Thorns International Notebook: Portland players set for international duty with U.S., Canada
With the days counting down to the start of the inaugural National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season on April 13, five Thorns FC players are set to play for their respective national teams for international friendlies this week across Europe. Forward Christine Sinclair and goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc joined the Canada Women’s National Team for matches in France and England. Meanwhile, forward Alex Morgan, defender Rachel Buehler and midfielder Tobin Heath will represent the U.S. Women’s National Team against Germany and the Netherlands.
The U.S. Women’s National Team faces Germany on Friday at Sparda Bank Hessen Stadium in Offenbach, Germany; kickoff is set for 9:15 a.m. (Pacific). The United States and Germany, ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the most recent FIFA Women’s Rankings, met in the championship match of the Algarve Cup in Faro, Portugal on March 13. Morgan tallied two goals against Germany to lead the U.S. to its ninth Algarve Cup title.
Without question two of the world’s most dominant women’s soccer nations, the United States and Germany have squared off 28 times since 1991, but just five of those times has been on German soil. The U.S. WNT has a 4-1-0 record playing in Germany, last playing head coach Silvia Neid’s squad on Oct. 29, 2009 in Augsburg – a 1-0 win for the USA despite being outshot 17-7.
The U.S. visits The Hague, Netherlands on Tuesday, April 9, to play the Netherlands at Kyocera Stadium at 10 a.m. (Pacific). The two nations have met just five times since 1991 with the United States owning a 4-1-0 overall record against the Dutch. The last time the U.S. WNT played in the Netherlands was on May 28, 1991 – a 4-3 loss in the first-ever meeting between the sides.
The Canada Women’s National Team takes on France on Thursday at Stade du Ray in Nice, France; kickoff is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. (Pacific). Canada will be facing France for the first time since the London 2012 Olympics bronze medal game on Aug. 9, 2012, where Canada’s Diana Matheson (Washington Spirit) tallied the game-winning goal in the second minute of second-half stoppage time for the country’s first team medal in women’s soccer. Sinclair finished the tournament as the top scorer with six goals.
The team will travel three days later to New York Stadium in Rotherham, England, to face England on Sunday, April 7 at 7 a.m. (Pacific). Another opponent vanquished during the London 2012 Olympics, Sinclair and Jonelle Filigno both scored in a 2-0 win for Canada against the host nation in the Olympic quarterfinals on Aug. 3, 2012, setting the stage for a monumental clash with the United States in the semifinals.
Both of Canada’s European friendlies will be streamed at www.Sportsnet.ca.