USWNT to host four friendly matches this fall in the Midwest
CHICAGO – The U.S. Women’s National Team will play two matches in September against Paraguay and two matches in October against Korea Republic to finish its 2021 domestic schedule.
Both sets of matches will take place during their respective FIFA international match windows and will feature the players from the bronze-medal winning 2020 Olympic Team.
“The work never stops and every game we play has meaning,” said WNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski. “These games are important to welcome back our Olympic Team to play in front of our home fans, but they are also the first steps towards 2023 World Cup qualifying. We all know we have to be at the top of our game to win at the highest levels and the dedication of the entire group to that pursuit will never change.”
In the first matches after the end of the 2020 Olympics, the USA will take on Paraguay on Thursday, Sept. 16 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2, TUDN.tv and the TUDN App). The USA will then travel to the hometown of midfielder Rose Lavelle to complete the two-game set on Tuesday, Sept. 21 with the first-ever USWNT match at FC Cincinnati’s newly opened TQL Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET on FS1 & TUDN).
In October, the USA will come together in the home area of Vlatko Andonovski to take on Korea Republic on Thursday, Oct. 21, at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas (8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT on ESPN2 and TUDN) and then will travel to St. Paul, Minnesota to complete that two-game series at Allianz Field on Tuesday, Oct. 26 (7:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 CT pre-game on FS1 and 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT on TUDN).
The four games will be the final matches in a U.S. uniform for USWNT legend Carli Lloyd, who will play her Farewell Match on Oct. 26 in Minnesota. Lloyd is currently the second-most capped player in world soccer history with 312 games played for the USA and has scored 128 international goals, fourth in USWNT history. She needs two goals to tie Kristine Lilly for third all-time.
All the players and staffs will operate in monitored environments for the duration of the two-game series. 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 matches in September will mark the first-ever meetings with Paraguay at the senior level. The USA has faced Paraguay once in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and twice in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
- Paraguay will become the fifth South American country the USA has faced in its history, along with Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Chile, as women’s soccer continues to grow worldwide.
- With the expansion of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to 32 countries, Paraguay will be looking to earn one of three automatic berths via the 2023 Copa America Femenina or one of two berths into the 10-team playoff tournament that will produce the last three teams for the World Cup tournament.
- The USA has faced Korea Republic 13 times and has an all-time 10-0-3 record in the series.
- The most recent meetings with South Korea were in the final games for former head coach Jill Ellis and came after the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The USA won 2-0 in Charlotte, N.C. and drew 1-1 in Chicago in October of 2019.
- South Korea has qualified out of Asia for the past two Women’s World Cups and will be looking to book a place in Australia/New Zealand via the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.
- Asia will get five berths into the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup along with host Australia. Asia will also get two spots in the 10-team playoff tournament which will produce the last three teams for the World Cup tournament.
- Co-host New Zealand will get the lone automatic berth from Oceania, which also gets one spot into the playoff tournament.
- The USWNT will be playing its fifth match at FirstEnergy Stadium, its first-ever game at TQL Stadium, its fifth match at Children’s Mercy Park and its second match at Allianz Stadium.
- The return to Minnesota marks a return to the roots of the U.S. Women’s National Team program. The USWNT played its first nine domestic games in Blaine, Minnesota over 1986 (2 games), 1987 (4 games) and 1990 (3 games) at what was then the Blaine Soccer Complex and then the National Sports Center.