US Soccer will host another mini-tournament for the USWNT this summer in the Tournament of Nations, to run from July 27 - August 3. The WNT will face Australia, Brazil, and Japan in Seattle, San Diego, and Carson, respectively.
WNT players won’t be the only ones gone from their club teams; this tournament falls in the July 16 - August 6 FIFA international window, when many teams will be breaking for Euro 2017. Though NWSL is off for the window, the WNT’s last game of the tournament is August 3 against Japan, with NWSL games resuming August 4, so don’t expect too many out of the starting XI from that game to jump back in with their clubs right away.
According to USSF’s press release, they intend to host the Tournament of Nations every summer when there is no Olympics or World Cup with the same four teams. That’s a nice financial bump for everyone involved, assuming the ToN brings in comparable numbers to SheBelieves, which averaged an attendance of 21,485 across three games and managed a sellout at Red Bull Arena when the WNT played England.
Is this an attempt to recover some ground after dismal results at SheBelieves? Based on USSF’s intention to make this a recurring tournament, probably not. (Or mostly not, anyway.) And it’s no guarantee the WNT will win against the likes of Australia, Brazil, or Japan, none of which are exactly pushover teams. It seems like a genuine attempt to keep the WNT competitive while also bagging some decent cash for the federation.
Perhaps it would be nice not to keep WNT players constantly hustling during the NWSL season, especially considering they’ll also be away in the early June FIFA window for friendlies against Sweden and Norway, but at least it’s a better problem to have than the federation not scheduling enough games for the team, as it is with so many other WNTs.
USA vs Australia will be broadcast on ESPN, while the games against Brazil and Japan will be on ESPN2.
Full tournament schedule below:
July 27, Century Link Field, Seattle
Brazil vs Japan, 7:15 PM ET
USA vs Australia, 10:00 PM ET
July 30, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
Japan vs Australia, 5:15 PM ET
USA vs Brazil, 8:00 PM ET
August 3, StubHub Center, Carson
Australia vs Brazil, 7:15 PM ET
USA vs Japan, 10:00 PM ET