This week, we look at the U.S.-South Africa friendly international in Santa Clara, California (San Francisco) on May 12 (won by the Americans 3-0) and look at the roster for Canada ahead of a high profile friendly against Mexico at Toronto's BMO Field next week—which should draw a strong crowd to the France Women's World Cup send-off game, as Canada games at home are still rare. We also look at England's and Japan's WWC roster for France, as well as those who narrowly missed selection.
United States vs. South Africa in Women's World Cup preparation
The U.S. women's national team defeated South Africa 3-0 on May 12 in Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California (an hour south of San Francisco) in front of 22,768 fans on Mother's Day. Sam Mewis (North Carolina Courage) scored twice with Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC) scoring a late goal. Lloyd now has 108 international goals, fourth all-time for the Americans. The Americans take on New Zealand on May 16 in St. Louis before their final friendly ahead of the world tournament in France, against Mexico at Red Bull Stadium in Harrison, New Jersey on May 26.
Match: U.S. Women's National Team vs. South Africa
Date: May 12, 2019
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Levi's Stadium; Santa Clara, Calif.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 2 3
RSA 0 0 0
USA - Samantha Mewis (Rose Lavelle) 37th minute
USA - Samantha Mewis 78
USA - Carli Lloyd (Mallory Pugh) 90+2
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O'Hara (12-Tierna Davidson, 46), 7-Abby Dahlkemper (20-Allie Long, 46), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Crystal Dunn; 8-Julie Ertz, 3-Samantha Mewis, 16-Rose Lavelle (14-Emily Sonnett, 60); 17-Tobin Heath (15-Megan Rapinoe, 46), 13-Alex Morgan (capt.) (10-Carli Lloyd, 60), 23-Christen Press (2-Mallory Pugh, 77)
Substitutes not used: 6-Morgan Brian, 9-Lindsey Horan, 11-Ali Krieger; 18-Ashlyn Harris, 21-Adrianna Franch, 22-Jessica McDonald
Head coach: Jill Ellis
RSA: 16-Andile Dlamini (20-Kaylin Swart, 68); 2-Lebohang Ramalepe, 3-Nothando Vilakazi, 4-Noko Matlou (13-Bambanani Mbane, 53), 5-Janine Van Wyk (capt.); 12-Jermaine Seoposenwe, 15- Refiloe Jane, 19-Kholosa Biyana, 22- Rhoda Mulaudzi (7-Karabo Dhlamini, 52); 9-Amanda Mthandi (8-Ode Fulutudilu, 78), 10-Sibulele Holweni (23-Mapula Kgoale, 74)
Substitutes not used: 1-Mapaseka Mpuru, 6-Mamello Makhabane, 11-Ongeziwe Ndlangisa, 14-Tiisetso Makhubela, 17-Bongeka Gamede, 18-Nompumelelo Nyandeni, 21-Busisiwe Ndimeni
Head coach: Desiree Ellis
Stats Summary: USA / RSA
Shots: 19 / 5
Shots on Goal: 6 / 2
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 8 / 0
Fouls: 10 / 7
Offside: 2 / 1
South Africa's women's national team head coach Desiree Ellis took a team of 26 players to America that is likely close to her final 23 that she will take to France next month for the team's Women's World Cup debut. Ellis said: "I have been saying all along that they don'tget bigger than this—playing the USA at home is not going to be easy, but then again how do you gauge yourself if you don't play the big guns. We are glad to be back and this upcoming match is just a clear indication of how close we are to the World Cup. The nerves are starting to go into overdrive, which is good because if you are not nervous, you may end up being complacent. The good thing is we are almost ready with the final squad going to the tournament, and the USA friendly will come in handy as it is the last match before we make the announcement."
South Africa have had a number of friendlies this year, taking on Sweden (0-0) and the Netherlands (1-2) in Cape Town to begin the year, then Korea DPR (1-4), Czech Republic (1-2), Finland (0-3) at the Cyprus Cup tand most recently fellow World Cup debutants Jamaica on April 7(1-1 tie in Durban).
Banyana Banyana did not bring to California the China-based pair of Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana (both (Beijing B.G. Phoenix F.C. and ex-Houston Dash players last season), as well as Leandra Smeda, who plays her football in Sweden with Vittsjo; all three had club commitments since the game was not on a FIFA international date.
Jermaine Seoposenwe (who played at Samford University in Alabama in the U.S.) and Nothando Vilakazi both recently joined FC Gintras Universitas—the Lithuanian Women's Champions League regular—both traveled with the national side available, together with Ode Fuludutilu, who joined Malaga of Spain this season after playing last season in Finland.
Meanwhile, defender Lebohang Ramalepe has been appointed the second vice captain of Banyana Banyana to join captain Janine van Wyk (ex-Houston Dash) as well as vice captain Refiloe Jane. Jane and Rhoda Mulaudzi both played last winter for Canberra United in Australia.
Ellis has called up three players who were not part of the last friendly match against Jamaica: goalkeeper Mapaseka Mpuru (TUKS Ladies) and defender Charmelle Wiltshire (Lamar University in Texas in the U.S.) as well as midfielder Nomvula Kgoale (Louisiana Tech University, also in the U.S.).
BANYANA BANYANA SQUAD vs USA
NAME AND SURNAME
1. Andile DLAMINI
Mamelodi Sundowns FC
2. Kaylin SWART
3. Jessica WILLIAMS
4. Mapaseka MPURU
5. Lebogang RAMALEPE
6. Nothando VILAKAZI
FC GINTRAS UNIVERSITAS
7. Janine VAN WYK
8. Noko MATLOU
9. Bambanani MBANE
Bloemfontein Celtic FC
10. Tiisetso MAKHUBELA
Mamelodi Sundowns FC
11. Bongeka GAMEDE
12. Karabo DHLAMINI
Mamelodi Sundowns FC
13. Yonela KETO
14. Chamelle WILTSHIRE
17. Nomvula Kgoale
Louisiana Tech University
18. Busisiwe NDIMENI
19. Refiloe JANE
20. Ongeziwe DLANGISA
KWA ZULU NATAL
21. Kholosa BIYANA
KWA ZULU NATAL
22. Sibulele HOLWENI
23. Jermaine SEOPOSENWE
FC GINTRAS UNIVERSITAS
24. Amanda MTHANDI
University of Johannesburg
25. Rhoda MULAUDZI
26. Ode FULUTUDILU
Canada picks side for friendly versus Mexico in Canada
As with South Africa, Canadian womens' national team head coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller selected a team for the upcoming friendly international in Toronto on May 18 that many believe is close to the final 23 that he will take to France. Heiner-Moller explained: "Heading into an away FIFA Women's World Cup, we hope that the echo from our Canadian fans back home will carry us through our month in France. The players are really looking forward to having the fans cheering for us, so we will put on a show and give us the momentum as we head to France. It is important that both our performance and fan support at our send-off match in Toronto has a resounding effect on our players for a long period of time." The 22 players include a mix of veterans and young players, including teenagers Julia Grosso, Jayde Riviere, Jordyn Huitema and first-time call up Jade Rose.
Thirteen of the 22 players in Toronto are hoping to make their FIFA Women's World Cup debut this June. Alongside the four teenagers, other potential FIFA Women's World Cup debutants are Lindsay Agnew, Janine Beckie, Gabrielle Carle, Vanessa Gilles, Nichelle Prince, Rebecca Quinn, Deanne Rose, Kailen Sheridan and Shelina Zadorsky.
Veterans in the Toronto squad, all of whom helped Canada finish in sixth place at the record-setting FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015, are captain Christine Sinclair, Allysha Chapman, Jessie Fleming, Stephanie Labbé, Ashley Lawrence, Adriana Leon, Diana Matheson, Sophie Schmidt, and Desiree Scott.
Canada Squad for Mexico Friendly
12- F- Christine Sinclair | USA / Portland Thorns FC
1- GK- Stephanie Labbé | USA / NC Courage
2- FB- Allysha Chapman | USA / Houston Dash
4- CB- Shelina Zadorsky | USA / Orlando Pride
5- CB- Rebecca Quinn | FRA / Paris FC
6- W- Deanne Rose | USA / University of Florida
7- M- Julia Grosso | CAN / University of Texas at Austin
8- M- Diana Matheson | USA / Utah Royals FC
9- F- Jordyn Huitema | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX
10- FB- Ashley Lawrence | FRA / Paris Saint-Germain
11- M- Desiree Scott | USA / Utah Royals FC
13- M- Sophie Schmidt | USA / Houston Dash
14- FB- Jayde Riviere | CAN / Markham SC & Ontario Super REX
15- W- Nichelle Prince | USA / Houston Dash
16- W- Janine Beckie | ENG / Manchester City FC
17- M- Jessie Fleming | USA / UCLA
19- W- Adriana Leon | ENG / West Ham United FC
21- GK- Kailen Sheridan | USA / Sky Blue FC
22- FB- Lindsay Agnew | USA / Houston Dash
23- F- Gabrielle Carle | USA / Florida State University
24- CB- Vanessa Gilles | FRA / FC Girondins de Bordeaux
25- CB- Jade Rose | CAN / Unionville Milliken SC & Ontario Super REX
With only two goalkeepers in the side for the match in Toronto, expect Heiner-Moller to add one of two from Sweden—either long-time national team backstop Erin McLeod of Vaxjo, currently in eighth place after 5 games with 5 points, with McLeod only playing once this season, or Sabrina D'Angelo of surprising Vittsjo, who are joint second with Rosengard with 10 points after 5 games, as D'Angelo has played in 4 games so far this year. McLeod (36) played the last two seasons with SC Sand and Jena in Germany but had played in the Damallsvenskan previously for Rosengard and Dalsjofors as well as in the Elitettan for the latter club for one season, while D'Angelo (26) joined the small town club Vittsjo from the North Carolina Courage.
England names squad for the World Cup.
English national team head coach Phil Neville named 11 debutants for the side that hopes to make their second consecutive WWC semifinals, after finishing third in Canada four years ago. This England side is primarily home-based with five coming from abroad, two from the U.S.'s NWSL and one each from France, Germany and Spain.
Steph Houghton will captain England and. experienced campaigners Karen Carney and Jill Scot will be making their fourth appearances, but Olympique Lyon's midfielder Izzy Christiansen (27) was not included. Christiansen suffered a fractured fibula and ankle ligament damage in the 3-0 win over Japan at the SheBelieves Cup in early March and then underwent surgery. She was fighting to return in time, but was not selected for the finals. Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal) also did not make the squad after suffering a knee injury in November. Veteran Fara Williams (Reading), who has 168 caps for England, also misses out on her third WWC. Other near misses were Gemma Bonner of Manchester City and Chioma Ubogagu, who played at Arsenal and currently with the Orlando Pride and went on loan to Brisbane Roar this past winter. Ubogagu was a surprise omission, as she had been in camps late last year and this year, but was thought by some to not have made enough of an impact on the national team, despite scoring a goal on her debut in a friendly against Austria last November. Two NWSL players did make the side in Houston's Rachel Daly and Reign FC's Jodie Taylor, with Taylor making her second WWC side.
England's 2019 Women's World Cup Team
Mary Earps (Wolfsburg—Germany)
Carly Telford (Chelsea)
Millie Bright (Chelsea)
Lucy Bronze (Lyon—France)
Rachel Daly (Houston Dash—U.S.A.)
Steph Houghton (captain, Manchester City)
Abbie McManus (Manchester City)
Demi Stokes (Manchester City)
Leah Williamson (Arsenal)
Jade Moore (Reading)
Jill Scott (Man City)
Lucy Staniforth (Birmingham City)
Keira Walsh (Manchester City)
Toni Duggan (Barcelona—Spain)
Fran Kirby (Chelsea)
Beth Mead (Arsenal)
Jodie Taylor (Seattle Reign—U.S.A.)
Japan names 23 player squad for France
Japanese Women's Head Coach Asako Takakura named her 23 player squad for the Women's World Cup in France, with their first match on June 10 against Argentina. Only two of the players are based abroad, one in the NWSL and one in France. The one surprise was that 18-year-old forward Jun Endo—who played in her first full international in February against the U.S.—was selected but prolific striker Mina Tanaka (NTV Beleza) was not. Tanaka had scored 14 goals in her 24 starts (35 total) internationals. Takakura explained her selection of Endo: "I did not choose by age. I selected players purely by their performances on the pitch. She is a left-sided player and her scoring skills are outstanding. She has good physique, speed and I expect her to score and make plenty of chances for others."
Japan squad for World Cup 2019
3. Aya Sameshima (INAC Kobe Leonessa)
2. Rumi Utsugi (Reign FC—U.S.)
4. Saki Kumagai (Olympique Lyonnais—France)
23. Shiori Miyake (INAC Kobe Leonessa)
22. Risa Shimizu (NTV Beleza)
5. Nana Ichise (MyNavi Vegalta Sendai Ladies)
16. Asato Miyagawa (NTV Beleza)
12. Moeka Minami (Urawa Reds Ladies)
10. Mizuho Sekiguchi (NTV Beleza)
7. Emi Nakajima (INAC Kobe Leonessa)
15. Yuka Momiki (NTV Beleza)
14. Yui Hasegawa (NTV Beleza)
6. Hina Sugita (INAC Kobe Leonessa)
17. Narumi Miura (NTV Beleza)
9. Yuika Sugasawa (Urawa Reds Ladies)
8. Mana Iwabuchi (INAC Kobe Leonessa))
20. Kumi Yokoyama (AC Nagano Parceiro Ladies)
11. Rikako Kobayashi (NTV Beleza)
13. Riko Ueki (NTV Beleza)
19 Jun Endo (NTV Beleza)
Tim Grainey is a contributor to Tribal Football. His latest book Beyond Bend it Like Beckham on the global game of women's football. Get your copy today.
Follow Tim on Twitter: @TimGrainey