So what did we learn from the last USA friendly, where they beat Portugal 4-0 while only occasionally looking bothered? Well, Adrianna Franch is staying ready; she had to stay sharp to deflect a ball away from goal in a match that was otherwise uneventful in the US defensive end. The US midfield is still fun, except when they’re getting blended up too fast and have to rearrange themselves from nonstop substitute shuffling. Christen Press is still playing like she can singlehandedly drag 10 other people to a result regardless of anything else happening on the field.
So game 2 against Portugal should be just as fun a time, although maybe not as raucous without the record-breaking Philadelphia crowd.
Jill Ellis said after last week’s game that her sub list had been predetermined. That means she never intended to bring on Kirsten Hamilton, although she surely would have been useful in figuring out ways through Portugal’s defense. This time around, perhaps she’ll get some minutes. It’s likely Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe are still out dealing with injuries, although that still leaves Jess McDonald and Mal Pugh available. Here’s a best guess at how the starting XI will look, also keeping in mind that Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris are unavailable with a family commitment. Honestly, though, who knows. Morgan Brian getting a start last game was fairly unexpected, and Ellis pushed Tierna Davidson wide rather than starting Dunn.
Time, TV, and streaming
USA vs Portugal, game 2
Tuesday, September 3
8PM ET / 5 PM PT
Allianz Field, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Who do you think will start? Will Casey Short and Kristen Hamilton get to make a case for themselves tonight? Will Franch get two starts in a row?