The U.S. women’s soccer team will play its first home game of 2019 in Chester.
Multiple sources told the Inquirer and Daily News on Wednesday that Talen Energy Stadium will be the site of the opening doubleheader of the annual SheBelieves Cup on Feb. 27. The U.S. will face Japan, and England will face Brazil.
It will be the first visit by the U.S. women’s team to the region since the 2017 SheBelieves Cup.
Japan and Brazil will be newcomers to the tournament, replacing Germany and 2019 World Cup host France. The two non-European nations usually participate in the U.S.' midsummer Tournament of Nations, but with the World Cup on deck, that event won’t happen. (Nor will it happen in 2020 because of the Olympics.)
German officials also gave hints after this year’s SheBelieves Cup that they’d withdraw from the 2019 edition for logistical reasons.
The other SheBelieves Cup venues are Nashville’s Nissan Stadium on March 2 (U.S.-England and Japan-Brazil); and Tampa, Fla.'s Raymond James Stadium on March 5 (U.S.-Brazil and England-Japan).
The U.S. will start the year with a training camp in Europe that will last for much of January. While abroad, the Americans will face France in Le Havre (one of the World Cup’s nine host cities) and Spain in Alicante. It will be the Americans' first ever game against Spain, which will be at the 2019 World Cup and reached the quarterfinals of last year’s European Championship.
The rest of the U.S.' schedule leading up to the World Cup was announced Thursday afternoon.
On April 4 the Americans will play another marquee game against Australia, a fellow contender to win it all next summer, at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. Three days later, they’ll make their first appearance at Los Angeles' glitzy Banc of California Stadium, hosting Belgium - a team that didn’t qualify for the World Cup. Both of those games are during a FIFA international window, and before the NWSL season kicks off on April 13.
NWSL teams won’t have their U.S. stars for too long, though, as the Americans will play a three-game series of sendoff games starting in mid-May. They’ll host World Cup debutant South Africa at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on May 12; New Zealand at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on May 16; and Mexico at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., on May 26.
It will be the third straight women’s World Cup sendoff game played at Red Bull Arena, and historians will note that the Americans reached the World Cup final after the last two.
The opponent for the game in St. Louis will be determined after the World Cup draw, which will be conducted Saturday in Paris. The event starts at around noon Eastern, with some entertainment acts preceding the draw. Fox Sports 2 and Telemundo will televise it and stream it online via their respective websites.
All times are Eastern. TV coverage for games where it’s not detailed below will be announced in the future.
Saturday, Jan. 19: at France, 2:30 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)
Tuesday, Jan. 22: at Spain, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2, Univision Deportes)
Wednesday, Feb. 27: vs. Japan, 7 p.m. (and England vs. Brazil, 4 p.m.) at Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, Pa. (Fox Sports 1)
(Coverage of non-U.S. SheBelieves Cup games is to be determined.)
Saturday, March 2: vs. England, 4:30 p.m. (and Brazil vs. Japan, 1 p.m.) at Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tenn. (Fox)
Tuesday, March 5: vs. Brazil, 8 p.m. (and Japan vs. England, 5:15 p.m.) at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla. (Fox Sports 1)
Thursday, April 4: vs. Australia, 9 p.m. at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo. (Fox Sports 1)
Sunday, April 7: vs. Belgium, 9 p.m. at Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles (ESPN2)
Sunday, May 12: vs. South Africa, 4:30 p.m. at Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif. (Fox)
Thursday, May 16: vs. New Zealand, 8 p.m. at Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Mo. (ESPN2)