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USWNT closes out European trip against Spain on Tuesday

Following an action-packed meeting with England on Friday night, the U.S. Women’s National Team returns to field on Tuesday, Oct. 11, closing out its two-game European tour with a matchup against Spain.

The teams will square off at El Sadar Stadium in Pamplona, with kicking off at 2:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. local in what will be just the fourth meeting all-time between the sides. The game will be shown on ESPN2.

Spain enters the match coming off a 1-1 draw against Sweden on Friday while the USA is coming off a narrow 2-1 defeat to England at Wembley Stadium, a highly entertaining affair played in front of 76,893 fans, which set a record for the highest-attended friendly in USWNT history.

Following the match against Spain, the USA will close out the 2022 campaign on home soil, hosting Germany during the November FIFA Window. The teams will square off on Nov. 10 at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (7 p.m. ET on FS1) and then against on Nov. 13 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. (5 p.m. ET on ESPN) in a matchup between the top two teams in the FIFA Rankings. The USA is currently ranked No. 1 in the world while Germany, which defeated France 2-1 in its first match of this October international window, is ranked No. 2.

USWNT DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS) 

GOALKEEPERS (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

DEFENDERS (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Hailie Mace (Kansas City Current), Carson Pickett (North Carolina Courage), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC),

MIDFIELDERS (8): Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), Jaelin Howell (Racing Louisville FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)

FORWARDS (5): Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Alyssa Thompson (Total Futbol Academy)

The USA was forced to make one change to its roster following Friday’s match against England as defender Carson Pickett was added to the roster, replacing defender Emily Fox, who is in concussion protocols following a collision early in the match against the Lionesses. This is Pickett’s second callup and first since the USWNT’s June Camp and matches against Colombia. She earned her first – and to this point only – cap on June 28 in Sandy, Utah, where she started and played the full 90 minutes against Colombia. In the process Pickett, who was born without a left forearm, became the first player with a limb difference to play for the USWNT.

CLASH AGAINST LIONESSES LIVES UP TO BILLING

The highly anticipated clash between the reigning World Cup champions USA and recently crowned European Champions England certainly delivered on the hype in terms of excitement, quality of play, crowd-size and showcase for the sport. Prior to kickoff, the USA and England players came together in a show of solidarity against sexual violence in the sport, wearing teal armbands and unfurling a banner that read “Protect the Players” in response to the results of the Sally Yates investigation.

A goal in the 10th minute from England’s Lauren Hemp put the hosts in the lead early, but Sophia Smith, who had a golden chance to put the USA up in just the first minute before shooting right at England goalkeeper Mary Earps, equalized in the 28th minute as she scored her team-leading 10th goal of 2022. Just five minutes later England was in the lead again after a VAR review ruled that the high boot of U.S. defender Hailie Mace had caught the face of Lucy Bronze just inside the penalty box and a penalty kick was awarded. Mace escaped with a yellow card, but Georgia Stanway smartly finished her spot kick to make it 2-1. The USA appeared to have equalized once again in the 37th minute when Smith ran onto a long ball and played a pass across the area which was flicked on by Megan Rapinoe to an on-rushing Trinity Rodman, who buried her shot in the back of the net. However, the goal was waved off after a VAR review as Smith was determined to have been offside in the build-up, seemingly by the narrowest of margins.

In the second half, defender Crystal Dunn subbed on in the 63rd minute, marking her return to action for the USA just 140 days after giving birth to her son, Marcel, on May 20, 2022. The 2019 World Cup champion earned her 124th cap as she saw her first minutes for the USWNT since Sept. 16, 2021.

In another significant second-half substitution, 17-year-old Alyssa Thompson made her international debut when she came on for 37-year-old Megan Rapinoe in the 84th minute. At 17 years and 334 days old, Thompson became the 70th teenager all-time to earn a cap for the USWNT and the youngest player to debut for the USA since January of 2016 when Mallory Pugh made her debut at 17 years and 269 days of age. Thompson is the 70th teenager and 251st player all-time to earn a cap for the USWNT.

SERIES HISTORY: USA VS. SPAIN

The USA and Spain will square off for just the fourth time in a series that only dates back to 2019, when the teams met for the first time ever for a friendly in Alicante, Spain in January of 2019, a 1-0 win for the Americans. The teams met again six months later in the Round of 16 at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, a 2-1 come-from-behind victory for the USA, and then most recently at the 2020 SheBelieves Cup, where a set-piece goal from Julie Ertz in the 87th minute proved to be the difference in the USWNT’s 1-0 win.

Six players on this USA roster have previous experience against Spain – Megan Rapinoe, who scored twice against Spain at the 2019 World Cup — Alyssa Naeher, Lindsey Horan, Becky Sauerbrunn, Rose Lavelle and Crystal Dunn.

Spain will be the eighth different European opponent the USA has faced since the start of 2021, having played Sweden twice during that span and England, the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Czech Republic and Iceland once each. The USA is now 3-2-3 against UEFA foes during that span, including a 1-1-1 mark in matches played in Europe.

DESTINATION DOWN UNDER

With the opening match of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup less than a year away, 27 teams have already qualified for the tournament, which has been expanded to now feature 32 teams, up from 24 in both 2015 and 2019. The nations that have already punched their tickets Down Under are co-hosts Australia and New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, China PR, Philippines and Vietnam from Asia, and Sweden, France, Denmark, Spain, Germany, England, Norway, Italy and the Netherlands from Europe, the USA, Costa Rica, Canada and Jamaica from Concacaf, Zambia, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa from Africa and Brazil, Colombia and Argentina from South America. This will be the first Women’s World Cup at any level the Philippines and Vietnam, who qualified through the AFC Asian Women’s Cup, as well as Morocco and Zambia, who qualified through the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations. Still to be filled are two remaining slots from Europe – two of which will come from the UEFA Qualifying playoffs tomorrow which feature Switzerland-Wales, Scotland-Ireland and Portland Iceland – and three slots from the 10-team playoff tournament that will feature two teams from Asia (Chinese Taipei and Thailand), two from Africa (Cameroon and Senegal), two from Concacaf (Haiti and Panama), two from South America (Chile and Paraguay), one from Oceania (Papua New Guinea) and one from Europe.

The USA has qualified for its ninth consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup, having played in every tournament since the competition’s inception in 1991 and winning a record four titles. Brazil, Japan, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Nigeria have also qualified for a ninth Women’s World Cup.

The draw for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be held on October 22 in Auckland as all the competing nations will find out their group play schedules and path through the tournament.

USA ROSTER NOTES

  • The loss to England snapped a 13-game winning streak for the USA, which had dated back to its second match of the year against New Zealand. The two goals were the most allowed by the USA this year – and just the second and third goals allowed this year — and the most since a 4-3 win over Australia in the Olympic third-place match on Aug. 5, 2021.
  • The 13-game win streak was the USA’s second-longest win streak during Andonovski’s tenure, trailing only a 16-game winning streak from November 2019 to February 2021.
  • Since the start of 2020, the USWNT has played 31 matches in the United States and 17 outside the country. The USA is 29-0-2 in domestic matches and has outscored the opposition 127-3 (+124) at home and is 10-3-4 with a 35-14 goal margin (+21) when playing outside the USA.
  • The most capped player on this roster is Becky Sauerbrunn at 209, followed Megan Rapinoe (195), Crystal Dunn (124) and Lindsey Horan (119) while the least capped players are Casey Murphy (9), Trinity Rodman (8), Naomi Girma (8), Hailie Mace (6), Jaelin Howell (5), Sam Coffey (2), Aubrey Kingsbury (1), Alyssa Thompson (1), Savannah DeMelo.
  • Fifteen of the 24 players on the USA roster for this trip to Europe have fewer than 25 caps: Sophia Smith, Sofia Huerta, Emily Fox, Alana Cook, Ashley Sanchez, Ashley Hatch, Murphy, Rodman, Girma, Howell, Mace, Kingsbury, Coffey, DeMelo and Thompson.
  • Becky Sauerbrunn is the oldest player on the roster (37 years old) while Thompson (17) is the youngest, making Sophia Smith (22) and Trinity Rodman (21) no longer junior members of the squad.
  • Through 15 games in 2022, the USWNT has had 27 goals scored by players under the age of 24. Over the course of 2019, 2020 and 2021 – a total of 57 games – the USWNT had a combined total of 10 goals scored by players under the age of 24.
  • Rapinoe is the top scorer on the roster in international play with 62 while Lindsey Horan has 26. Dunn has 24 goals for the USWNT while Rose Lavelle has 22. Smith has 11.
  • Nine field players on this roster – six are defenders and two others are uncapped — are still looking for their first international goals in Sauerbrunn, Huerta, Fox, Cook, Girma, Mace, Coffey, DeMelo and Thompson.
  • Sixteen different players have scored for the USWNT so far in 2022 – Sophia Smith (10), Mallory Pugh (6), Catarina Macario (5), Alex Morgan (4), Rose Lavelle (4), Kristie Mewis (3), Ashley Sanchez (3), Ashley Hatch (2), Trinity Rodman (2), Midge Purce (2), Kelley O’Hara (1), Jaelin Howell (1), Andi Sullivan (1), Taylor Kornieck (1), Emily Sonnett (1) and Lindsey Horan (1).
  • The USA’s other six goals this year came via own goals, the most ever in a calendar year in program history with three on Feb. 20 vs. New Zealand, and one each on April 12 vs. Uzbekistan, June 28 vs. Colombia and Sept. 6 vs. Nigeria.
  • Andonovski is 41-3-6 in 50 games and went unbeaten (22-0-1) in his first 23 matches in charge of the USWNT, setting a record for the best start for a head coach in USWNT history. The USA opened the Andonovski era on a 16-game winning streak.
  • Of Andonovski’s first 50 games, 33 have been at home and 19 have been against teams ranked in the top-13 in the world.
  • With Alyssa Thompson’s debut on Oct. 7, Trinity Rodman’s debut on Feb. 17, Naomi Girma and Aubrey Kingsbury’s first caps on April 12, Taylor Kornieck’s debut on June 25, Carson Pickett’s first cap on June 28 and Sam Coffey’s first cap on Sept. 6, 17 players have now earned their first cap under Andonovski, with seven debuts coming in 2022.
  • Nine of the 12 NWSL clubs are represented on this roster, along with 2021-22 UEFA Women’s Champions League winners Olympique Lyon and Los Angeles youth club Total Futball Academy, for whom Alyssa Thompson plays. Five players are from the Washington Spirit and four are from 2022 NWSL Shield Winners OL Reign and an additional four from Portland Thorns FC.

IN FOCUS: SPAIN | FIVE THINGS TO KNOW

Current FIFA World Ranking: 8
UEFA Ranking: 6
FIFA Country Code: ESP
World Cup Appearances: 2 (2015, 2019)
Best World Cup finish: Round of 16 (2019)
Record vs. USA: 0-3-0
Last Meeting vs. USA: March 8, 2020 (1-0 win for USA in Harrison, N.J.)
Head Coach: Jorge Vilda (ESP)

SPAIN WOMEN’S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION 

GOALKEEPERS (3): Sun Quiñones (Athletic Bilboa), Enith Salon (Valencia CF), Misa Rodriguez (Real Madrid) 

DEFENDERS (8): Oihane Hernandez (Athletic Bilboa), Lucia Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Rocio Galvez (Real Madrid), Ivana Andres (Real Madrid), María Méndez (Levante), Laia Codina (FC Barcelona), Olga Carmona (Real Madrid), 20-Nuria Rábano (FC Barcelona)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Anna Torroda (Valencia CF), Maitane López (Atletico Madrid), Matie Orzo (Real Madrid), Teresa Abelleira (Real Madrid), Irene Guerrero (Atletico Madrid), Claudia Zornoza (Real Madrid)

FORWARDS (6): Athenea del Castillo (Real Madrid), Andrea Falcón (Club America, MEX), Alba Redondo (Levante), Ane Azkona (Athletic Bilbao), Marta Cardona (Atletico Madrid), Esther Gonzale (Real Madrid)

SPAIN ROSTER NOTES

  • The Spain WNT is going through a bit of well-documented turmoil as 15 players asked not to be selected for this trip due to issues with their head coach and Federation, but Spain still has put together a quality side and in fact tied Sweden, ranked third in the world, 1-1 on Oct. 7.
  • Spain actually out-shot Sweden 26-16, had more of the possession, completed far more passes and had nine corner kicks to Sweden’s seven. Spain gave up a goal to Sweden’s Rebecka Blomqvist in the 14th minute but managed to equalize in the 83rd minute via Marta Cardona. It was her third international goal.
  • Spain, albeit with its full squad when available, rolled through World Cup qualifying to make its third Women’s World Cup. Spain handily won group B, going 8-0-0 and outscoring its opponents (Scotland, Ukraine, Hungary and Faroe Islands) by a 53-0 margin.
  • As Spain is ranked 8th in the world, but Australia and New Zealand gets seeds at the World Cup as hosts, Spain is not likely to be seeded, meaning one group is going to get one of the top teams in the world in its group despite being seeded.
  • Spain, which is producing some fantastic young players and current holds both FIFA youth titles. Spain won the 2018 U-17 Women’s World Cup which was held in Uruguay under a female coach in Antonia Is and won the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica. Spain also finished second at the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
  • Spain’s coach, Jorge Vilda, was appointed after the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In 2017, Spain won the Algarve Cup and reached the last eight of the UEFA Women’s Euro while in 2018, Spain won the Cyprus Cup, and has qualified for its third Women’s World Cup.

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