The United States will be looking to bounce back against #8 Brazil. After both teams dropped points in the opening round of the Tournament of Nations, they should be primed and ready to pick up all three points. Kickoff for this match will be at 5 p.m. PT and will be broadcasted on ESPN2 from Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.
While there is a mix of veterans and new faces on the field, it was interesting to see who made the starting XI against Australia. Taylor Smith earned her first cap for the U.S. on Thursday.
(Bold designates starting XI against Australia.)
• Goalkeepers: Alyssa Naeher, Jane Campbell, Abby Smith
• Defenders: Becky Sauerbrunn, Ali Krieger, Kelley O’Hara, Julie Ertz, Abby Dahlkemper, Casey Short, Taylor Smith.
• Midfielders: Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Morgan Brian, Allie Long, Samantha Mewis, Margaret Purce.
• Forwards: Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn, Christen Press, Sydney Leroux, Mallory Pugh, Lindsey Horan, Lynn Williams.
Brazil has a number of familiar faces on the roster with six players currently playing their club soccer in the NWSL. The Brazilians are coached by Emily Lima. In 34 games against the U.S., Brazil has not had much success with a record of 3-26-5. The oldest player on the roster is Bruna Benites at 31 years old while Gabi Nunes is the youngest at just 20 years old.
(Bold designates starting XI against Japan.)
• Goalkeepers: Bárbara, Dani Neuhaus,
• Defenders: Letícia, Andreia Rosa, Bruna Benites, Monica, Jucinara, Maurine, Tamires
• Midfielders: Andressinha, Fran, Djenifer, Maria, Bia Zaneratto
• Forwards: Gabi Nunes, Camila, Debinha, Chu, Ludmila, Marta
The last time these two met was in late 2015 for a pair of friendlies on the United States’ World Cup victory tour. The first game was a 1-1 draw. In the second, the U.S. pulled out a victory by a score of 3-1.
The last time the U.S. and Brazil faced off in tournament play was the 2011 thriller at the World Cup in Germany. The U.S. tied the game late in extra time on an Abby Wambach header in the 122nd minute. They then went on to win on penalty kicks, 5-3.
For the United States, this is about not losing to another Top 10 opponent at home this year. So far, the U.S. has lost four straight at home to teams in the top 10 of the FIFA World Rankings. After a disjointed and overall disappointing performance against Australia in game one of the Tournament of Nations, it’s important that the U.S. comes out with a solid game plan to stop the skilled Brazilian side. While the rest of the lineup is unclear, Jill Ellis has said that Alyssa Naeher will be in net for all three Tournament of Nation games.
As for the Brazilians, a late game equalizer from Camila in the 87’ salvaged a point. Look for the very skilled and fast forwards and midfielders of Brazil to get up and down the sidelines to really put pressure on the outside backs of the United States. With so many familiar faces on the Brazilian side, matchups against their NWSL teammates and opponents should be fun to see. Marta is always a player to watch for Brazil, but also keep an eye out for the technical abilities of Andressinha and Debinha.