It’s finally happening. Reign FC’s Megan Rapinoe, Allie Long, and the United States Women’s National team squares off against France in their much-anticipated quarterfinal matchup. The game kicks off at 12:00 p.m. PT on FOX and is being heralded as a battle between the two best teams in the tournament.
After easily advancing through the group stage, neither team had their best performance in the Round of 16. France got the best of Brazil in extra time, while the U.S. didn’t create as many chances against Spain as expected and got through on two penalties.
France lines up in a 4-4-2, while the U.S. play in a 4-3-3. In the attack, however, France looks more like a 3-5-2, with one outside back pressing high. That means there could be some numerical mismatches and holes for both teams.
What to Watch
Despite their unconvincing performances, these are two world class squads. Here are four things to watch this match.
- Wing play: The U.S. haven’t really been tested on the flanks, although Spain gave them some trouble. France might have some of the best attacking players out wide, from their front line to their outside backs. Amel Majri in particular is a force — making runs from deep and sending dangerous crosses across the face of goal. The holding midfielders are going to need to cover a lot of ground — pulling out wide when France sends numbers forward.
- Counter attack: Because France likes to push players up, that means they’re vulnerable to the counter attack and quick restarts. That’s not necessarily a style of play the U.S. has adopted, but they’d be smart to give it a try with the right personnel.
- Amandine Henry: France’s holding midfielder has had a nearly flawless tournament. She scored the game-winning goal against Brazil and does all the little things right — stops build-ups, finds the pockets of space, keeps possession, and even puts in a goal or two. If the U.S. can keep Henry away from the ball, they can prevent some of France’s build-up.
- Set pieces: France has set-piece extraordinaire Wendie Renard, while the U.S. have a lot of players who can score on free kicks or get their head on a corner. Taking advantage of set piece opportunities is going to be crucial for both sides.
By the Numbers
20 goals scored, 1 goal against
Alex Morgan: 5 goals, 3 assists
Megan Rapinoe: 3 goals, 3 assists
Sam Mewis: 2 goals, 2 assists
9 goals scored, 2 goals against
Wendie Renard: 3 goals
Amandine Henry, Eugenie Le Sommer: 2 goals, 1 assist
Valerie Gauvin: 2 goals
Amel Majri: 3 assists
6’ - Goal, Rapinoe! How that got through everyone? Your guess is as good as mine.
Half-time: The U.S. are up 1-0 thanks to an early Megan Rapinoe goal.
65’ - Goal, Rapinoe! With France applying heavy pressure to get the equalizer, Rapinoe came through with her second goal, finishing off a Tobin Heath cross. Rapinoe now has five goals in the tournament — tied for the Golden Boot lead — and has scored the USA’s last four.
81’ - Goal, Wendie Renard! The USA has been playing with fire much of the match and finally got burned when Renard headed home a free kick to cut the deficit in half.
How to Watch
Location: Parc des Princes, Paris
Date and time: June 28, 2019, 12:00 p.m. PT
TV: FOX (English), Universo (Spanish)
Streaming: Fox Sports Go (App/Website), Telemundo (App/Website), Fubo TV (affiliate link)
This is your USA v. France World Cup gamethread. Watch and discuss with us.