The United States Women’s National Team’s Victory Tour for winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup continues this Thursday, in Philadelphia, with the first of two matches against 30th-ranked Portugal, followed by another match on Tuesday, September 3rd, in Saint Paul Minnesota.
DETAILS: International Friendlies vs. Portugal
When: Thursday, August 29, 2019
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Kick-Off: 7:05 PM EDT
TV Window: 6:30 PM EDT to 9:00PM EDT (half hour of pre-game coverage)
Channel: Fox Sports 1 (FS1)
When: Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Where: Allianz Field, Saint Paul, Minnesota
TV Window: 8:00 PM EDT to 10:00PM EDT
USWNT ROSTER: It’s a Victory Tour match, so the the roster would normally be limited to this year’s WWC roster. However due to injuries, outside back Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars) and uncapped forward Kristen Hamilton (North Carolina Courage) have both been called in.
USWNT INJURIES/ABSENCES: Megan Rapinoe (out – left Achilles), Ali Krieger (out – family commitment), Kelley O’Hara (out, most likely – ankle), Alex Morgan (questionable – concussion protocol), Rose Lavelle (questionable – “general head”), Morgan Brian (questionable – left thigh), Alyssa Naeher (questionable – left thigh), Mallory Pugh (questionable – right hip). (Sources: U.S. Soccer, NWSL injury reports)
USWNT STARTING LINE-UP: As Carli Lloyd grew up less than twenty miles from Philadelphia, in Delran, New Jersey, expect her to start, most likely as the center forward. Likewise, Julie Ertz, whose husband plays for the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL, is also probably a lock for a starting position.
WHAT TO EXPECT: The USWNT should win relatively comfortably, although Portugal does have the potential for an upset, as they have two victories against Top Ten teams in the past two years, against Sweden (Algarve Cup 2019) and Australia (Algarve Cup 2018), so they are a team to be taken seriously. This match should be somewhat more competitive than the one against Ireland, though that might not be reflected in the final scoreline. Also, given the number of injuries, a lack of interplay familiarity between the USWNT players could stifle scoring opportunities and cause more defensive errors.
The USWNT last played Portugal in just this past November, in Portugal. Although the USA dominated possession 65% to 35%, the USA only managed a 1:0 victory, with the lone goal via Jessica McDonald who deflected a defender’s clearance of her shot into the goal (highlights below).
Portugal’s Roster (sorted by postion, then by senior WNT appearances (“caps”)
Short Name D.O.B. Age Pos Club Caps Patrícia Morais 06/17/1992 27.2 GK Sporting CP (POR) 59 Inês Pereira 05/26/1999 20.3 GK Sporting CP (POR) 12 Rute Costa 06/01/1994 25.2 GK SC Braga (POR) 4 Sílvia Rebelo 05/20/1989 30.3 DF SL Benfica (POR) 91 Mónica Mendes 06/16/1993 26.2 DF AC Milan (ITA) 51 Matilde Fidalgo 05/15/1994 25.3 DF Man. City FC (ENG) 42 Raquel Infante 09/19/1990 28.9 DF SL Benfica (POR) 21 Joana Marchão 10/24/1996 22.8 DF Sporting CP (POR) 4 Ágata Pimenta 05/17/1995 24.3 DF SC Braga (POR) 2 Cláudia Neto 04/18/1988 31.4 MF VfL Wolfsburg (GER) 120 Dolores Silva 08/07/1991 28.1 MF SC Braga (POR) 106 Vanessa Marques 04/12/1996 23.4 MF SC Braga (POR) 67 Tatiana Pinto 03/28/1994 25.4 MF Sporting CP (POR) 55 Fátima Pinto 01/16/1996 23.6 MF Sporting CP (POR) 42 Andreia Norton 08/15/1996 23.0 MF FC Inter Milan (ITA) 32 Mélissa Gomes 04/27/1994 25.3 MF Stade De Reims (FRA) 9 Diana Gomes 07/26/1998 21.1 MF SC Braga (POR) 8 Inês Maia 06/17/1999 20.2 MF SC Braga (POR) 0 Ana Borges 06/15/1990 29.2 FW Sporting CP (POR) 114 Carolina Mendes 11/27/1987 31.8 FW Sporting CP (POR) 86 Jéssica Silva 12/11/1994 24.7 FW Oly. Lyon (FRA) 63 Ana Leite 10/23/1991 27.8 FW BV Borussia Bocholt (GER) 62 Diana Silva 06/04/1995 24.2 FW Sporting CP (POR) 52
(Note: Current career goal information is not readily available.)
Website: https://www.fpf.pt/selecoes/futebol-feminino/selecao-a (frequent news updates, some video highlights, no online roster)
FIFA Women’s Rankings: Portugal is currently ranked 30th in the FIFA Women’s Rankings and 19th in UEFA.
Head Coach: Francisco Neto (age 38). Neto has helmed Portugal since February 2014.
Last Match Played: April 9, 2019. A 4:1 friendly victory over Hungary. This was the second of two friendlies played against Hungary in Portugal.
Portugal’s line-up for the match: Rute Costa, Ana Leite (Ana Borges, 46 ‘), Diana Gomes, Carole Costa, Joana Marchão (Agata Pimenta, 87′), Rafaela Lopes (Tatiana Pinto, 46 ’), Vanessa Marques, Dolores Silva, Andreia Norton ( Laura Luís, 67 ‘), Diana Silva (Claudia Neto, 67’), Carolina Mendes (Jessica Silva, 58 ‘).
Goals were scored by Diana Silva (13′), Carolina Mendes (45′), Vanessa Marques (83′), and Claudia Neto (90+5’). (Portugal’s match report)
A few days earlier, in the first friendly, Portugal came back from a 0:1 half-time deficit to beat Hungary 2:1, with the winning goal coming in stoppage time from Monica Mendes (90+4′). Vanessa Marques, a half-time substitute, scored the earlier goal in the 71st minute.
Recent Form: In the 2019 Algarve Cup, Portugal shocked Sweden with a 2:1 stoppage time victory (Portugal’s article/report, Sweden’s article and match report). Portugal held Sweden scoreless until the 68th when an untouched lofted free kick found the back of Portugal’s net. Portugal equalized three minutes later. Then, in the fourth minute of stoppage time, the veteran Claudia Neto, scored the game-winner. (Highlights below) In the next two matches, Portugal lost 1:3 to Switzerland (after scoring first, in the 27th minute) and then lost 1:4 to Iceland.
In the Past – 2019 WWC Qualifying: Portugal finished third in their group, behind group winner Italy and Belgium, who lost in the first play-off round to Switzerland. Out of their eight matches, Portugal only won three, though they did tie Belgium 1:1 and had narrow 0:1 losses to both Italy and Belgium, earlier. (UEFA)
What’s Ahead – Women’s Euro 2021 Qualifying: Portugal are hoping to return to the Women’s Euro in 2021, after taking the final qualification spot for 2017 via a play-off win against Romania. Portugal, who are grouped with Scotland, Finland, Albania, and Cyprus, have a decent chance to secure the runner-up spot in the group. Scotland should win the group, though not decisively. Portugal’s main opponent for the second spot is Finland, who were in the higher draw pot (due to UEFA Coefficient ranking), but are now a hair behind Portugal in the FIFA Women’s Rankings.
College Connections: Mónica Mendes (University of Texas at Brownsville, now University of Texas Rio Grande Valley)
Date Result Score Attendance 11/08/2018 Win 1-0 980 03/13/2001 Win 2-0 250 03/12/2000 Win 7-0* 250 01/30/1999 Win 6-0 5152 01/27/1999 Win 7-0* Closed 03/16/1995 Win 3-0 n/a 03/16/1994 Win 5-0 2000
*Hat tricks: Cindy Parlow (2000), Kristine Lilly (1999)