U.S. WNT to visit Europe in November to face Portugal, Scotland
CHICAGO (Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will go abroad in November to finish its 2018 schedule with matches against Portugal on Nov. 8 in Lisbon (1 p.m. ET on ESPN2) and against Scotland on Nov. 13 in Glasgow (2 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 & UDN).
These will be the first away games for the U.S. Women this year and the first trip to Europe since the summer of 2017 when the USA earned 1-0 victories against Sweden and Norway.
Between 1994 and 2015, the USA played 79 matches at twenty Algarve Cup tournaments, all held on the southern coast of Portugal, but this will be the USA’s first game in the capital of Lisbon. The match will be played at Estadio António Coimbra da Mota, the 8,000-seat home to Second Division club G.D. Estoril Praia. The venue is in Estoril, a suburb of Lisbon.
Following the match against Portugal, the USA will travel north to face first-time World Cup qualifier Scotland on Nov. 13 at The Simple Digital Arena, the 8,000-seat home of Scottish Premier League side St. Mirren FC. The stadium is in Paisley, just outside of Glasgow. It will be the USA’s first friendly match in Scotland, and first in United Kingdom outside of England, but the USA did play two games at the famed Hampden Park in Glasgow during the 2012 Olympics.
“For planning purposes, it was important to have this last FIFA window of the year be in Europe. We’ve played a competitive domestic schedule but adapting to being on the road is an important part of preparations for next year. Playing a World Cup-qualified team and a country that is on the rise will be two good matches to end our 2018 schedule.”
Scotland earned its berth to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup by winning UEFA Group 2, edging Switzerland on the final day of qualifying. Scotland defeated Albania, 2-1, in Shkoder, Albania while Switzerland was held to a surprising 0-0 draw by Poland in Mielec.
U.S. Soccer had previously scheduled matches against Switzerland and the Netherlands, but both teams did not get the results they needed to win their groups on the final match day of UEFA Women’s World Cup qualifying. Both teams were subsequently forced into the playoffs, the final two legs of which will take place during this FIFA window in November. Switzerland and the Netherlands will meet for the last World Cup berth for Europe.
Portugal did not qualify for the next summer’s World Cup, finishing third in UEFA Group 6 behind World Cup qualifier Italy and second-place finisher Belgium, which earned a playoff spot, but fell to Switzerland in its semifinal series. Portugal did have a highly successful 2018 Algarve Cup, defeating Australia (which is currently sixth in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings) by a 2-1 score in the Third-Place Match.
- The USA is 6-0-0 all-time against Portugal with four of those six meetings taking place at the Algarve Cup. The two other matches were played in Florida in January of 1999, the latter of which featured Michelle Akers’ 100th career goal.
- The USA has only played Scotland three times and has won all three games but has never faced Scotland in Scotland. The most recent matches came in February of 2013 in the first games for then-head coach and Scotland native Tom Sermanni. The USA won 4-1 in Jacksonville, Fla. and 3-1 in Nashville, Tenn.
- Scotland went 7-1-0 in its World Cup qualifying group with the only blemish a 1-0 loss to Switzerland in April of 2018 in Switzerland.
- Most of the Scotland players play for top cubs in England, but defender Rachel Corsie plays in the NWSL with Utah Royals FC.
- Scotland midfielder Kim Little was one of the top players in the NWSL with the Seattle Reign from 2014-2016 and was the top scorer in the league in 2014 when she was also named the MVP, but she will not feature in the match against the USA after recently suffering a broken fibula.
- The USA’s two wins at Hampden Park during the 2012 Olympics were against France (4-2) and Colombia (3-0).