The second annual Tournament of Nations wraps up on Thursday evening with the third and final game of the one-week tournament. The tournament concludes with two games, the first between Australia and Japan — a rematch of the Asian Cup final in April — and the second a battle between the U.S. and Brazil.
From a Seattle Reign FC perspective, Lydia Williams and Australia could claim the trophy with a win, as long as they have a larger goal differential than Megan Rapinoe, Allie Long, and the U.S. Australia looks to be in strong form after their first two games, but they struggled earlier this year against Japan. Could a young Japanese side that has really struggled this tournament be the one to stop Australia’s dangerous attack?
Naho Kawasumi has played a limited role for Japan, subbing on in the first match against the U.S. Rumi Utsugi, a key part of Japan’s defensive organization, was a late scratch as she recovers from a calf strain.
For the U.S., Megan Rapinoe has played a big role in both matches. She has a goal and two assists in her 164 minutes. Despite the fact that her crosses and set pieces were not quite connecting in the second match against Australia, it was Rapinoe’s corner kick assist in the 90th minute that allowed the team to walk away with a draw. Allie Long, meanwhile, hasn’t stepped onto the field so far this tournament. As Jill Ellis experiments with her midfield, this could be the game Reign FC fans see Long feature.
Hopefully, Rapinoe gets a bit of a rest today, as Reign FC has an important NWSL match against the Washington Spirit on Sunday, August 5 (that match is at home, by the way. See you there?).
Heading into Thursday, the USA and Australia are currently tied on points with four each atop the group in this four-team tournament. They are also tied on goal difference (both teams are at plus-2), but the U.S. has a slight edge in goals scored with five to the Matildas four.
How to Watch
Australia v. Japan
Time/Date: Thursday, August 2, 2:45 PM PT
USA v. Brazil
Time/Date: Thursday, August 2, 5:30 PM PT
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
This is your Reign-focused Tournament of Nations gamethread. Watch and discuss with us.