Matildas to face US Women’s National Team in two-match Australian series in 2021, after upcoming game in Utah


Posted

February 13, 2020 11:01:29

The Matildas will face the United States Womens National Team (USWNT) three times in the next two years, Football Federation Australia has confirmed.

Key points:

  • The Matildas will get a chance to host the US Women’s National Team for the first time in 19 years, with a two-match series in November 2021
  • Before then, Australia will take on the US and Canada in April as prep for a possible Olympic Games campaign
  • Australia’s Sam Kerr and USWNT’s Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz are nominated for the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year award

The Australian women’s soccer team will take on the 2019 World Cup winners in Utah in April before hosting a two-match series in November 2021.

April’s match in the United States will be played at a 20,000-capacity stadium in Utah on April 10 (local time), and will come as the first leg of a North American series which includes a clash against Canada at BC Place in Vancouver on April 14 (local time).

FFA will make further announcements regarding the November 2021 home series in due course.

“It is important we focus on the job we have to do to qualify for Tokyo 2020 however, should we be successful in our aim to reach the Olympics playing the USA, as well as Canada, this April will form a key part of our preparations,” Matildas head coach Ante Milicic said.

“Securing two matches in Australia against the US next year is also a major milestone for football in Australia and will provide our players with strong opposition as they embark on the next AFC Women’s Asian Cup and FIFA Women’s World Cup cycle.”

Australia hosted the US in two matches in 2000 in Adelaide and Newcastle, and three games in 1997 in Melbourne, Bathurst, and Canberra.

FFA chief executive James Johnson said he expected the matches next year to draw significant interest.

“We very much look forward to welcoming some of the best players in the world to our shores next year,” he said.

“We’re anticipating that states and territories, cities and stadiums alike will display a keen interest in securing hosting rights to these fixtures as the Matildas test themselves against truly world-class opposition.”

The Matildas achieved a record crowd for one of their games against Chile in Parramatta in 2019, and the US series could well see that mark of 20,029 broken.

Two stars who will take each other on in the Australian series are United States striker Megan Rapinoe and Matildas star Sam Kerr.

Before then, however, the pair will compete for the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year title, after both were shortlisted for the award.

Rapinoe was the Golden Boot at last year’s World Cup and won the 2019 Ballon d’Or.

Kerr was top-scorer in both the W-League (for Perth Glory) and the NSWL (for Chicago Red Stars) before her recent high-profile move to FA Women’s Super League club Chelsea.

This is the third straight year the Australian has been in contention for the award, which was introduced in 2015.

In 2018, she was nominated alongside the eventual winner, England right-back Lucy Bronze, who plays club football for French powerhouse team Lyon.

Last year the top honour went to Norwegian player Ada Hegerberg, who also plays for Lyon ā€” it was her second time to win the award after her initial victory in 2017.

The other three players up against Kerr and Rapinoe this year are Bronze, US midfielder Julie Ertz and Dutch forward Vivianne Miedema.

BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year winners

  • 2015: Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria and Liverpool)
  • 2016: Kim Little (Scotland and Seattle Reign)
  • 2017: Ada Hegerberg (Norway and Lyon)
  • 2018: Lucy Bronze (England and Lyon)
  • 2019: Ada Hegerberg (Lyon)

AAP/ABC

Topics:

sport,

soccer,

australia,

united-states





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