The U.S. Women’s National Team will play its first 2018 Tournament of Nations match on July 26 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas (6 p.m. CT on FS1) against Japan. The tournament’s first game will feature Brazil vs. Australia at 3:15 p.m. CT. U.S. head coach Jill Ellis named a final 23-player tournament roster, including Sky Blue FC’s Carli Lloyd.
After hosting the third SheBelieves Cup last March, U.S. Soccer once again brings some of the world’s top women’s international soccer teams to the USA for the second installment of the Tournament of Nations. The competition features four of the top-eight teams in the world in the top-ranked USA, Japan (6th), Brazil (7th) and Australia (8th).
The USA opened the 2017 Tournament of Nations with a 1-0 loss to Australia, but has not lost since, going 15-0-2 over the past year which includes a 7-0-1 mark in 2018.
The U.S. WNT will use these games as preparation for the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship, which will send three nations to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. After the Tournament of Nations, the USA will have two friendly matches against Chile (Aug. 31 in Los Angeles and Sept. 4in San Jose) before entering World Cup qualifying.
Japan enters the Tournament of Nations unbeaten in its last seven games overall at 5-0-2. Japan has not allowed an opponent to score more than one goal over that span, which includes five games at the AFC Women’s Asia Cup and two friendlies, victories over Ghana (7-1) and New Zealand (3-1). Nadeshiko Japan has already qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup after winning AFC Women’s Asian Cup this past April.
The USA holds an all-time record of 27-1-7 against Japan and has scored 100 goals while allowing 25. The most recent meeting came at least year’s Tournament of Nations with the USA winning 3-0. Megan Rapinoe scored in the 12th minute, and the USA then broke open a tight game with goals from Mallory Pugh in the 60th and Alex Morgan in the 80th.