The 10-game U.S. World Cup Victory Tour continues today in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with another match against Costa Rica. The game comes just three days after the Victory Tour opener in Pittsburgh, where the U.S. defeated Costa Rica 8-0 in front of 44,000 fans, the largest stand-alone attendance on home soil in the history of the USWNT.
The first match provided exactly what U.S. fans wanted in a victory tour: lots of goals for the World Cup champs. Christen Press bagged a hattrick. Heather O'Reilly owned the right flank and scored two goals of her own. Julie Johnston scored the set piece goal that alluded her in the World Cup. And Meghan Klingenberg waved a Steelers Terrible Towel to celebrate her goal in front of hometown fans.
For the Victory Tour kick-off match, Coach Jill Ellis opted to play a number of veteran players, including Christie Rampone and Shannon Boxx, while also giving more playing time to players who weren't regular World Cup starters, like Heather O'Reilly, Ashlyn Harris, and Whitney Engen. Seattle Reign players Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe both represented their country for 45 minutes, and neither player left injured. Let's hope for more of the same today.
The roster in Pittsburgh only included those who were among the 23-player World Cup squad, and it appears today will be more of the same. As the Victory Tour continues, we can likely expect some additional players to get called up, as these friendlies provide a great opportunity to test young talent before the 2016 Olympics.
Today, fans can likely expect more goals against Costa Rica, a team that clearly struggles without their key playmaker, Shirley Cruz, who is currently playing with PSG in Europe.
How to Watch
Date: Wednesday, August 19
Time: 3:30 p.m. PT (pre-game coverage starts at 3:30; the match around 3:55 p.m.)
Location: Finley Stadium, Chattanooga
TV: ESPN 2
This is your Women's World Cup Victory Tour gamethread. Enjoy the goals with us.