The United States and Australia are looking like the early contenders in the Tournament of Nations. The US didn’t look 100% put together but still rolled out a 4-2 victory over Japan, and Australia dominated Brazil 3-1. Now these two teams will go head to head on Sunday, the Matildas with the goal of continuing to cement their place at the pinnacle of the world stage, and the United States wanting to stabilize their midfield while also rotating the roster. Well, hopefully they want to stabilize their midfield.
Who to watch for:
Australia will be a dangerous test for the Crystal-Dunn-at-left-back experiment. The Matildas channeled a lot of their attack through Hayley Raso on the right and have the pace and endurance to match, if not beat, Dunn over 90 minutes. They also can be dangerous on set pieces and will probably earn more of them than Japan did, making it critical that everyone in the box is on the same page. Per Jill Ellis’ press conference following the Japan game, Becky Sauerbrunn is available and doing well, but she didn’t play since team trainers advised three games back-to-back was not ideal for her. That could mean this is the one game for Sauerbrunn, given that Australia is likely to be the US’ toughest competition.
Also, Sam Kerr. Just...Sam Kerr.
Potential starting XI:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Lydia Williams (Seattle Reign), Mackenzie Arnold (Arna-Bjornar)
DEFENDERS (6): Ellie Carpenter (Portland Thorns), Alanna Kennedy (Orlando Pride), Clare Polkinghorne (Houston Dash), Steph Catley (Seattle Reign), Elise Kellond-Knight (Hammarby), Larissa Crummer (Melbourne City)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Tameka Butt (Klepp), Alex Chidiac (Atletico Madrid), Katrina Gorry (Utah Royals), Chloe Logarzo (Blacktown Spartans), Emily van Egmond (Orlando Pride), Amy Sayer (Canberra United)
FORWARDS (7): Hayley Raso (Portland Thorns), Kyah Simon (Houston Dash), Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars), Lisa De Vanna (Sydney FC), Caitlin Foord (Portland Thorns), Emily Gielnik (Avaldsnes), Mary Fowler (Bansktown City Lions)
Schedule, TV, and livestream:
Sunday, July 29
7 PM ET / 4 PM PT
Live on FS1
Stream on Fox Sports Go