The United States women’s national team will play two friendlies against New Zealand in September. FC Cincinnati livestreamed the announcement of the upcoming games, which will take place in Rose Lavelle’s hometown of Cincinnati, as well as Commerce City.
USA vs New Zealand, Commerce City, Colorado
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
September 15, 10 PM ET, ESPN2
USA vs New Zealand, Cincinnati, Ohio
September 19, 7:30 PM ET, FS1
The United States last played the Football Ferns in the 2016 Rio Olympics, beating them 2-0 in the group stage. Before that the US defeated them 4-0 in an April 2015 friendly in St. Louis, Missouri.
These September friendlies will fill out the back end of the year for the USWNT. They already have the Tournament of Nations from July 27 - August 3, and a home-and-away series against Canada on November 9 and 12. The New Zealand friendlies fall within the September 11 - 19 FIFA window, with NWSL taking a break for that period and resuming play on September 23.
New Zealand is ranked #20 in the world (the United States just recently regained their #1 ranking) but should provide a decent competition. They did however lose their captain, Abby Erceg, as she retired from international football in February in protest of the way New Zealand Football treated their women’s team.
That’s seven friendlies for the USWNT to carry them through the back half of 2017 and all against decent opposition. Leading into 2018, when Jill Ellis will definitely be starting her World Cup qualification prep, that’s a lot of chances to impress or to get weeded out. We’re now starting to end the period when Ellis can experiment freely and must start shaping her player pool in earnest to prepare for the next cycle of tournaments. Hopefully she’ll take this chance to look at a few more NWSL players (although some of them may thank her not to take key players at the tail end of the season when one game could be the margin between playoffs or mid-table) and give out a few new caps.