The United States Women’s National Team has three friendlies left to prepare themselves for a World Cup title defense. The reigning world champs haven’t been totally dominant so far this year. A loss to tournament hosts France at the beginning of the year coupled with draws against England and Japan has proven that this squad isn’t perfect. They have rebounded with three consecutive wins since then. But none of that matters now. Jill Ellis has just 270 minutes to fine tune her tactics and preferred lineup choices. The first of three warm-ups see the U.S. take on fellow World Cup participants South Africa today in Santa Clara.
Ellis finalized her 23-player roster last week that included very few surprises. Overall, it’s a mixture of experience and new with 11 players making their first World Cup. Despite nearly half the roster not having played in this type of pressure-packed tournament before, they make up for it in talent. Players like Rose Lavelle, Mal Pugh, Crystal Dunn and Lindsey Horan may be World Cup rookies, but they’ve proven their value and impact time and time again through this cycle.
South Africa admittedly isn’t the strongest of competition. They currently sit 49th in the FIFA World Rankings and aren’t expect to make too deep of a run in France. However, this is still a good chance for Ellis to see what she has in front of her and what improvements can and need to be made.
United States lineup:
How to Watch
Advertised Kickoff Time: 4:30p.m. ET, 1:30p.m. PT
Venue: Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, CA
Available TV: FOX
Available Streaming: fuboTV (Free Trial)
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