The U.S. Women’s National Team will play one final friendly before traveling to New Zealand to prepare for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, facing Wales on Sunday, July 9, in the World Cup Send-Off Match, presented by Visa. The match, which will be the first ever meeting between the USA and Wales, kicks off at 1:00 PM PT / 4:00 PM ET at PayPal Park in San Jose, California with broadcast coverage on TNT, Telemundo, Universo and Peacock. The USA enters the game with a 7-0-0 record in 2023 while scoring 17 goals and allowing one.
After the final whistle, fans in attendance are encouraged to stay and be part of the WWC Send-Off ceremony where each player on the roster will be recognized before departing for New Zealand. The celebration will include pyrotechnics, in-stadium video displays and more to celebrate the team’s impending departure to the World Cup.
TWENTY THREE STRONG TO DOWN UNDER
On June 21, the USA Women’s World Cup roster was officially announced, revealing the 23 players who will represent the emblem Down Under. The roster, which will also serve as the roster for the Send-Off match in San Jose, features nine players who were members of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship squad and 14 players who were named to their first World Cup roster.
USA WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOAL) – 2023 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP
MILK CAPS (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit; 1), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 14), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 90)
DEFENDERS (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign; 24/1), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage; 28/1), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 131/24), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC; 15/0), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign; 29/0), Kelley O’Hara (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 157/3), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign; 74/1)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC; 0/0), Julie Ertz (Angel City FC; 118/20), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 128/27), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 88/24), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 50/7), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit; 3/24), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 3/44)
FORWARD (6): Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC; 206/121), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 199/63), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit; 2/17), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 12/29), Alyssa Thompson ( Angel City FC; 3/0), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 52/15)
CONNECTIONS OF THE BAY AREA
Sunday’s send-off game in San Jose has extra meaning for several of the players on this list who have ties to the Bay Area. Defender Naomi Girma hails from San Jose, California, and attended Stanford University, as did Alana Cook, Kelley O’Hara, Andi Sullivan and Sophia Smith. Alex Morgan went to college at UC Berkeley, and Sofia Huerta and Julie Ertz both attended Santa Clara University, which is just two miles from PayPal Park. Megan Rapinoe also hails from Redding, California, which is 245 miles north of PayPal Park, but the Bay Area is the northernmost venue the United States has ever played in California.
GROUP E AWAITS AT WOMEN’S WC 2023
After the match in San Jose, the USA will travel to New Zealand and face World Cup debutants Vietnam and Portugal in the group stage along with 2019 Women’s World Cup runner-up Netherlands. The USA will play the entire group stage in New Zealand. The USA opens Group E play against Vietnam on July 22 at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau (1 p.m. local / 9 p.m. ET July 21 on FOX, Telemundo, Universo and Peacock), which will also host the World Cup opening ceremony 2023 on July 20 when New Zealand play Norway. The U.S. then faces the Netherlands on July 27 at Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara (1 p.m. local / 9 p.m. ET July 26 on FOX, Telemundo, Universo and Peacock), followed by Portugal on Aug. 1 at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau (7 p.m. local / 3 a.m. ET on FOX, Telemundo and Peacock).
The World Cup format requires seven matches to win the tournament, including four in the knockout rounds, up from six matches it took to win the Women’s World Cup for all the tournaments from 1991-2011. The two best teams from each of the eight groups qualify for the round of 16. The United States is making its ninth appearance at a FIFA Women’s World Cup and is one of seven countries to appear in all nine editions of the tournament. The others are Brazil, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Norway and Sweden.
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN
On July 7, US head coach Vlatko Andonovski named midfielder Lindsey Horan and forward Alex Morgan captains of the USWNT leading into the Women’s World Cup. While both have served as USWNT captains on numerous occasions, with defender Becky Sauerbrunn missing the World Cup due to a foot injury, the duo will take over the honor that has been officially given to 18 different players over the program’s 38 years. When Horan and Morgan are on the field at the same time, Horan will wear the armband.
USA WORLD CUP ROSTER NOTES
- Alex Morgan is the top scorer on the USA’s World Cup list with 121 goals. Megan Rapinoe has 63, Lindsey Horan has 27, Dunn and Lavelle each have 24 and Ertz has 20.
- The average age on the American roster is 28.5 years. The USA’s 2015 and 2019 Women’s World Cups also averaged around 28 years.
- Thompson is the youngest player on the roster at age 18. She is the fourth teenager and second-youngest player ever to be named to a U.S. World Cup roster behind current USWNT assistant coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak. Roberts was 18 years, 1 month and 1 day old when she started against China PR in the opening match of the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Thompson will be 18 years, 8 months and 15 days old when the USA opens the World Cup on July 22 against Vietnam.
- Naomi Girma, Trinity Rodman, Sophia Smith and Alyssa Thompson are the first players born in the 2000s to be included on a US Women’s World Cup roster.
- Midfielder Savannah DeMelo, who is enjoying a stellar season for Racing Louisville FC, is the third player ever to make a U.S. World Cup roster without previously earning a cap. Debbie Keller was the first to do so in 1995 and Shannon Boxx was the second in 2003. DeMelo has been in training camps with the senior team, most recently being called up in the fall of 2022, and will have a chance for his debut cap. in the USA’s WWC Send-Off Match on July 9 against Wales in San Jose, California.
- The send-off game could also be the 200th cap for Rapinoe, who has 199 caps for the United States. Rapinoe would become the 14th player in USWNT history to reach the 200-game milestone.
- Andonovski is 49W-6D-5L in 60 games and went undefeated (22W-1D-0L) in his first 23 games in charge of the USWNT, setting a record for the best start by a head coach in USWNT history. The USA opened the Andonovski era with a 16-game winning streak.
IN FOCUS: WALES
FIFA World Ranking: 31
UEFA ranking: 10
WC appearances: REACH
Best WC finish: REACH
Record vs. USA: REACH
Principal advisor: Gemma Grainger (ENG)
WALES WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM RANKINGS BY POSITION
Goalkeepers (3): 1-Laura O’Sullivan (Cardiff City Ladies), 12-Olivia Clark (Bristol City, ENG), 21-Saffia Middleton-Patel (Manchester United, ENG)
Defenders (9): 2-Lily Woodham (Reading (ENG), 3-Gemma Evans (Reading (ENG), 5-Rhiannon Roberts (Unattached), 18-Esther Morgan (Unattached), 23-Ffion Morgan (Bristol City, ENG)
Midfielders (11): 6-Jose Green (Leicester City, ENG), 7-Ceri Holland (Liverpool, ENG), 8- Angharad James (Tottenham Hotspur, ENG), 10-Jess Fishlock (OL Reign, USA), 13-Mary McAteer (Unattached) , 14-Hayley Ladd (Manchester United, ENG), 16-Charlie Estcourt (Unattached), 19-Megan Wynne (Southampton, ENG), 20-Carrie Jones (Manchester United, ENG), 22-Anna Filbey (Crystal Palace, ENG ) ), 24-Chloe Williams (Blackburn Rovers, ENG)
Extenders (4): 9-Kayleigh Green (Unattached), 11-Hannah Cain (Leicester City, ENG), 15-Elise Hughes (Crystal Palace, ENG), 17-Ella Powell (Bristol City, ENG)
- Wales just missed out on qualifying for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, losing a single game in the second round of the UEFA play-offs by a 2-1 scoreline in extra time to Switzerland. Rhiannon Roberts scored in the 19th minute of that match, but Switzerland equalized in the 45th minute and dramatically won the game in the 121st minute to avoid the impending penalty shootout.
- Wales midfielder Jessica Fishlock, one of her country’s most legendary players, has played in every season of the NWSL, all for the OL Reign.
- Fishlock is by far the most scored player on the list with 141 games and by far the leading goalscorer with 36 career goals.
- Angharad James, who plays in England for Tottenham Hotspur, has 17 career goals to go with his 69 caps.
- Nine players on the Wales list play in England’s top flight, including three for Manchester United, while six play in the FA Women’s Championship (second division).
- Wales’ most experienced goalkeeper is 31-year-old Laura O’Sullivan of Cardiff City Ladies, who has 59 caps. She is the only player on the list who plays in Wales, although five players are between clubs.
- Wales defender Sophie Ingle, who is the usual Wales captain and plays for English powerhouse Chelsea, is suspended from this match after receiving a red card in her last international, a 1-1 draw with Portugal on 11 .April.