UPDATED 1:31 PM ET
The United States women’s national team will definitely be taking advantage of at least one FIFA window this summer as they add China to their list of 2018 opponents. They’ll play China on June 7 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, per The Salt Lake Tribune. Knowing USSF’s usual pattern of scheduling friendlies in doubles, the WNT will probably have a second game against China later that weekend, perhaps June 10, which falls on a Sunday.
UPDATE: USSF announced the second date against China, to take place on Tuesday, June 12 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland at 7 PM ET.
Details have also surfaced about venues for CONCACAF World Cup qualifying from October 4 - 17 as The Washington Post reports group games will most likely be played at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina and H-E-B Park in Edinburg, Texas. Semifinals and finals would go to Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
WakeMed and H-E-B are both smaller venues, maxing out at 10,000 and 9,735 respectively. The last time the USWNT played at WakeMed was October 22, 2017, when they just missed a sellout against South Korea and came away with a 6-0 win. And of course the team is no stranger to Toyota Stadium, staging Olympic qualifiers there in 2016 and beating Russia in front of 15,191 fans in April of 2017.
The team hasn’t been to Rio Tinto since October 19, 2016, when they beat Switzerland there 4-0, but now with the 2018 NWSL debut of the Utah Royals, the venue makes synergistic sense, and has been floated as a possible destination for the NWSL final.
Of course, before all of this, the WNT will play Mexico in two April friendlies, one at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida and the second at BBVA Compass Stadim in Houston, Texas. As ever, USSF is filling in every FIFA window with games, especially as Ellis tries to get her team set before qualifying. With three slots open for CONCACAF teams, it shouldn’t be a herculean task for the United States to qualify, but it’s never a good idea to brag before the horse is in the barn.