The United States enters the Round of 16 on Monday with a match against Spain that kicks off at 9 AM PT. Reign FC’s Megan Rapinoe has 1 goal and 3 assists already for the U.S., while Allie Long has one substitute appearance.
They’ll both have to try to get by an organized Spanish team that includes Reign FC teammate Celia Jimenez Delgado.
Spain and the U.S. have recent history. The two sides faced each other in Spain this January, resulting in a 1-0 win for the USWNT that saw both teams have strong chances on goal. That was actually the only meeting between the two teams until this Round of 16 match.
The 2015 Women’s World Cup was Spain’s first-ever World Cup, and they struggled to make an impact there. After eliminating their longtime coach — in part due to player protests — Spain began to invest more in the women’s game. They focused on growing a league in Spain, where most of their national team stars now play.
The results have been swift and positive. Spain advanced to the Round of 16 easily, beating South Africa 3-1, falling just 1-0 to Germany, and drawing with China. They dominate teams in possession and do all the little things really well — movement off the ball, pulling defenders, etc. The one thing that Spain has struggled to do is shoot. If they can put that piece together on Monday, it could spell trouble for the U.S.
What to Watch
- Defensive pressure: The U.S. defense — in particular along the flanks — hasn’t been tested much this tournament. Can they stay organized against a much tougher Spanish side?
- Containing Hermoso: Spain forward/midfielder Jenni Hermoso scored a team-leading seven goals in World Cup qualifying. She has two goals already, but hasn’t been as dangerous as expected. She can be ruthless in the final third, though, so the U.S. will have to contain her.
- Impact players: This feels like a game where the score might be tight for the first 50 minutes. Substitutes could play a huge role if that happens. Who does Jill Ellis rely on off the bench?
7' - Pinoe buries an early PK!
9' - Spain answers right back on a defensive mistake
76’ - Rapinoe buries her second penalty!
It wasn’t pretty, but the U.S. grit out a 2-1 win over Spain and advance to the quarterfinals, where they’ll take on France.
How to Watch
Spain v. United States
Location: Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims
Date and time: June 24, 2019, 9 AM PT
TV: FS1 (English), Telemundo (Spanish)
Streaming: Fox Sports Go (App/Website), Telemundo (App/Website), Fubo TV (affiliate link)
Sweden v. Canada
This is your World Cup knockout phase gamethread. Watch and discuss with us.