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England defeats USWNT 2-1 at Wembley: Highlights, live updates and more

England v United States - Women's International Friendly - Wembley Stadium
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The USWNT and England met today at Wembley Stadium in a friendly for the ages. On Her Turf provided live updates of the match, which England won 2-1. See below to relive how the game unfolded.


USA vs. England — Live Updates from the First Half

Players from England and the United States are wearing teal armbands to “stand in solidarity with sexual violence survivors.” Prior to kickoff, both teams came together to pose for a photo with a “Protect the Players” banner. (In addition there was also a moment of silence for the recent stadium stampede in Indonesia, where 125 people died and hundreds were injured.)

England v United States - Women's International Friendly - Wembley Stadium
(Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

10′: England scores! Lauren Hemp taps the ball past U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher (video below).

20′: Oof. A couple of rough collisions so far today, including just now as U.S. defender Emily Fox took a shoulder to the face. She gets subbed out and is replaced by Hailie Mace.

28′: The U.S. equalizes! Lindsey Horan does a great job of forcing a turnover and gets the ball to Sophia Smith, who finds the back of the net (video below).

32′: After VAR review, U.S. defender Hailie Mace is given a yellow card for a high boot and England is awarded a penalty. Georgia Stanway converts, with U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher diving in the wrong direction (video below).

36′: And the U.S. equalizes — again! Trinity Rodman makes it 2-2. Megan Rapinoe does a great job of bringing defender Lucy Bronze to the far post and slipping the ball over to Rodman.

38′: SCRATCH THAT. Rodman’s goal is called back due to an offsides ruling. A very surprising, and honestly, very confusing call. England leads 2-1 again.

And even Alex Morgan (who is out with a knee injury) is weighing in on the “offside” call. Glad I’m not the only one who is confused…

45+3′: And that’s the half. England leads 2-1. Some rough moments out there — both physically and tactically — but also a lot of positive takeaways for both teams. The USWNT should take some confidence in the goal that could’ve (should’ve?) been. Plus, given the very inexperienced lineup — and all they’ve been through in recent days — it felt like the pieces were starting to come together out there as the half continued.

Yates report takeaways extend beyond NWSL: ‘Guardrails’ are essential for women’s pro sports


USWNT vs. England — Live Updates from the Second Half

60′: Megan Rapinoe takes a shot, which is deflected by an England defender. The U.S. is definitely upping the pressure this half.

63′: And Crystal Dunn and Sam Coffey are subbing in for the USWNT. It’s Dunn’s first appearance for the USWNT since giving birth to her son in May.

This is Coffey’s first time traveling internationally with the USWNT. I caught up with her ahead of the Portland Thorns’ final regular season game last week and the NWSL rookie told me she is excited to learn as much as she can from the experience.

68′: England making a substitution of its own as Ella Toone comes in for Fran Kirby.

74′: Wow. Naomi Girma, for the second time tonight, outsprinting an England forward to reach to a critical ball before her opponent. Girma, an NWSL rookie with the San Diego Wave, made her USWNT debut earlier this year.

81′: After initially awarding the USWNT a penalty for an England handball, the call is (rightfully!) overturned on VAR review.

83′: And 17-year-old Alyssa Thompson is subbing into the game, along with Becky Sauerbrunn and Ashley Sanchez.

Thomas, a high school senior who plays club soccer for the U-17 Total Futbol Academy boys’ team, earns her first USWNT cap by replacing Megan Rapinoe, who is more than twice her age.

90 + 4′: And that’s the match. England wins 2-1.

A couple post-game thoughts: England definitely looked like the stronger team today (as evidenced by their 69% possession percentage, in addition to the 2-1 score). Still, a lot of positive takeaways for the USWNT, especially given their less experienced lineup and the tumultuous week following the release of the Yates report.

I can’t get over how composed Naomi Girma looked out in just her eighth cap for the USWNT.

The final attendance at Wembley was 76,893 — so lower than anticipated and no doubt hampered by the soggy conditions. Still marks the biggest crowd to attend a USWNT friendly, though.


USWNT vs. England — Pre-Game Notes:

Today’s game should be the USWNT’s toughest test in over a year, as the reigning World Cup champions take on the 2022 European Champions. Still, the match comes at the end of a tumultuous week for the women’s soccer community, following the release of the U.S. Soccer-commissioned Yates report on Monday.

“The players are not doing well,” USWNT captain Becky Sauerbrunn said Tuesday. “We are horrified and heartbroken and frustrated and exhausted and really, really angry.”

The juxtaposition of Monday’s report and Friday’s historic game — which is expected to break multiple attendance records (more below) — is especially tough.

“Just to have to deal with that on such an incredible occasion, to be here at Wembley and be able to participate in this game, which is so exciting — the juxtaposition is ridiculous,” USWNT and OL Reign forward Megan Rapinoe said Thursday.


How to watch the USWNT vs. England at Wembley

Fans in the United States can watch the USWNT vs. England on FOX. The pre-game broadcast begins at 2:30pm ET and the match kicks off at 3pm ET (8pm local).


USWNT Starting XI

Alyssa Naeher, Alana Cook, Trinity Rodman, Sofia Huerta, Lindsey Horan (C), Sophia Smith, Naomi Girma, Megan Rapinoe, Rose Lavelle, Andi Sullivan, Emily Fox

England Starting XI

Mary Earps, Lucy Bronze, Rachel Daly, Keira Walsh, Millie Bright (C), Alex Greenwood, Beth Mead, Georgia Stanway, Lauren Hemp, Fran Kirby, Chloe Kelly


Which women’s soccer attendance records could be broken?

General admission tickets for today’s USA-ENG match sold out in 15 minutes, making it the fastest sellout in women’s soccer history. More than 80,000 fans are expected to pack into Wembley to watch the USWNT vs. England on Friday. Here are a few of the attendance records to keep an eye on.

  • The USA-England match is expected to be the second-highest attended USWNT match in history, behind only the 1999 World Cup Final at the Rose Bowl (90,185).
  • This match is expected to break the record for the largest crowd to watch the USWNT outside of the United States. The current record, 80,203, was also set at Wembley during the gold medal game at the 2012 London Olympics.
  • This match is expected to break the record for most fans to watch a USWNT friendly. The current record, 49,504, was set during a USA-Portugal Friendly in Philadelphia in August 2019)
  • Some England national team records could also be broken, depending on just how many fans show up. In July, 87,192 fans were in attendance at Wembley for the Women’s European Championship final featuring England vs. Germany. That game broke the record for largest attendance in Euro history — men’s or women’s. It also broke the record for the most spectators to watch a women’s game in England.

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‘The players are not doing well’: Becky Sauerbrunn calls for change following Yates report

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Less than 24 hours after a scathing report detailing abuse in women’s soccer was released, U.S. women’s national soccer team captain Becky Sauerbrunn answered the question she knew was coming.

“The players are not doing well,” she said from London ahead of Friday’s USWNT-England game at Wembley.

The U.S. Soccer-commissioned report, which was conducted by former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Q. Yates and the law firm King & Spalding, found that emotional abuse and sexual misconduct are systemic in women’s soccer.

“We are horrified and heartbroken and frustrated and exhausted and really, really angry,” Sauerbrunn continued. “We are angry that it took a third-party investigation. We are angry that it took an article in the Athletic and the Washington Post and numerous others.

“We’re angry that it took over 200 people sharing their trauma to get to this point, right now. And we’re angry that it took Mana (Shim) and Sinead (Farrelly) and Erin (Simon) and Kaiya (McCullough) and Alex (Morgan) and Christen (Press) and Sam (Johnson) to repeatedly ask people in authority to take their abuse and their concerns seriously.”

Sauerbrunn went on to say she believes “every owner and executive and U.S. Soccer official who has repeatedly failed the players, and failed to protect the players, and have not participated fully in these investigations should be gone.”

Sauerbrunn, who plays in the NWSL for the Portland Thorns, was later asked to confirm that that includes Thorns/Timbers CEO and owner Merritt Paulson.

“It includes everyone that has continued to fail the players time and time again,” she said.

Yates report takeaways extend beyond NWSL: ‘Guardrails’ are essential for women’s pro sports

The Yates report detailed how Paulson failed to take action and continued to support former Thorns head coach Paul Riley after Riley was accused of harassment and sexual coercion. Portland’s President of Soccer, Gavin Wilkinson, accused the player who raised the complaint of “putting Riley in a bad position” and said that he would “hire (Riley) in a heartbeat,” while President of Business Mike Golub has been accused of creating a disrespectful work environment that was especially toxic for women and working mothers.

Even current U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone experienced this environment. She told investigators that in 2013, while serving as Portland Thorns coach, Golub asked her, “What’s on your bucket list besides sleeping with me?”

The Yates report also notes that the Thorns were uncooperative with their investigation, despite making public statements to the contrary.

“The Portland Thorns interfered with our access to relevant witnesses and raised specious legal arguments in an attempt to impede our use of relevant documents,” the report says.

In addition to the U.S. Soccer-commissioned Yates report, a joint investigation from the NWSL and NWSL Players Association will be released later this year.

Shortly before Sauerbrunn began speaking, Paulson issued a statement saying that, effective today, he is removing himself from all Thorns-related decision making until the NWSL/NWSLPA joint investigation is published, and that Wilkinson and Golub will do the same.

That said, Paulson’s statement included no indication that he plans to sell the team or remove himself from the Portland Timbers operations.

USWNT defender Alana Cook, who joined Sauerbrunn for Tuesday’s media session, expressed her disappointment that so much of this has fallen to the players.

“It shouldn’t be on us any longer,” Cook said. “We deserve an environment where we get to go out and play and enjoy doing what we do. And we deserve to be in an environment that’s safe and protects that joy.”

Crystal Dunn returns to USWNT roster five months after giving birth

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Crystal Dunn was named to the USWNT roster for two upcoming friendlies against England and Spain, marking her first official selection since giving birth to son Marcel in May.

Dunn made her NWSL return with the Portland Thorns earlier this month and also trained with the U.S. team as a non-rostered player ahead of friendlies vs. Nigeria.

In addition to Dunn, the 24-player roster features a veteran core of Alyssa Naeher, Becky Sauerbrunn, Rose Lavelle, Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh, and Megan Rapinoe.

Alex Morgan was not named to the USWNT roster due to a knee injury. While U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski did not provide details of the injury, he noted that “if this was a World Cup final, Alex was going to be on this trip and was going to play, no question.”

Other roster highlights include 17-year-old Alyssa Thompson, who becomes the first player born in 2004 to receive a USWNT call-up. Thomas, a high senior, plays club soccer for the U-17 Total Futbol Academy boys’ team.

“We are very excited for her, very excited about her potential and qualities and looking forward to seeing how she will turn out in our environment,” Andonovski said of Thompson. “This camp is not make it or break it. It’s a first experience for her, it’s just something that she shouldn’t even worry about.”

The USWNT also includes a handful of players who have made their USWNT breakthrough this season — thanks in part to both strong NWSL play and injuries to more veteran players. That list includes the likes of Naomi Girma (7 caps), Taylor Kornieck (5 caps), Hailie Mace (5 caps), Sam Coffey (1 cap), and Savannah DeMelo (0 caps).

Andonovski on Thursday called Coffey, a midfielder for the Portland Thorns, a candidate for NWSL MVP.


USWNT Roster for October 2022 Friendlies vs. England and Spain

Goalkeepers (3):

  • Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit)
  • Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage)
  • Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

Defenders(7):

  • Alana Cook (OL Reign)
  • Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC)
  • Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC)
  • Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC)
  • Sofia Huerta (OL Reign)
  • Hailie Mace (Kansas City Current)
  • Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC)

Midfielders (8):

  • Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC)
  • Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC)
  • Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA)
  • Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave FC)
  • Rose Lavelle (OL Reign)
  • Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC)
  • Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit)
  • Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit)

Forwards (6):

  • Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit)
  • Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars)
  • Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign)
  • Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit)
  • Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC)
  • Alyssa Thompson (Total Futbol Academy)

Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC