We meet again, Australia. You lovable talented absolute jerks. The last time we beat you was 2015, and our two most recent meetings were a flat out 1-0 loss at OUR OWN tournament at the Tournament of Nations in 2017 and a 1-1 draw once again at OUR tournament during the 2018 Tournament of Nations. Could you not?
So now we’re playing each other ahead of the World Cup, where we’re both considered strong contenders to get to the final. We’ve got our eye on you. PARTICULARLY on that Sam Kerr character, even though you have a million and one other talented players too, you utterly overflowing with talent honey baked hams. God, it’s just disgusting. As if Kerr wasn’t enough you’ve got bloody Caitlin Foord and Em van Egmond, and American attackers are going to have to break down Alanna Kennedy, Steph Catley, and Ellie Carpenter? Carpenter who, by the way, is 18 but already has 30 caps for Australia? And on top of that all you have goalkeeper Lydia Williams, who is probably a top-5 international goalkeeper? Can you like, just calm down for a hot second?
Okay. We’re breathing. We’re centered. We’re calm. But seriously just get out of here, Australia.
Projected USA starting XI
We all know the number question on most fans’ minds is will Ali Krieger play??? Who knows! You have to think Jill Ellis called her in for a reason (that reason being our utterly anemic fullback player pool at the moment, and whose fault is that, coach). But we’ve also seen Ellis seems to be fine pushing center backs out wide and may want someone with more legs under her than the 34-year-old Krieger staring down some combo of Caitlin Foord, Sam Kerr, and Tameka Butt. Who knows! Let’s have some fun and assume she starts.
Also of note, Lindsey Horan is back after sitting out SheBelieves with a quad injury. She was sorely missed in the midfield, but if healthy, could bring back some of the cohesiveness the squad lacked.
Time and TV schedule
USA vs Australia
Thursday, April 4
9 PM ET / 6 PM PT
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce, Colorado