The U.S. women’s national soccer team, which is aiming to win a third consecutive World Cup trophy next summer, is tentatively scheduled to play newly crowned European champion England in an Oct. 7 friendly at Wembley Stadium, the respective federations announced Tuesday.
In an away qualifier with Luxembourg last year, England won, 10-0. Should the Lionesses stumble and be forced into a World Cup playoff in October, the England FA and U.S. Soccer Federation said they would work to reschedule in the future.
The top-ranked Americans and No. 8 English met in the 2019 World Cup semifinals in France (a 2-1 U.S. victory) and 2020 SheBelieves Cup in Orlando (a 2-0 U.S. victory). But after England won the Euro title for the first time Sunday, defeating Germany, 2-1, before 87,192 at Wembley, interest in women’s soccer there is at its highest level and a match with the sport’s most decorated program would bring enormous attention.
Tickets went on sale right away. The match will kick off in the evening in London. Fox Sports 1 will provide coverage in the United States.
In a statement, U.S. Coach Vlatko Andonovski said playing England at Wembley is an “opportunity that doesn’t come around very often, so we’re all thankful that the match could be arranged, and we’ll be hoping that England finish their [World Cup] qualifying campaign.”
Andonovski added, “This is exactly the kind of match we need at exactly the right time in our World Cup preparations so we can test ourselves against a very talented England team.”
Since the Americans won the 2019 world title, most of their matches have come against weak and middling opponents. Last month, they qualified for the World Cup and 2024 Olympics by romping through the Concacaf W Championship with five victories by a 13-0 aggregate score.
They’re unbeaten in 19 straight since losing to Canada in the Olympic semifinals last summer and have recorded shutouts in 11 of 12 games this year.
The Americans have not appeared at Wembley since the 2012 Olympic gold medal match against Japan. Their only two away games against England were played at small venues around London in 2011 and 2015.
After the proposed England game, the United States is planning to play a second friendly in Europe on Oct. 10 or 11. Spain, ranked No. 7, is the top candidate, one person familiar with the plans said.
Before venturing to Europe, the Americans have two friendlies against Nigeria: Sept. 3 in Kansas City, Kan., and Sept. 6 at Audi Field in Washington. In November, they are planning to play two home matches. The opponent and venues have not been finalized.
All games this fall are during FIFA international windows. The National Women’s Soccer League, which supplies most of the U.S. national team players, has one game scheduled during the September window. The league is expected to pause the start of the playoffs for the October friendlies, and the NWSL championship game takes place more than a week before the November matches.
In a statement, England Coach Sarina Wiegman said of the planned U.S. clash: “It would be the perfect game for our squad to meet another strong team after so many tough games in the Euros. It is good we enjoy the moment we are in after this wonderful summer, but we know we still have to work to do to take the next step forward.”