USWNT to host Chile for pair of late-summer friendlies in California
CHICAGO (Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will face Chile in Southern and Northern California for late-summer friendly matches, the first on Friday, Aug. 31 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. (8 p.m. PT on ESPN2) before traveling up the coast for the second leg on Tuesday, Sept. 4 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (7 p.m. PT on ESPN2 and UDN).
These will be the first matches after the 2018 Tournament of Nations and final matches before the USA enters the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship in a quest for a berth to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. The World Cup qualifying tournament will take place from Oct. 4-17 with the USA playing its Group A games in Cary, N.C.
The match at StubHub Center at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center will mark the USA’s 14th match at the venue, marking the most games at one stadium for the U.S. Women. The USA last played at StubHub Center in August of 2017 during a 3-0 victory against Japan to conclude the Tournament of Nations. The match at Avaya Stadium will be the fourth for the USA at the venue where it ended its 2017 schedule with a 3-1 victory against Canada on Nov. 12.
It doesn’t happen very often that the U.S. WNT faces a country it has never played before, but the two matches against Chile will be the first games between the countries in women’s soccer. Chile is also just the fourth South American team the USA has faced in its history, along with Brazil (35 games), Colombia (6) and Argentina (3).
Chile will be the 52nd country the U.S. women have faced in full international competition.
Chile was a surprise qualifier to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, finishing second behind Brazil in the Final Stage of the 2018 Copa América Femenina, which it hosted last April, to earn its first FIFA Women’s World Cup berth. Chile played in front of large and boisterous crowds on its home soil and emphatically clinched its spot for France with a 4-0 victory against Argentina.
U.S. WNT HEAD COACH JILL ELLIS
“It’s exciting for the players and staff to face a new opponent. Chile hosted the Under-20 Women’s World Cup in 2008 and clearly that event positively impacted the current generation, because they’ve qualified for France. It will be great preparation to play a South American team as we head into a final preparation phase for our own qualification this October.”
DID YOU KNOW…
- At the 2018 Copa América Femenina, Chile finished second in Group A behind Colombia to qualify for the four-team Final Stage.
- In Group A, Chile started out slowly with two 1-1 draws, against Paraguay and Colombia, and then picked up a 1-0 victory over Uruguay before finishing the group on a high note with a 5-0 win against Peru.
- In the Final Stage group that featured Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia, Chile lost to Brazil, 3-1, to open the round-robin play, and then tied Colombia, 0-0, setting up a must-win match against Argentina to earn a berth to France. In that 4-0 victory, Chile delighted the packed house with three goals in the first half and one in second half stoppage time.
- Camila Sáez scored in the 8th minute and Maryorie Hernández made it 2-0 in the 24th. Chile benefited from an Argentina own goal in the 40th and Francisca Lara pounded home the proverbial nail at 90+2.
- One of the main reason for Chile’s success at the Copa America was the play of their captain, 26-year-old goalkeeper Christiane Endler, who had a phenomenal tournament. The six-foot Endler, whose father is from Germany and whose mother is from Chile, holds both Chilean and German passports. She played college soccer in the USA at South Florida and currently plays for one of the world’s top clubs in Paris Saint-Germain.
- Brazil also qualified for France from South America, while Argentina earned a spot in a two-game playoff against the side that finishes in fourth place from Concacaf.
- The 14th match at the StubHub Center moves the venue past the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn., where the U.S. Women have played 13 times, as the most frequent venue in U.S. WNT history. Nine of the matches in Blaine came in the 1980s and 1990s and the USA has not played there since 2006.
- The U.S. WNT program started in 1985, but the team did not play a full international match in California until 1996. That took place at Titan Stadium on the campus of Cal State Fullerton (a 6-0 win vs. Holland), long before the StubHub Center and Avaya Stadium were built.
- Since then, the U.S. Women have played 42 total games in California – 30 in Southern California, one in Central California and 11 in Northern California.