The United States women’s national team will kick off their five-game World Cup victory tour with a friendly against Ireland on Saturday. The entire World Cup roster is expected to return, which means they won’t be available for their NWSL clubs this weekend.
Honestly, it should be your fairly standard run-out, and with limited time between now and the Olympics, there probably isn’t too much room to introduce new elements. Would this be a nice transition time for a new head coach, given Jill Ellis is stepping down after the tour ends in October? Maybe! And perhaps there is something going on behind the scenes. But USSF is undoubtedly balancing that against wanting to put on a money-making exhibition tour with their World Cup stars. Most of them will make up the core of the Olympic roster anyway, so there probably isn’t a ton of high pressure to do something useful with these games.
Here’s a theoretical starting XI, although it’s anyone’s guess if Horan will be back in the lineup after she seemed to make way for Sam Mewis during the World Cup. Some of these players, like Alex Morgan, have been questionable on recent NWSL injury reports and could definitely use a rest, and Megan Rapinoe is probably out with a left achilles issue.
USA vs Ireland
Saturday, August 3
10 PM ET / 7 PM PT
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
ESPN 2, Galavisión
What’s your score prediction? Should the squad get the rotation it probably needed during the tournament?