Ian MacNicol / Getty Images
The US Women's National Team has the chance to recover from its defeat in a friendly against France when it faces Spain in the Estadio Jose Rico Perez in Alicante on Tuesday.
Head coach Jill Ellis saw her team record a poor performance in Le Havre on Saturday with a 3-1 score indicating Blue's dominance. Before the FIFA World Cup in France later this year, that would have been a source of concern.
Spain may not be such a formidable opponent, even if it will be dangerous for us. After the first defeat of the United States in 29 games, they can also feel a certain vulnerability and have the chance to win a famous victory over the world champions.
Here are the details of this friendly meeting and a preview of what will happen while Ellis seeks to get an answer from his players.
Date: Tuesday January 22nd
Time: 19:30 (GMT), 14:30 (ET)
TV Info: Fox Sports (United States)
Direct: Fox Sports Go (WE.)
CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / Getty Images
After a tough training camp away from home, the match against France was still going to be a tough way for the US to start 2019.
In the end, they were well below their best result, as the Blues dominated for long periods of time and could have carried more easily. Mallory Pugh's consolation goal in stoppage time made the score a bit more respectable for visitors:
French team ⭐⭐ @French team
Highlights of Blue's 3-1 win over @ussoccer_wnt yesterday #FRAUSA 💪
"I think we can be disappointed with the result, but not be discouraged," said Ellis. Jonathan Tannenwald of The investigator. "I think we're right now about our process … we told our players we were in pre-season – and that was a big request – but let's not lose sight of it. 39 where we want to be – an excellent test for us tonight, but the final exam will take place in June. "
The former USWNT captain, Julie Foudy, also kept things in perspective after the humiliating defeat:
Julie Foudy @Julie Foudy
Do not be afraid of USWNT fans. We are in January. Many players outside. Much to learn from today. These losses are what motivates the best teams. No need to panic. #USAvFRA
Caitlin Murray, of ESPN, pointed out that the United States had started 2015 with a bad result before making big things that year:
Caitlin Murray @Caitlinmurr
Anecdote: the #USWNT lost their first game of 2015 – it was against France in France. Later that year, they won the World Cup.
So it's not the worst thing the United States is losing right now. Ellis credited this loss by allowing them to win the 2015 World Cup.
Nevertheless, it would be naïve to leave aside all the problems facing France, the team struggling for control in the midfield and cohesion in the back.
Without a number of key players – Tobin Heath, Megan Rapinoe, Rose Lavelle and Julie Ertz were all absent – there seemed to be a lack of personalities ready to shoulder their responsibilities. This meant that key stars like Alex Morgan and Christen Press were unable to score their authority on the match.
Football journalist John D. Halloran believes this defeat will eliminate some complacency in a World Cup year:
John D. Halloran @JohnDHalloran
If I'm Jill Ellis, I smile – just a little bit – inside.
Nothing like a defeat to keep the team focused over the next six months.
Now it will be up to them to play against Spain, what USWNT defender Meghan Klingenberg thinks:
Meghan Klingenberg @meghankling
🇺🇸 USWNT will bounce hard. I'm happy to watch their match against Spain to see how they react. Hopefully they see it as an opportunity for growth
La Roja is ranked 12th in the world by FIFA and is on a good run of upcoming results in this match. They drew in their last two games – including a ruthless 0-0 defeat to Germany – and previously they had won eight straight games.
They form a team that is progressing positively under the direction of its head coach, Jorge Vilda, and although they are neglected by this game, Jennifer Hermoso and Vicky Losada are players who will pose a threat in the last third.
However, expect the world champions to bounce back from losing to France and find a way to win.
Forecast: Spain 0-2 United States