The United States will play 10 matches in the build up to this summer's Women's World Cup. U.S. Soccer confirmed the entire schedule through May and, as importantly for fans, every match will be on TV.
The year starts with a trip to Europe for friendlies against France and England. Those two matches had already been announced, with the Americans visiting the French on February 8, then the English five days later. ESPN2 will have live coverage of the first match, with Fox Sports 1 picking up the second.
Less than a month later, the U.S. will be back in Europe for the Algarve Cup. They have been grouped with Norway, Switzerland and Iceland for the tournament in Portugal, which will be played from March 4-11. After group play, the Americans will play one more match in the tournament, and all four contests will be shown on Fox Sports 1.
After the Algarve Cup, the U.S. will play the remainder of their matches on home soil. The first comes on April 4, when they square off against New Zealand at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO. That match will also be on Fox Sports 1.
The final Women's World Cup training camp will come in May, and include three friendlies. The first is against Ireland on May 10 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, CA. The next is a week later against Mexico at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA. Both of those will be on Fox Sports 1 as well. Then, the U.S. will play their final match before the World Cup against South Korea at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ on May 30, with ESPN picking up the coverage.
The schedule is a bit interesting. Early on, the team will really challenge itself with France and England. That's brutal, and the Algarve Cup will be a nice challenge too, but after that it's a cakewalk. None of the next four friendlies should really push the Americans, which will be good for the team's confidence, but potentially troublesome.
The U.S. has been struggling and has a lot to work out by the World Cup. If they haven't sorted it out by the Algarve Cup, they won't really get a test as to how far they've come until the World Cup so while the four last friendlies should be a good confidence boost, they won't really be barometers of where the team is.
It is good to see the team getting matches in soccer-specific stadiums, as well as one in a baseball stadium. There should be good crowds on hand for them all, and with every match also on national TV, the buzz around the team should be huge going into the World Cup.
The World Cup begins on June 8 with the Americans taking on Australia. They'll play Sweden four laters later, then Nigeria on June 16.
- February 8 vs. France, 12 p.m. ET - ESPN2 (Stade du Moustour; Lorient, France)
- February 13 vs. England, 3 p.m. ET - Fox Sports 1 (stadiummk; Milton Keynes, England)
- March 4 Algarve Cup vs. Norway, TBD - Fox Sports 1 (Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal)
- March 6 Algarve Cup vs. Switzerland, TBD - Fox Sports 1 (Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal)
- March 9 Algarve Cup vs. Iceland, TBD - Fox Sports 1 (Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal)
- March 11 Algarve Cup vs. TBD, TBD - Fox Sports 1 (Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal)
- April 4 vs. New Zealand, 3:30 p.m. ET - Fox Sports 1 (Busch Stadium; St. Louis, MO)
- May 10 vs. Ireland, 2:30 p.m. ET - Fox Sports 1 (Avaya Stadium; San Jose, CA)
- May 17 vs. Mexico, 9 p.m. ET - Fox Sports 1 (StubHub Center; Carson, CA)
- May 30 vs. South Korea, 4:30 p.n. ET - ESPN (Red Bull Arena; Harrison, NJ)