U.S. Soccer to host 2021 WNT Summer Series in June
CHICAGO – U.S. Soccer will host the 2021 WNT Summer Series featuring the USA, Portugal, Jamaica and Nigeria from June 10-16, with matches to be played on June 10 and 13 at BBVA Stadium in Houston and on June 16 at the brand new Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas.
The USA’s three games of the Summer Series begin with a match against Portugal on June 10 in Houston (broadcast on FS1 begins at 7 p.m. CT with kick-off at 7:30 p.m. CT / 8:30 p.m. ET), followed by a meeting with Jamaica on June 13 (9 p.m. CT / 10 pm ET on FS1), also at BBVA Stadium, before traveling to Austin to face Nigeria on June 16 (8 p.m. CT / 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2).
The match in Austin at the home of Major League Soccer’s newest club, Austin FC, will be the first soccer game at the brand new, state-of-the-art, 20,500 seat Q2 Stadium. Three nights later on June 19, Austin FC will play its first MLS match at home.
The two dates in Houston will be doubleheaders, with Jamaica facing Nigeria on June 10 (4:30 p.m. CT / 5:30 p.m. ET) and Portugal playing Nigeria on June 13 (6 p.m. CT / 7 p.m. ET).
These matches will be the final international games before U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski names the 18-player Olympic Team. The USA will also play two Olympic Send-Off Matches in early July before leaving for Japan. At the Olympic Final Draw on April 21, the USA was drawn into Group G where it will face Sweden (July 21 in Tokyo), New Zealand (July 24 in Saitama) and Australia (July 27 in Kashima) during group play.
“In these COVID times, we’re grateful that U.S. Soccer has been able to organize a schedule of games for us to prepare for the Olympics and getting these three during the Summer Series against teams we don’t play very often will be important in helping us make the final decisions on the Olympic Team,” said Andonovski. “Choosing the Olympic Team has been a long process, with a big break in the middle, but we’ll take all the information from our trainings, the National Team games and club matches so we can make the best choices to give our team the best chance for success in Japan.”
U.S. Soccer previously staged the Tournament of Nations during this summer period in 2017 and 2018 and had planned to hold the tournament during non-Olympic and non-World Cup years. Due to FIFA changing the international match window in June from a three-match window to a two-match window starting in 2022, the competition will no longer be able to be held.
In addition, the June FIFA international match window for 2021 has already changed to a two-match opportunity for European teams, meaning that the format of the Summer Series will feature the USA and Nigeria playing three matches while Portugal and Jamaica will play two. No standings will be kept and all matches will be treated as friendlies.
2021 WNT Summer Series
Date Matches Stadium City Kickoff (CT) TV
June 10 Jamaica vs. Nigeria BBVA Stadium Houston, Texas 4:30 p.m.
June 10 USA vs. Portugal BBVA Stadium Houston, Texas 7:30 p.m. FS1
June 13 Portugal vs. Nigeria BBVA Stadium Houston, Texas 6 p.m.
June 13 USA vs. Jamaica BBVA Stadium Houston, Texas 9 p.m. FS1
June 16 USA vs. Nigeria Q2 Stadium Austin, Texas 8 p.m. ESPN2
The USA is the only one of the four teams in the Summer Series that will compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, but Nigeria is an historic power in their Confederation, Portugal is among a group of European teams that is making big strides forward in the women’s game, and Jamaica qualified for its first Women’s World Cup in 2019.
The match against Nigeria will mark the first time the USA has ever faced the Super Falcons outside of a world championship and it will be just the third-ever friendly against an African country, with the previous two coming against South Africa.
Once the teams arrive in Houston, and for the USA and Nigeria, in Austin, all the players and staffs will operate inside highly controlled environments at the host hotels. The staging trainings and the matches will fall under the comprehensive U.S. Soccer Return to Play Protocols and Guidelines and in accordance with the Concacaf Return to Play Protocols. Everyone entering the controlled environment will be tested for COVID-19 before traveling, upon arrival and periodically thereafter. The teams will not begin full team training until the results of all arrival tests are confirmed.
- The U.S. Women played all three of its 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship group matches at BBVA Stadium in January and early February of last year and returns to the venue for two games before the delayed Olympic Games.
- Of the USA’s five previous meetings with Nigeria, four came in the World Cup and one in the Olympics. In fact, the USA faced Nigeria in group play in three consecutive World Cups – 1999, 2003, 2007 – and also in 2015.
- Nigeria is coached by long-time college coach Randy Waldrum, who is currently the head coach at the University of Pittsburgh. He was also the head coach for the Houston Dash in the NWSL from 2014-2017 and for the Trinidad & Tobago Women’s National Team from 2014-2016.
- Waldrum also led the University of Notre Dame to two NCAA titles during his stint in South Bend, Indiana from 1999-2013.
- The USA and Nigeria most recently met in group play at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a 1-0 victory on Abby Wambach’s final World Cup goal.
- The USA has play Portugal nine times, all wins, and most recently met on Sept. 3, 2019 on the Victory Tour after the Women’s World Cup, a 3-0 win in St. Paul, Minn. behind a Carli Lloyd brace and a goal by Lindsey Horan.
- The USA has played Jamaica just three times in its history, all in Concacaf qualifying matches, most recently a 6-0 win in qualifying for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Like with Nigeria, this will be the first friendly between the teams.
- Jamaica has several players currently playing for NWSL clubs.