Last time the U.S. women's national team played France, in a friendly about a month ago, they lost 2-0—and it was probably a flattering scoreline for the USWNT.
This time, it's for a title. Okay, so it's a friendly tournament, sure, but it's a tournament that carries some weight in women's soccer. And France is a strong team—this should be a good one.
Kickoff time: 12:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Algarve Stadium (Algarve, Portugal)
TV/Streaming: On your televisions on Fox Sports 1, or on your computers streaming via Fox Sports Go.
Projected lineup: Nope nope nope you can't make me predict a Jill Ellis lineup anymore.
Sigh. I'll give it a shot, since I'm supposed to. We'll have Hope Solo in goal (in this, I feel confident). Ali Krieger, Becky Sauerbrunn, Julie Johnston, and Meghan Klingenberg on the back line. I want Carli Lloyd to play in the center of midfield, but I doubt Ellis gives me what I want and continues to deploy her out of position (though she will deploy her, because Carli Lloyd). So, instead, I'll guess we get Lauren Holiday and Morgan Brian in the middle, with Christen Press wide. Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach start up top.
Prediction: Both teams will want the win here, and I expect an intense game. I'm torn on this one, because I think it's extremely likely that France bests the U.S. and wins deservedly. But I also think it's tough to ever predict against the U.S., because even when they're playing inconsistently, it's tempting to think they'll pull it together for something that counts. In the end, I think my American bias is pushing me towards a U.S. win—which will probably make Jill Ellis think that her baffling tactics make some sort of sense. Hell, let's just go for it. Why not? I'm going to predict an exciting 3-2 win for the U.S., but France will fight hard.
What are you drinking? Ah, man. I already need my afternoon caffeine fix.