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USA v. Australia, Tournament of Nations: match preview, schedule, how to watch

It’s another Reign v. Reign battle, as Megan Rapinoe and Allie Long face off against Lydia Williams.

2018 Tournament Of Nations: Japan v United States Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

On Sunday at 4 PM PT, the United States kicks off against Australia in game two of the Tournament of Nations. The match will air on FS1 around the time the Seattle Sounders match concludes, and the game should feature Seattle Reign FC stars Megan Rapinoe, Allie Long, and Lydia Williams. Our thoughts are with Steph Catley, who left the Tournament of Nations to be home with family in Australia after her dad passed away.

Both sides are early contenders to take home the trophy in the second annual international tournament, which Australia won last year. While the U.S. lacked a cohesive midfield unit in their opening match, their attack showed up when it mattered and the team managed a comfortable 4-2 victory. Rapinoe contributed a goal and assist in the U.S. win. Australia, meanwhile, dominated Brazil and left Kansas City with a 3-1 win. Williams got the start in goal.

Before the U.S. play on Sunday, Naho Kawasumi, Rumi Utsugi, and Japan will face off against Brazil. That match begins at 1:15 PM PT and will stream at USSoccer.com. Kawasumi was a late sub against the U.S., while Utsugi was rested as she recovers from a calf strain.

What to Watch

  • Who controls the midfield? Last year, Australia earned its first ever win against the United States in the Tournament of Nations. Much of that was due to their dominating play in the midfield, where they were better in duels and in ball movement. The U.S. midfield looked flat against Japan, but didn’t get punished for it. The team needs more defined roles in this spot — and someone willing to push the attack and pressure higher up the field defensively. Can they find that person today?
  • Sam Kerr. She is dominating the NWSL right now and looks to be in great form for country as well. Kerr stretches defenses and loves to make bending runs in behind centerbacks. Will the evolving U.S. backline be able to contain her? Australia has a lot of speed in addition to Kerr. If Crystal Dunn gets another start at left back, this should be a bigger test for her.
  • Set pieces: Australia and the U.S. can both be a threat on set pieces, with Lindsey Horan and Australia’s Alanna Kennedy being the players to watch. Like this year’s World Cup, set pieces could be the difference maker in the match.
  • Player rotation: U.S. coach Jill Ellis is trying to determine her best lineup as the U.S. head into World Cup qualifiers in October. She’s already said she has no plans to rotated goalkeepers this tournament. So where is she still trying to tinker? Expect to see some new faces in the starting XI, especially in the midfield.

How to Watch

Japan v. Brazil

Date/Time: Sunday, July 29, 1:15 PM PT
Location: Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field; East Hartford, Conn.
TV: None
Streaming: USSoccer.com

USA v. Australia

Date/Time: Sunday, July 29, 4 PM PT
Location: Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field; East Hartford, Conn.
TV: FS1
Streaming: Fox Sports Go

This is your Reign FC-focused Tournament of Nations gamethread. Watch and discuss with us.