CHICAGO – After a year in which the U.S. women’s national team has played 22 matches under strict COVID-19 protocols, the Americans will wrap up their 2021 schedule with its 23rd and 24th matches of the year, both against Australia.
The first match will take place at Stadium Australia in Sydney on Saturday at 3 p.m. local time (Friday, Nov. 26 at 11 p.m. ET on FS2) in what will be the third meeting between this USA and Australia in 2021. The teams played twice at the Tokyo Olympics.
The USA will play its final game of 2021 in Newcastle, kicking off against the Matildas on Tuesday at 8:05 p.m. local/4:05 a.m. ET on ESPN.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Bella Bixby (Portland Thorns FC; 0), Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 7), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 0)
DEFENDERS (8): Alana Cook (OL Reign; 2/0), Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC; 77/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 43/1), Imani Dorsey (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 0/0), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC; 6/0), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign; 7/0), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 197/0), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 61/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 106/24), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 66/17), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 12/3), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 31/4), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit; 0/0), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 20/2)
FORWARDS (6): Bethany Balcer (OL Reign; 0/0), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 2/0), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 7/2), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 10/1), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 43/13), Morgan Weaver (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0)
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Lydia Williams (Arsenal, ENG), 12-Teagan Micah (Rosengård, NOR), 18-Mackenzie Arnold (West Ham United, ENG)
DEFENDERS (9): 4-Clare Polkinghorne (Vittsjo GIK, SWE), 14-Alanna Kennedy (Manchester City, ENG), 7-Steph Catley (Arsenal, ENG), 21-Ellie Carpenter (Lyon, FRA), 3-Courtney Nevin (Melbourne Victory), 8-Charlotte Grant (Rosengård, Sweden), 5-Karly Roestbakken (LSK Kvinner, NOR), 2-Angela Beard (Fortuna Hjørring, DEN), 24-Jessika Nash (Sydney FC)
MIDFIELDERS (4): 19-Kyra Cooney-Cross (Melbourne Victory), 10-Emily van Egmond (Orlando Pride), 13-Tameka Yallop (West Ham United, ENG), 6-Clare Wheeler (Fortuna Hjørring, DEN)
FORWARDS (9): 20-Sam Kerr (Chelsea, ENG), 9-Caitlin Foord (Arsenal, ENG), 11-Mary Fowler (Montpellier, FRA), 15-Emily Gielnik (Aston Villa, ENG), 16-Hayley Raso (Everton, ENG), 17-Kyah Simon (Tottenham Hotspur, NED), 22-Bryleeh Henry (Western Sydney Wanderers), 23-Remy Siemsen (Sydney FC), 25-Charlize Rule (Sydney FC)
The USWNT roster matches features 10 players who won bronze medals at the 2020 Olympics and six who were on the team that won the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but there are only two players on the roster age 30 or older – 36-year-old defender Becky Sauerbrunn and 30-year-old midfielder Kristie Mewis. The average age of the remaining 21 players will be 25.6 years on the first match day in Australia. The average caps per player on the 23-player roster is 30. With six of the 23 players on this roster in search of their first full senior team caps. Twenty-two of the 23 players on the roster play in the National Women’s Soccer League with 18 on teams that made the NWSL playoffs and four from the 2021 NWSL Champions Washington Spirit.
The USA has played Australia 32 times overall, including twice earlier this summer at the delayed Tokyo Olympics. The teams played to a 0-0 draw on July 27 in the final match of the group stage. The result sent the USA through as the second-place finisher in Group G while Australia advanced to the knockout rounds from third in the Group G standings. The teams met again nine days later in Kashima, Japan, squaring off in the bronze medal match. The Americans won 4-3 as Megan Rapinoe and the now-retired Carli Lloyd each scored twice, helping the USA claim its sixth all-time Olympic medal. Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord and Emily Gielnik scored for the Matildas in the defeat.
The USA leads the all-time series between the teams, 27-1-4 and while the two countries first met in 1987, Australia only beat the USA for the first time on June 27, 2018, a 1-0 victory in Seattle, Washington. The teams tied 1-1 on June 29, 2018, in East Hartford, Connecticut, but the USA picked up a rousing win in the most recent meeting before the Olympics, a 5-3 triumph on April 4, 2019, in Commerce City, Colorado. Alex Morgan scored her 100th international goal, Mallory Pugh tallied a brace in front of her hometown crowd and Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath added goals of their own in a thrilling matchup that also saw the USA erase a 2-1 deficit. Lindsey Horan is the only player on this current U.S. roster who has scored against Australia at the senior international level.
Over its last five games with Australia, the USA has a record of 2-1-2 and all three matches have been decided by two goals or fewer.
The USWNT has not played in Australia in 21 years. The most recent visits were in 2000, a year in which the USA played in three different competitions in Australia, the final one being the Sydney Olympics where the USA earned a silver medal. The USA has never played Australia in Sydney, but did play the Matildas in Newcastle in 2000, winning 1-0, which was the most recent meeting between the teams in Australia.
This is a link to the team when the USWNT last played in Australia in 2000:
THIS LOSS HAD A SILVER LINING: USWNT loses an extratime thriller to Norway in 2000 Olympic final