Wednesday, July 17, 2024

USWNT to close out 2023 with friendlies against China as head coach search continues

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The U.S. women’s national team will face China in a pair of Dec. friendlies to close out the calendar year. The two-game series will take begin on Dec. 2 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and conclude on Dec. 5 in Frisco, Texas. The search is underway for the next USWNT head coach and the December matches could serve as the first games for the eventual new manager.

Interim head coach Twila Kilgore is currently leading the team into the October window. She will be with the team through Oct. and potentially longer, depending on developments on the search. The squad is coming off a pair of victories against South Africa during the September window where Julie Ertz and Megan Rapinoe played their final USWNT games. Mia Fishel and M.A. Vignola made their first-ever USWNT appearances during the friendlies.

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The October friendlies will take place after the NWSL quarterfinals and the USWNT will play Colombia in a two-game event with matches on Oct. 26 in Sandy, Utah, and Oct. 29 in San Diego, California. The team is currently undefeated in 2023 with 11 wins, three draws, and zero losses. China will be the third 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup opponent the USWNT will face post-tournament. 

China are ranked 15th in the world is coming off a fourth consecutive World Cup appearance. They failed to make it out of the group round that included eventual World Cup runners-up England, Denmark, and Haiti. The Steel Roses are currently preparing for the 2024 AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament where they will compete alongside South Korea, Thailand and North Korea in Group B.

The all-time series against China goes back to 1986 when the two nations first played each other. China are the USWNT’s second-most frequent opponent with Canada as the first. The two nations played against each other in high-stakes matches including the 1996 Olympic gold medal game and the iconic 1999 World Cup final with the U.S. winning on both occasions. 

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