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O’Hara, Press, and Sauerbrunn begin World Cup journey with USWNT

The U.S. Women’s National Team begin their quest for a fourth World Cup title.

Cindy Lara | RSL Soapbox

Match Details

USA vs Thailand | Group F

When: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 | 1 PM MT

Where: Stade Auguste-Delaune; Reims, France

TV: Fox

Live Stream: Fox Sports app

It’s day five of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and the U.S. Women’s National Team begin their quest for a fourth World Cup title. For Utah Royals FC fans, three names will particularly be familiar to them: Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelley O’Hara, and Christen Press, but obviously, it’s a team of 23, so if you need a refresher, here’s the USWNT roster:

2019 U.S. WORLD CUP ROSTER (CAPS/GOALS)

GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 1/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 21/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 46/0)

DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 40/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 20/1); Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 85/24), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 100/1), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 118/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 158/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 33/0)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 82/6), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 82/18), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 68/8), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 27/7), Allie Long (Reign FC; 45/6), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 50/12)

FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 150/30); Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 274/110), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 7/2), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 163/101), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 116/48), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 53/16), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 153/44)

USA vs. Thailand: What to expect

Expect the U.S. to win. By how much is the question. Thailand is ranked 34th in the world, making their second World Cup appearance (2015, 2019). In 2015, they did not reach the second round, vowing out in the group stage. Still, Thailand could potentially surprise us. That’s why they play the game, folks. In the 2018 AFC Women’s Cup, Thailand almost defeated Australia in the semifinal, and if it wasn’t for a goal by Alanna Kennedy in stoppage time, Thailand would have had the major upset.

The USWNT and Thailand have only played each other once. In their only meeting in 2016, the USWNT won 9-0 in Columbus, Ohio in Heather O’Reilly’s final game. So “what to expect” really comes to how the USWNT plays. This game can be a confidence booster for the team more than anything.

So...about Utah Royals FC players on the USWNT...

Expect Saurbrunn and O’Hara to start every game, with Press to come in as a sub at some point in the second half.

  • Becky Sauerbrunn has 158 caps, and since 2014, has started 104 of her 109 caps. Her presence in the backline is vital to USWNT success.
  • Kelley O’Hara (117 caps) has worked her way back to the national team after spending much of 2019 recovering from ankle surgery, playing 45 minutes vs. South Africa on May 12, playing 60 minutes against New Zealand on May 16, and 90 minutes against Mexico on May 26.
  • Christen Press comes to France with 116 caps, 48 career goals (tied 11th on the all-time WNT goals list) and 29 career assists. She currently leads the USA with six assists this year.