After the success of the She Believes Cup, which the US Women’s National Team has won two out of the three years, US Soccer announced the Tournament of Nations. It’s another series of friendlies to help keep the USWNT fit and sharp for upcoming World Cup Qualifying. This is the second annual Tournament of Nations, which the lowest seeded Australia won in 2017 (the US came in second).
The She Believes Cup featured England, Germany and France so the Tournament of Nations picked up the other top tier teams: Japan, Brazil and Australia. They should be good tests to see where the United States women are before World Cup Qualifying starts for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.
WCQ for CONCACAF is also hosted in the US and will take place from October 4th through the 17th of 2018. Three teams will qualify automatically from that event and a fourth will go to an intercontinental playoff. That fourth place team will do a home-and-away intercontinental playoff, with the third-place finisher of CONMEBOL’s 2018 Women’s Copa America. For WCQ the eight teams involved will be broke into two groups of four with the top two in each group advancing to a tournament format.
For the Tournament of Nations though, it’s a simple round-robin format where each team plays the other once and the team with the most points at the end wins. If there is a tie, the tie-breakers go in the following order: best goal difference then total goals scored, head-to-head record and finally, FIFA ranking. Speaking of FIFA Rankings, the US are first, Japan are sixth, Brazil seventh and Australia eighth.
For the ToN Jill Ellis called in 25 players, including for FC Kansas City players Becky Sauerbrunn and Amy Rodriguez. Controversially, Ellis included Jaelene Hinkle in her call-ups. However, Ellis released Hinkle and Kealie Ohai yesterday bringing the roster down to 23 players.
How to Watch/Stream
In the US the only games scheduled currently to be aired on TV are the USWNT games. All of them will air on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) live and can be streamed through Fox Sports Go. Of course the opening two matches are going to be played in the home of Sporting Kansas City, Children’s Mercy Park. Those two games are on Thursday, July 26th and will be back-to-back. So take the afternoon off and go catch some of the best women’s players in the world.
In Australia, the games will air on Foxtel (Fox Sports). No information is currently available (in English) for the Brazil or Japanese rights to the games. The full schedule is below.
Tournament of Nations Schedule
|7/26/2018||Brazil vs. Australia||3:15 p.m||Childrens Mercy Park; Kansas City, Kan.|
|7/26/2018||United States vs. Japan||6 p.m. | FS1||Childrens Mercy Park; Kansas City, Kan.|
|7/29/2018||Japan vs. Brazil||3:15 p.m.||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field; East Hartford, Conn.|
|7/29/2018||United States vs. Australia||6 p.m. | FS1||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field; East Hartford, Conn.|
|8/2/2018||Australia vs. Japan||4:45 p.m.||Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Ill.|
|8/2/2018||United States vs. Brazil||7:30 p.m. | FS1||Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Ill.|