Date: April 13, 2021
Venue: Stade Océane; Le Havre, France
Broadcast Time: 3 p.m. ET
Starting XI vs. France: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Capt.), 19-Crystal Dunn; 8-Julie Ertz, 16-Rose Lavelle, 3-Samantha Mewis; 23-Christen Press, 13-Alex Morgan, 15-Megan Rapinoe
Available Subs: 2-Sophia Smith, 9-Lindsey Horan, 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Tierna Davidson, 14-Emily Sonnett, 18-Jane Campbell, 22-Kristie Mewis,
U.S. WNT Starting XI Cap Numbers (including this match): Sauerbrunn (184), Morgan (175), Rapinoe (175), Press (144), O’Hara (136), Dunn (111), Ertz (110), S. Mewis (72), Naeher (69), Dahlkemper (66), Lavelle (53)
The lineup against France features four changes from the Starting XI that took on Sweden Saturday in Stockholm: Abby Dahlkemper replaces Tierna Davidson at center back, Samantha Mewis replaces Lindsey Horan in the midfield, and Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe are on at forward in place of Carli Lloyd and Lynn Williams.
Ten of the 11 starters for today’s game against France started against Les Bleues in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Quarterfinal in Paris, with the only change being Press starting up top in place of Tobin Heath, who was not included in this training camp roster due to injury.
Six of today’s Starting XI also started the January 19, 2019 loss to France in Le Havre – Naeher, Sauerbrunn, Dahlkemper, Dunn, Press and Morgan.
The starting lineup averages 117 caps per player, with seven of the USA’s 11 starters having 100+ caps and every starter having over 50 caps.
Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher will make her 69th international appearance and has 40 clean sheets in her previous 68 caps. Naeher had recorded a clean sheet in each of her last 10 appearances for the USA before allowing a goal against Sweden on April 10. Prior to that, she had not allowed a goal since the 79th minute of the USA’s 3-2 win over Sweden on Nov. 8, 2019, giving her a shutout streak of 949 minutes. Naeher will be looking for her first clean sheet in five appearances against France.
Kelley O’Hara is set to make her second consecutive and fourth start overall in 2021, which will also move her to 136 caps overall with the USWNT. O’Hara made a key play vs. Sweden on April 10, getting cut down on the right edge of the penalty area to earn a penalty kick that was converted by Megan Rapinoe to earn the 1-1 draw. It was her first 90-minute performance for the USA since the finale of the 2020 SheBelieves Cup against Japan on March 12.
Team captain Becky Sauerbrunn is slated to earn her 184th cap and has played every minute for the USA over the last four games. Sauerbrunn ranks 12th in caps in USWNT history and is second among all active players, trailing only Carli Lloyd’s 300 caps. This will be Sauerbrunn’s 11th career game against France, playing every minute of the previous 10 meetings.
Abby Dahlkemper returns to the field for her 66th cap after sitting out the April 10 match vs. Sweden due to a minor knock suffered in training. Including today’s match against France, Dahlkemper has started 59 of her 66 caps, and led the team in total minutes played in both 2019 and 2020.
Crystal Dunn will earn her 111th cap while making her sixth appearance — and fifth start — of 2021. Dunn has faced France six times previously, including a stellar performance in the epic quarterfinal at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
A stalwart in the midfield, Julie Ertz will earn her 109th cap and make her seventh start of 2021, making her the only player to start every game for the USA this year. Ertz leads the team with 512 minutes played in 2021, and until she came out of the Argentina match on Feb. 24 in the 62nd minute, she had played every minute in each of the USA’s last 10 games, playing 962 consecutive minutes, the longest such streak of her USWNT career.
Ertz has faced France four times previously and scored her first international goal – which proved to be the game-winner – in a 2-0 win over Les Bleues on March 11, 2015 in the final of the Algarve Cup. Ertz – then playing under her maiden name of Johnston – headed in a free-kick in just her eighth career cap.
Rose Lavelle will make her fourth consecutive start and earn her 53nd overall cap today. Lavelle has accounted for two of the USA’s six game-winning goals since the resumption of play in November 2020 – including the game-winner in the USA’s SheBelieves Cup opener vs. Canada on Feb. 18.
The 2020 U.S. Soccer Player of the Year, Samantha Mewis, will earn her 72nd cap overall and make her first start for the USA since Jan. 22 against Colombia. Mewis has three goals and an assist in three games in 2021 and has continued to grow her game over the past few years while consistently showing her value to the U.S. team. She was recently named as the #1 player in the world on the ESPN FC and espnW Top-50 female players in the world list.
Christen Press will earn her 145th cap and make her fifth start for the U.S. in 2021. Press has scored in two of her last three outings for the USWNT, with goals against Brazil and Argentina in the 2021 SheBelieves Cup and has one goal in 10 previous appearances against France, scoring in the 2015 Algarve Cup final.
Press is in the middle of one of the finest stretches of her career – and of anyone’s career for the USWNT – as she has been directly involved in 29 goals in her last 31 games for the USWNT, scoring 13 goals with 16 assists. She also served in the free kick that led to Rose Lavelle’s game-winner vs. Canada on Feb. 18. She has 11 goals in her last 15 games for the USA while making 11 starts during that stretch.
The team’s top goal scorer this year with six goals, Megan Rapinoe will earn her 175th cap and make her seventh appearance of the year for the USWNT. With her goal against Swede on April 10, Rapinoe has now scored in three straight USWNT matches for the first time in her career. Rapinoe opened her streak with a second-half goal in the USA’s 2-0 win over Brazil on Feb. 21 at the SheBelieves Cup (followed by an equally emphatic celebration). She then followed it up with a first-half brace in the SheBelieves Cup finale against Argentina on Feb. 24.
Rapinoe, who scored both goals – including one from the penalty spot – in the USA’s 2-1 win over France at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, leads the USA in scoring with six goals in six matches in 2021. She scored two goals in eight appearances in 2020.
Alex Morgan will make her second start and fifth appearance overall of 2021, while also earning her 175th cap overall. Morgan made her first start of the year — and first start since the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup final — on Feb. 21 against Brazil in the 2021 SheBelieves Cup. On Feb. 24, she came off the bench at halftime against Argentina and scored her first goal as a mom in the 6-0 win. The goal was the 108th of her international career and moved her past Michelle Akers into sole possession of fifth place on the USA’s all-time goals list. It was also her first goal since the semifinal of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, going 602 days between goals.
Morgan has scored six times in 12 previous appearances against France, tied for her fifth-most against any opponent in her international career. Her most recent goal against France came in in the 91st minute of the USA’s 1-0 win over France on March 6, 2016 in the inaugural SheBeleives Cup.