When and where: The exhibition match kicks-off from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado at 10 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by ESPN2, with a live stream available on ESPN3.
Preview: It may just be an exhibition match as the United States women continue their post-Olympic Fan Tribute Tour, but Wednesday’s meeting with Australia has special significance for U.S. soccer. For the final time, coach Pia Sundhage will lead out the side before heading back home to coach Sweden.
In her nearly five years in charge of the U.S. Sundhage has led the team to phenomenal success; winning back-to-back Olympic golds and coming agonizingly close to winning the World Cup before a penalty shootout defeat in the final to Japan last year.
“They have made me a better coach,” Sundhage said, according to the U.S. Soccer website. “I’ve been around this team for five years and it feels phenomenal, it’s like a dream. It’s cool.”
While admitting it was a hard job to leave, Sundhage said she was eager to return to Sweden.
“I’ve been away from home for five years and before this I was in China, so it’s been six years and it’ll be good to go home,” she explained. “Sweden is hosting the European Championship so that is a big challenge. I’m going for that and we’ll see how it works.”
As for the game against Australia, Sundhage will be hoping that her side puts in a better performance than the one witnessed against the same opponents just three days ago. On that occasion--in Carson, Calif.--the U.S. were a goal down at the break before coming back to win 2-1 with goals from Alex Morgan and Shannon Boxx.
For Morgan, it was her 22nd goal for the U.S. as she has emerged as a star for the team just a year after being restricted to a role from the bench.
The USA have dominated the series with Australia and have yet to lose in 22 meetings, winning an incredible 20 of them. Australia have an inexperienced side, headlined by the two goalkeepers in their squad both being teenagers. Tom Sermanni’s team are likely to be reliant on the experience provided by Sarah Walsh and Lisa de Vanna, both of whom have previously plied their trade in the now defunct Women’s Professional Soccer.
Prediction: While there appeared to be some rustiness on display at the weekend, that shouldn’t be a problem tonight. With the U.S. squad surely intent on giving Sundhage a fitting sendoff they should earn a comfortable victory over the Matildas.
USA 3-0 Australia
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