After outscoring opponents a record 18-0 in the group stage, the United States Women’s National Team moves into the knockout stage today against Spain with barely a scratch on their title defense.
Spain, the 13th ranked team in the world, comes in having failed to score in their last two matches after opening the tournament with a 3-1 win over South Africa. They were edged by group B winners Germany 1-0 and played China to a scoreless draw. Two of their three goals came via the penalty spot (Jennifer Hermoso) against South Africa but they only conceded twice in their three group matches.
Team USA edged the Spaniards 1-0 on a Christen Press goal in a friendly back in January in the first meeting between the two countries.
The winner of today’s Round of 16 match will face host France on Friday. Les Bleues edged Brazil 2-1 in extra time on Sunday.
Canada faces Sweden in the later game today with a spot in the quarterfinals against Germany on the line. A hat trick from Christine Sinclair would make her the all-time leader in international goals (she enters two shy of Abby Wambach).
Half of the quarterfinalists have already been decided with Norway set to play England on Friday and France and Germany facing today’s winners. Italy and China and the Netherlands and Japan will play for the final two quarterfinal spots tomorrow.
U.S. isn’t underestimating Spain’s rise in soccer (Los Angeles Times)
USWNT balances off-field work to promote World Cup (ProSoccerUSA)
Cameroon is allowed to get upset without having to answer to your kids (SB Nation)
How a Canadian fan barely survived watching her country play the Netherlands (All For XI)
Lucy Bronze and the curious case of the French player who ate pasta in a baguette (All For XI)
Spain vs United States in Reims, Noon (FS1)
Sweden vs Canada in Paris, 3 p.m. (FS1)
How to Watch
*Brotherly Game has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Brotherly Game and SB Nation may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our guiding principles.