their strengths and styles of play and almost all of the countries will be in their World Cup preparation as well. We are playing tough games in Europe, which is vitally important, and also get to play quality opponents in front of our home fans at venues all across the USA. It will go fast, but these games will be a major factor in pushing us to be at our peak once we arrive in France next summer.”
The U.S. will discover its WWC foes Saturday with the tournament’s draw in Paris.
2019 U.S. Women’s National Team Schedule – COUNTDOWN TO THE CUP
|Jan. 19||France||2:30 p.m. ET||Stade Océane; La Havre, France|
|Jan. 22||Spain||2:30 p.m. ET||Estadio José Rico Perez; Alicante, Spain|
|Feb. 27||Japan – SheBelieves Cup||7 p.m. ET||Talen Energy Stadium; Chester, Pa.|
|March 2||England – SheBelieves Cup||3:30 p.m. CT||Nissan Stadium; Nashville, Tenn.|
|March 5||Brazil – SheBelieves Cup||8 p.m. ET||Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.|
|April 4||Australia||7 p.m. MT||Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.|
|April 7||Belgium||6 p.m. PT||Banc of California Stadium; Los Angeles, Calif.|
|May 12||South Africa – Send-Off Series, Presented by Volpi Foods||1:30 p.m. PT||Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, Calif.|
|May 16||TBA (based on WWC Draw) – Send-Off Series, Presented by Volpi Foods||7 p.m. CT||Busch Stadium; St. Louis, Mo.|
|May 26||Mexico – Send-Off Series, Presented by Volpi Foods||12 p.m. ET||Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.|