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Eight OL Reign players report for national team duty

Jess Fishlock has two critical World Cup qualifiers with Wales.

Wales v Estonia: Group I - FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Qualifier Photo by Ian Cook - CameraSport via Getty Images

While OL Reign has two weeks off before their next NWSL match, eight players will travel around the globe — representing their countries during a FIFA international break. Most players will be joining their national teams for friendlies, but Jess Fishlock and Wales have two crucial World Cup qualifiers during this period.

Wales closes out their UEFA group-stage matches with games against Greece (Sept. 2) and Slovenia (Sept. 6). Wales currently sits two points in front of Slovenia for the second spot in Group I. While they can’t catch France at the top of their group, Wales needs four points from these games to put themselves into a nine-team playoff.

The UEFA qualifying structure splits countries into nine groups, with six teams in six groups and five teams in three groups. The winners of each group automatically qualify for the World Cup, while the nine second-place teams advance to a playoff in October for the remaining spots. UEFA gets 11 guaranteed spots in the 2023 World Cup, with a potential 12th team that could advance via an inter-confederation playoff.

That makes both games in the next week crucial ones for Fishlock and Wales. Their match against Slovenia is at home, and Wales is close to having 10,000 people in attendance for that game. If they reach that milestone, it would mark Wales women’s first five-figure crowd.

Alana Cook, Sofia Huerta, Rose Lavelle, and Megan Rapinoe have all been called up for two U.S. friendlies against Nigeria. The games will take place on Sept. 3 in Kansas City and Sept. 6 in Washington, D.C. Their first match will air on FOX, with the second one getting shown on ESPN2.

Jordyn Huitema and Quinn have a long flight ahead of them with the Canadian national team, as they head to Australia for two friendlies against the Matildas. Quinn has been recovering from a concussion suffered in their August 14 match against Gotham, but they look to be recovered enough to join Canada for these matches. Canada will play in Brisbane on Sept. 3 and Sydney on Sept. 6, both locations that will host matches in next year’s World Cup. Canada is currently ranked 7th in FIFA’s World Rankings, while Australia is in 12th after some losses in the last year.

Jimena López will join Mexico for a friendly against New Zealand on Sept. 2 and a friendly against Angel City FC on Sept. 5 at Banc of California Stadium.

OL Reign return to play on Friday, Sept. 9, when they host the Chicago Red Stars at Lumen Field. It’s one of just two regular-season home matches remaining for the Reign and should be a good battle — as the two teams are separated by just one point on the league table.

When and How to Watch

Friday, September 2, 2022

Greece v. Wales
10 AM PT
Streaming: BBC Sport Web, BBC iPlayer, BBC Two Wales (may only work in the UK)

Mexico v. New Zealand
Streaming: none

Australia v. Canada
9:45 PM PT
Streaming: fuboTV Canada, OneSoccer (may only work in Canada), ESPN+

Saturday, September 3, 2022

USA v. Nigeria
10 AM PT
Streaming: Fubo TV, Sling TV,

Monday, September 5, 2022

Mexico v. Angel City FC
Streaming: TUDN

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Australia v. Canada
2:40 AM PT
Streaming: fuboTV Canada, OneSoccer (may only work in Canada)

Wales v. Slovenia
11:45 AM PT
Streaming: BBC Sport Web, BBC iPlayer, BBC Two Wales (may only work in the UK)

USA v. Nigeria
Streaming: Fubo TV, Sling TV, WatchESPN

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