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USA v. Australia: How to watch and match preview

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An important test before the World Cup.

Soccer: Tournament of Nations Women’s Soccer-USA at Australia David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

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?

Lineups

Highlights

14’ - Alex Morgan scores her 100th U.S. goal on a great individual play!

29’ - Annnnd Lisa De Vanna equalizes for Australia. Not sure what Emily Sonnett was doing there defensively ... or where the midfield was.

47’ - Whoopsie. Some great individual play now from Caitlin Foord, who puts Australia up 2-1.

53’ - Tobin Heath equalizes for the U.S.!

60’ - WHAT A GOAL, MEGAN RAPINOE!

67’ - About 30 seconds after coming on for Rapinoe, Mallory Pugh puts the U.S. up 4-2.

81’ - Oh, you thought the goals were over? Sam Kerr scores her first goal against the U.S. 4-3 now.

95’ - What a ball by Alyssa Naeher, and cheeky chip from Pugh. 5-3 USA!

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
TV: FS1
Streaming: FoxSportsGo

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