United States Women start their preparation for the 2021 Olympics when they host Portugal on Friday at 12:30am (UK time).
The game is the first of three matches as part of the 2021 WNT Summer Series, with Jamaica and Nigeria also involved.
How to live stream United States Women vs Portugal Women online:
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Where to watch United States Women vs Portugal Women on TV:
- UK: N/A
- US: Fox Sports 1
Scoreline prediction: United States Women 3-0 Portugal Women
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United States Women vs Portugal Women build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
United States are clear at the top of women’s football and they will be looking to continue that domination at the Olympics this summer. They have not lost since January 2019, winning 35 and drawing four of their 39 games, a run which has seen them win the 2019 World Cup and 2020 and 2021 SheBelieves Cups. Making that run even more remarkable is their defensive record, with USWNT conceding just two goals in their past 16 games since the start of 2020. But before they get to the Olympics, they must first see off Portugal.
It’s fair to say Portugal don’t enjoy the same success as United States, and Francisco Neto’s side have endured a tough start to 2021. They kicked off the year with a defeat to Finland in Euro 2022 qualifying, missing the chance to finish top of the group and having to make do with the play-offs. However, Portugal were also beaten in the play-offs, losing 1-0 to Russia on aggregate thanks to a home defeat before a draw in Moscow.
- United States Women (vs France): Naeher; O’Hara, Dahlkemper, Sauerbrunn, Dunn; Ertz, Lavelle, Mewis; Press, Morgan, Rapinoe.
- Portugal Women (vs Russia): Pereira; Borges, Costa, Rebelo, Marchao; Neto, D Silva, Pinto, Norton; Silva, Nazareth.
Neither side has any fresh injury concerns ahead of this game.
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Player to watch: Crystal Dunn (United States Women)
United States have a lot of stars, with the likes of Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle always mentioned when they play. However, one of the best players in the team is one who often gets overlooked: Crystal Dunn.
The 28-year-old has made a name for herself as one of the best full-backs in world football right now, but she that isn’t her natural position. Dunn started her career further up the pitch as a winger, but has proven herself very versatile, making the full-back spot her own after the past few years (having also played in central midfield).
While some players may want to avoid extreme versatility, due to the risk of not being the best in one position and missing out, Dunn believes it’s something younger plays should explore.
“For me, it’s really just simplifying the game,” she said recently.
“There was a time where, when I was bouncing from outside back to centre-mid to forward, I was like, ‘There’s so much going on’.
“What I realised is, it’s just the same sport. Yes, I am in a different position on the field. But at the same time, it’s being very sound on the ball, solving problems, working hard—those are all qualities that I instil, regardless of where I am on the field.
“I will say it is definitely different being in the backline when you can’t make any mistakes because it could lead into a goal. But ultimately, that puts a lot of pressure on me to be technically sound and really be crisp on the ball.
“It’s actually really fun. I try to encourage young players all the time to really be versatile, because you never know where a coach is going to put you.
“And it’s better to be prepared than to be completely spooked by, ‘Oh, this coach wants me to play in a different role.’ So I think it’s made me unique.”
A perfect example of Dunn’s versatility comes in the differences between her positioning for club and country. Although she remains left-back for United States, Dunn has played central midfielder and forward for Portland Thorns, recently opening her account for the NWSL season in a 1-0 win over Gotham FC.
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