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USWNT will take on China in pair of June friendlies

Alyssa Naeher and the USWNT will take on China in a pair of friendlies this June (photo copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Today, U.S. Soccer announced that the USWNT will face China PR in a pair of friendly matches this summer at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on Thursday, June 7 and at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday, June 12. This marks the first USWNT match against China since late in 2015.

The game at Rio Tinto will be the first USWNT game in Utah since the establishment of the Utah Royals FC, the newest expansion team to join the NWSL. Both games will be broadcast nationally, with the first on FS1 set to kick off at 9 p.m. EDT (7 p.m. MDT) and the second game on ESPN2 set to kick off at 7 p.m. EDT. The pair of international matches against China will see the USWNT return to action after another set of two games against Mexico scheduled for April in Houston and Jacksonville.

The USA and China have met 56 times in history. China PR is the second most played against opponent (Canada) for the USWNT. The USWNT played two consecutive world finals against China in the 1990s, winning in the 1996 Olympic gold medial game and then taking the victory again three years later in the historic penalty kick shootout that decided the 1999 Women’s World Cup. In more recent history, the last meeting between these two sides saw the USWNT fall on the opposite side of the result than what they had been typically used to. China defeated the USWNT 1-0 at the Superdome in New Orleans which was historic for two reasons: the first, it was legendary striker’s Abby Wambach’s final game, and the second reason was because the loss for the USWNT ended a 104-match home unbeaten streak dating back to 2004.

On the set of friendlies, Ellis said: “Obviously there’s a great history between the countries and we always enjoy the matches against China. They bring a level of technical skill and tactical savvy that challenges us, which is what we need as we continue to prepare for World Cup qualifying in the fall.”

Tickets for the match in Utah go on sale on Tuesday, April 17. Tickets for Cleveland go on sale a week from today, on Friday, March 30.


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