USWNT on TV: Friendlies vs. Portugal (29-Aug-2019, 03-Sept-2019)

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
Channel: ESPN2

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).

 

OPPONENT NOTES:

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

Source: https://www.fpf.pt/Portals/0/Mapa_AF_novo.pdf
(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)

Twitter: @selecaoportugal

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)

PAST MATCH-UPS

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)

ADDITIONAL READING: