After incredible months of football for England womenThe Lionesses return to London’s Wembley Stadium to compete United States of Americathe current world champions.
With Friday’s (7 October) game, England will return to the venue where they won the Euro 2022 title, while the United States women’s national soccer team (USWNT)
General admission tickets for the 90,000-seat stadium sold out less than 15 minutes after sales opened, marking the fastest sell-out for a women’s soccer game in history.
The last time the two teams met was in 2019, when USA knocked out the Lionesses at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The Americans defeated England 2-1 in the semifinals to become world champions for the fourth time.
But this time everything is a little different.
It was Jill Ellis who led the United States to victory in 2019 while Phil Neville was in charge of the Lionesses. Now it’s Vlatko Andonovski who takes the lead for the Americans and Sarina Wiegman for England.
Here are the most important things you need to know as these two football giants clash.
Image from 2019 Getty Images
Next year in mind
This game may be listed as an international friendly, but it feels like there’s more at stake.
And with the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 looming, there is no time for either side to be satisfied with this year’s performances.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge of taking on the world champions and it’s another difficult game to measure our progress as we try to take that next step forward,” England manager Sarina Wiegman told the media ahead of the Game. “We’re working hard towards next summer and this will help us understand where we are in our preparation.”
England will be hungry to cement their status as favorites for next year’s tournament and seek revenge for their heartbreak at the 2019 World Cup.
But the Americans are also fresh from a summer win when they lifted the CONCACAF championship and will use that as momentum when they play on English soil.
It is worth noting that no team has lost a game this calendar year, suggesting that this game will truly be the best of the best.
Worth seeing – England vs. USA
Two of the home team’s stars from this English summer, Frank Kirby and Chloe Kellyis back in the squad after missing September’s World Cup qualifiers through injury.
Kirby started in every single English game during the Euros and showed her talent this summer when she proved her importance in Wiegman’s line-up. Their creativity and linking game with Arsenal’s Beth Met was essential to England’s success – and that’s what fans will be looking forward to when the Lionesses take on the USA.
‘Super-sub’ Chloe Kelly, who scored that historic goal in England’s 2-1 final win over Germany, will be looking to cement her place in the squad ahead of next summer.
Sarina Wiegman also handed the Manchester City youngster a first senior call-up Jess Park. The forward is currently on loan at Everton and has impressed the Lionesses manager with his recent performances. Whether we’ll see Park make her debut is another question, but the 20-year-old will be keen to show Wiegman what she’s capable of on the world stage.
Lotte Wübben-Moy and Nikita Paris were also included in the Lionesses squad after captain Leah Williamson and new signing Lucy Parker had to withdraw through injury.
As for the US, Crystal Dunn returns to the team for the first time since she was born in May 2022. Dunn has already returned to the NWSL and also trained with the US women’s national team during their September international window.
“She’s as ready and as intense as ever and as enthusiastic as ever,” USWNT executive Andonovski told press.
With 21 goals for Portland Thorns in just two seasons Sophia Smith will try to impress even more against England.
The 22-year-old has already broken her club side’s regular season record and was just one goal away from winning the NWSL Golden Boot this season. That award inevitably went to Alex Morgan, who is ruled out of this match due to a knee injury.
Smith has established himself as a star for both club and country this year, proving to be indispensable no matter which side she plays for. Looking ahead to next year, she wants to make headlines against the European champions.
Olympic champion and two-time World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe is the biggest name in the USWNT squad for the games against England and Spain, while Trinity Rodman by Washington Spirit is another to watch out for.
Here’s how you see England vs. USA
This game is a meeting of the best of the best not to be missed.
With Wembley selling out so quickly, chances of getting your hands on a ticket are slim. So how can you watch if you can’t be there in person?
In the UK, the game will be broadcast live and free to air on ITV 1. It will also stream live on the ITV Hub.
American football fans can watch live on Fox Sports or stream it live via the Fox Sports website.
England vs. USA will kick off on Friday 7 October 2022 at 20:00 BST (19:00 GMT/UTC).