Tonight the USWNT takes on Brazil at CenturyLink Field, and the match will be notable for a number of reasons. First, it's the first time the US women have played a match here in over 13 years — their last appearance here was in a Gold Cup match in 2002 at Safeco Field.
Second, it's one of the few matches in the team's 10-game 'victory tour' that's actually against a quality opponent. The rest of the tour features competition the likes of Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica, and (thanks to Australia pulling out at the last moment) Haiti. In fairness, they will face China at the end of the year, but Brazil is unquestionably the toughest opponent they'll face in the tour. If there's any chance of the team testing themselves during the tour it'll be tonight and in the rematch in Orlando this weekend.
Third, and maybe most important, this match might represent the pivot from focusing on the past to focusing on the future. The tour is billed as a means to both celebrate the team's World Cup victory and prepare for the Olympics, but thus far we've seen a lot more of the former than the latter, as the only players playing were those in Canada, including some we know won't be around next summer.
But for this series Jill Ellis has finally called up some new blood — including Sam Mewis and the uncapped Jaelene Hinkle. It's not the Keelin Winters or Bev Yanez callup we've been waiting for, but it's a start.
Coverage starts tonight at 7PM on ESPN2, or on WatchESPN. Join us as we cheer on Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe and celebrate the team's return to the Emerald City.