The United States will take on France and England in February friendlies as part of their preparations for the Women's World Cup. The matches are the first matches that the Americans have scheduled for 2015.
The France friendly will be on February 8 in Lorient. They have yet to set a kickoff time or even possible TV coverage, but they do know that it will be played at the 18,500-seat Stade du Moustoir.
Five days later, the U.S. will take on England. The match will be played in England, but they do not have a time or venue finalized.
Both France and England qualified for the Women's World Cup with perfect records. They both went 10-0-0; France did it by scoring 54 goals and allowing three goals, while England did it with 52 goals scored and one allowed. The U.S. will be challenged by both and playing in Europe will take them a bit out of their comfort zone as well.
The U.S. hasn't played great in the last year, or even longer. Jill Ellis took over after Tom Sermanni's struggles and while she brought a lot of changes, the only time they really clicked was against very poor teams in CONCACAF qualifying, and they weren't even great throughout that tournament. It's possible that they just needed a long training camp and tournament to starting coming together, in which case the U.S. will have turned a corner, but it's possible that what they're doing just doesn't fit their personnel and they are not near top form. Matches against good teams like France and England will give us a little more insight into that ahead of the World Cup in June.