USWNT announces matchup against Spain to close out European tour in October
CHICAGO – The U.S. Women’s National Team will face Spain on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at El Sadar Stadium in Pamplona (2:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. local on ESPN2) to finish a two-game European tour that starts against 2022 European champions England on Friday, Oct. 7 at the iconic Wembley Stadium in London (3 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. local on FOX).
In the quarterfinals of the 2022 UEFA Women’s EURO, Spain was just minutes away from knocking out host England before an 86th-minute equalizer from Ella Toone sent the match to overtime where England would win 2-1. The Lionesses then went on win the tournament in historic fashion at Wembley on July 31, defeating Germany 2-1 in overtime.
Spain was a pre-tournament favorite at the Euros but lost two of its top attacking players to injury prior to the start of the competition. Spain is ranked eighth in the world and England is currently fourth.
The match with Spain will be just the fourth-ever meeting between the teams and the second in Spain. The teams met for the first time ever in January of 2019, a 1-0 victory for the USA in Alicante, Spain, which was followed later in the year by a 2-1 U.S. victory in the Round of 16 at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. The teams most recently met at the 2020 SheBelieves Cup, a 1-0 U.S. victory which featured a dramatic 87th minute game-winning header from Julie Ertz.
“I know Spain fell short of their goals at the Euros, but they are a fantastic team, one of the best in the world, with world class players all over the field and as a coaching staff, we are really looking forward to the challenges these two games will present for our team,” said U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski. “Away matches against England and Spain are among the most difficult and high-profile friendlies a team can play and having those experiences will be valuable in many different ways for our continuing preparations for the World Cup.”
Spain is one of nine European teams that has qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand as it won Group B over second-place Scotland with a record of 8-0-0 and 53 goals scored with zero against.
The USA qualified for both the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2024 Paris Olympics via its five-game run of wins at the Concacaf W Championship in Mexico that concluded with a 1-0 victory over Canada in the championship game on July 18.
- El Sadar Stadium, named after a river near the stadium, is home to La Liga club Club Atlético Osasuna, which currently sits fourth in the standings. The stadium seats just under 24,000 fans.
- Pamplona is in northern Spain, about 500 miles from the French border, about 270 miles northwest of Barcelona and 250 miles north of Madrid.
- This will be the first-ever match for the USWNT in Pamplona, which is famous for the annual “Running of the Bulls” and is the hometown of U.S. Under-17 WYNT head coach Natalia Astrain.
- Only four players who faced Spain at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup started for the USA in the 2022 Concacaf Women’s Championship title game in Mexico – goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, defender Becky Sauerbrunn, midfielder Rose Lavelle and forward Alex Morgan.
- The two-game trip to Europe marks the sixth consecutive year in which the USA will travel to Europe for friendly matches and the most recent trip since April of 2021 when the U.S. faced Sweden and France.
- Spain will be the third Top-10 opponent the USA is so far scheduled to face in 2022, having defeated then-sixth-ranked Canada in the Concacaf W Championship final with the October 7 match against No. 4 England upcoming.
- The USA-England game at Wembley Stadium sold out of all general admission tickets in 24 hours and a crowd over 80,000+ is expected for the match.