USWNT Sets Daunting 2019 Schedule To Prep For World Cup

The USWNT will play six of the top 12 teams in the world.

The U.S. women’s national team should be prepared for the World Cup when June rolls around — the 2019 USWNT schedule is loaded. 

U.S. Soccer released the USWNT’s schedule in the lead-up to the 2019 World Cup on Thursday and the reigning world champions will face off against at least six teams ranked in the top 12 of FIFA’s world rankings. The team will play 10 matches in 10 different cities ahead of the World Cup, which begins on June 7.

The 2019 USWNT schedule features eight matches on home soil and two in Europe. Nine of the 10 matches are set in stone, while the opponent for one (slated for St. Louis) has yet to be determined. 

The schedule was created before the World Cup draw, which is Saturday. While six of the opponents are nations the USWNT cannot face in the group stage of the World Cup, namely teams ranked in the top six and those that didn't qualify, four teams — Japan, Brazil, Spain and South Africa — are possible opponents. The St. Louis match will be determined after the draw. 

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“This schedule checks a lot of important boxes in our preparation for the World Cup,” USWNT coach Jill Ellis said on the U.S. Soccer website. “We’ll get to experience a variety of teams in regard to their strengths and styles of play and almost all of them will be in their World Cup preparation as well. We are playing tough games in Europe, which is vitally important, and also get to play in front of our home fans at venues all across the USA. It will go fast, but these games will be a major factor in pushing us to be at our peak once we arrive in France next summer.”

The slate kicks off against World Cup host France in LeHavre, France, a matchup of two World Cup favorites. That’s followed by a trip to Alicante, Spain, to face a team that could surprise a few people in France this summer.

From there, all the matches are in the U.S., including Japan, England, Brazil and Australia, all of which are ranked in the top eight in the world. The Japan, England and Brazil matches are part of the SheBelieves Cup. 

A send-off series starts on May 12 against South Africa and concludes with a match against Mexico in New Jersey.

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The USWNT went undefeated in 2018, going 18-0-2, including winning its final 10. Ellis’ group increased its unbeaten streak to 28 (25 of which were wins). The USWNT reached 500 wins all time in the process, making its mark as one of the winningest sports programs ever.

2019 USWNT Schedule

Jan. 19
France, 2:30 p.m. ET, Stade Océane; Le Havre, France

Jan. 22
Spain, 2:30 p.m. ET, Estadio José Rico Perez; Alicante, Spain

Feb. 27 (She Believes Cup)
Japan, 7 p.m. ET, Talen Energy Stadium; Chester, Pa.

March 2 (She Believes Cup)
England, 3:30 p.m. CT, Nissan Stadium; Nashville, Tenn.

March 5 (She Believes Cup)
Brazil, 8 p.m. ET, Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.

April 4
Australia, 7 p.m. MT, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.

April 7
Belgium, 6 p.m. PT, Banc of California Stadium; Los Angeles, Calif.

May 12 (Send-Off Series)
South Africa, 1:30 p.m. PT, Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, Calif.

May 16 (Send-Off Series)
TBA (based on WWC Draw), 7 p.m. CT, Busch Stadium; St. Louis, Mo.

May 26 (Send-Off Series)
Mexico, 12 p.m. ET, Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.

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