Today brings the US Women's first match since their World Cup final victory in July — and with it our chance to find out whether this 10 game 'victory tour' will be forward-looking or backward-looking. A backward looking tour would feature lots of minutes for Abby Wambach and Christie Rampone, lots of waving to the crowd, and very little information about what direction the national team is moving in for the new World Cup cycle. A forward-looking tour would feature some new, or at least new-ish, faces. That might include Crystal Dunn, or a Mewis, or even the Reign's Keelin Winters.
For the first match of the tour, it looks like we're backward-looking. The official roster includes Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux, both of whom are out with long-term injuries. So not even inability to play will prevent Jill Ellis from naming her World Cup squad again.
Regardless of the lineup or the tactics, the US will be heavily favored as the World champions playing at home. The sacrificial opponent for this one is Costa Rica, who themselves had a good showing in their first ever World Cup. They just missed out on advancing out of the group after drawing Spain and South Korea. They will be led, if she's available, by Shirley Cruz, who plays her club soccer for PSG.
The goal here is capitalizing on the team's booming popularity to fill US Soccer's coffers, getting some field time for some legends who are moving on, and hopefully not getting anyone hurt.
How to Watch
Time/Date: Sunday, August 16, 11:00 am PT
Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
TV: Fox Sports 1
Online: FOX Sports Go