A number of Reign FC players could feature in a match tonight between the United States women’s national team and Australia. The game, which airs on FS1, will begin at 6:30 PM PT — with pregame commentary starting at 6.
Both Megan Rapinoe and Allie Long were called in for the U.S., while Steph Catley, Lydia Williams, and Elise Kellond-Knight got the call for Australia. Catley will be rested tonight for Australia due to some calf tightness, which doesn’t sound serious. Goalkeeper Williams and midfielder Kellond-Knight will get some playing time.
The United States has not defeated Australia since 2015. The USWNT lost to the Matildas for the first time in the Tournament of Nations in 2017 — a match that took place at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Last year, the U.S. came from behind in the waning moments to earn a 1-1 draw, with Rapinoe notching the match-tying assist.
Australia is a country on the rise in women’s soccer, boasting talent on all levels of the field, including one of the best strikers in the world, Sam Kerr, and one of the best goalkeepers around the globe, Reign FC’s Williams. They are a team that can play direct with speed, or move the ball through a possession-focused attack.
While the team is dangerous, they entered the year with uncertainty — losing longtime coach Alen Stajcic in January of this year. Ante Milicic became the new head coach in late February. Milicic was an assistant coach for Australia’s men’s team at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups, as well as an assistant and head coach for the Australia U-20 and U-23 MNTs, but he had never coached a women’s team.
The U.S., while still the top-ranked team, are in a different stage of identity development. After an unsettling midfield performance during the SheBelieves Cup in March, the U.S. has Lindsey Horan back from injury. The Americans continue to struggle against teams that bunker and dictating the midfield. With Horan back, head coach Jill Ellis has a much easier task. But with such a talented set of players on the roster, this feels like a team that should be further along.
Playing a strong side like Australia is going to be an important test for the U.S. There are only four additional matches for the USWNT prior to the World Cup, which kicks off June 7. The experimentation should be over at this point — it’s not about finding ways to dictate matches. Can the U.S. do that tonight and keep players like Kerr quiet?
14’ - Alex Morgan scores her 100th U.S. goal on a great individual play!
ALEX MORGAN HAS DONE IT!!!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 5, 2019
She scores her 100th goal for the USWNT and puts on pic.twitter.com/OlG6vf4HtF
29’ - Annnnd Lisa De Vanna equalizes for Australia. Not sure what Emily Sonnett was doing there defensively ... or where the midfield was.
And just like that we're tied!!!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 5, 2019
Lisa De Vanna sends it home and levels the score for Australia. pic.twitter.com/Vk1Bqy7KLH
47’ - Whoopsie. Some great individual play now from Caitlin Foord, who puts Australia up 2-1.
Not the start to the second half the USWNT wanted— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 5, 2019
Caitlin Foord finds the back of the net and puts Australia up 2-1. pic.twitter.com/Pwy5pPoCs9
53’ - Tobin Heath equalizes for the U.S.!
TOBIN HEATH TIES IT!!!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 5, 2019
She scores for the third-straight game for the USWNT and levels the score pic.twitter.com/3KVoxcjoKO
60’ - WHAT A GOAL, MEGAN RAPINOE!
WHAT A GOAL BY RAPINOE— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 5, 2019
She puts back on pic.twitter.com/jbHiZFdFh5
67’ - About 30 seconds after coming on for Rapinoe, Mallory Pugh puts the U.S. up 4-2.
66': Mallory Pugh comes on as a sub— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 5, 2019
67': Mallory Pugh scores
She puts the USWNT up by 2 pic.twitter.com/uvnw4Wm9P7
81’ - Oh, you thought the goals were over? Sam Kerr scores her first goal against the U.S. 4-3 now.
What a header by Sam Kerr— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 5, 2019
Australia now sit just one goal back with ten minutes to play. pic.twitter.com/ySwe01uAdv
95’ - What a ball by Alyssa Naeher, and cheeky chip from Pugh. 5-3 USA!
That's how you finish it off!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 5, 2019
Pugh chips the keeper for her 2nd and the USWNT's 5th goal, with the assist going to Alyssa Naeher! pic.twitter.com/c17L1F3LnN
Full time: In an offensive showdown, the U.S. come from a 2-1 deficit to take down Australia 5-3. Not a scoreline many predicted!
How to Watch
Date/Time: Thursday, April 4, 6 PM PT (kickoff closer to 6:30)
Location: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce, Colorado
Join the Discussion
This is your USA v. Australia gamethread. Watch and discuss with us.