Who: #1 United States vs. #32 Ireland
When: Saturday, January 23, 5 PM ET / 2 PM PT
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
How to watch: This game is being broadcast on FS1.
Last meeting: The United States is 10-0-0 against Ireland. The last game was a 3-0 win for the US last year just before the World Cup at Avaya Stadium in San Jose. Abby Wambach put two on the board for the US and Julie Johnston scored the third. Before that, a three-year gap since a two-game series at the end of 2012, when the US beat Ireland 5-0 in the first game and 2-0 in the second game. Alex Morgan scored four of those seven goals, bagging a hat trick in the first game at then-named JELD-WEN Field in Portland.
Players to watch: For Ireland, there is perhaps no bigger name at the moment than Stephanie Roche due to her Puskas nomination in 2014. Here's that goal again so you can remind yourself.
If Ireland goalkeeper Emma Byrne is on form, she could also keep the match interesting, while defender Megan Campbell could also help put up some stiff opposition as well as create some danger in the attack. Campbell has a heck of a long throw in and has set up plenty of teammates in the box at Florida State with service by foot and and by hand.
On the American side, there's a scrum of new talent jockeying to make an impression on Jill Ellis since the USWNT roster for Olympic qualifying will be named after this game. 18 of the 26 players currently in camp will get named to the roster to play against Ireland. Of the new kids in camp, Emily Sonnett and Lindsey Horan are probably most likely to see some time on the pitch, but Stephanie McCaffrey and Jaelene Hinkle could also continue to get a look.
It's an interesting time for the USWNT as Ellis firms up her Olympic qualifying roster. Between retirements, pregnancies, and injuries, there's now quite a bit of room for new blood to cycle into the squad. With a World Cup firmly in her pocket, Ellis should be bold and really aim to mix up her roster in preparation for the next four years.