The United States kick off their 2015 World Cup with a match against Australia today. Thousands of fans are expected to have made the short trip to Canada to cheer on the squad. Led by manager Jillian Ellis, Sydney Leroux, Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, and Ali Krieger, they hope to win their first World Cup since triumphing in 1999. Although Morgan and Rapinoe are currently injured, the squad is very deep (especially at forward) and includes skilled back ups such as Christen Press and Amy Rodriguez.
The team has not been without controversy, as mercurial goalkeeper Hope Solo is back in the news. A report was recently released detailing her domestic violence arrest last summer and US Soccer's lack of interest in punishing or even investigating their player. However, Ellis commented, "That was a long time ago. We've moved on."
The USWNT will also play Sweden on June 12th and Nigeria on June 16th during the group stage.
Australia, managed by Alen Stajcic, is led by strikers Lisa De Vanna and Michelle Heyman. They are 0-22-2 all-time against the United States and have been outscored 83-20. The two countries last played in 2013, with the United States winning, 4-0. This is Australia's sixth appearance at the Women's World Cup. They reached the quarterfinals in 2007 and 2011.
SCORE PREDICTION: 4-2 United States win
WHO United States vs Australia
WHERE Winnipeg Stadium, Winnipeg, Canada
WHEN 7:30 p.m., Monday, June 8th
TELEVISION Fox Sports 1, NBC Universo
FREE ONLINE STREAMING Fox Sports 2GO, Fox Sports GO, NBC Universo NOW, NBC Deportes En Vivo Extra
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), 21-Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), 1-Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (8): 16-Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), 6-Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), 19-Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), 22-Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), 11-Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), 3-Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 7-Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), 14-Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), 17-Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), 12-Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), 10-Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), 9-Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): 2-Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash), 13-Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), 23-Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), 8-Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), 20-Abby Wambach (unattached)
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Lydia Williams (Canberra United), 18-Melissa Barbieri (Adelaide United), 21-Mackenzie Arnold (Perth Glory)
DEFENDERS (8): 4-Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar), 5-Laura Alleway (Brisbane Roar), 6-Servet Uzunlar (Sydney FC), Stephanie Catley (Melbourne Victory), 8-Elise Kellond-Knight (Brisbane Roar), 14-Alanna Kennedy (Perth Glory), 15-Teresa Polias (Sydney FC), 16-Hayley Raso (Brisbane Roar),
MIDFIELDERS (4): 10-Emily van Egmond (Newcastle Jets), 13-Tameka Butt (Brisbane Roar), 19-Katrina Gorry (Brisbane Roar), 22-Nicola Bolger (Sydney FC)
FORWARDS (8): 2-Larissa Crummer (Brisbane Roar), 3-Ashleigh Sykes (Canberra United), 9-Caitlin Foord (Perth Glory), 11-Lisa de Vanna (Melbourne Victory), 12-Leena Khamis (Sydney FC), 17-Kyah Simon (Sydney FC), 20-Samantha Kerr (Perth Glory), 23-Michelle Heyman (Canberra United)