The second annual Tournament of Nations kicks off Thursday, as the United States Women’s National Team takes on Japan inside Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City.
The match is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on Fox Sports 1. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch a live stream of the game (or DVR it) on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Fox Sports 1 is included in the main “Fubo Premier” channel package, which is largely tailored towards sports fans. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app.
If you can’t watch live, FuboTV comes with 30 hours of Cloud DVR (with the ability to upgrade to 500 hours), as well as a “72-Hour Lookback” feature, which allows you to watch the game up to three days after it airs even if you forgot to record it.
In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including Fox Sports 1. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch live, “Hulu with Live TV” also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
Fox Sports 1 is included in the “Sling Blue” package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch the fights live on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you can’t watch live, you can get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage as an additional add-on.
Though the Tournament of Nations may merely consist of a series of international friendlies, it can still serve an important purpose. With the CONCACAF Women’s Championship–which serves as 2019 World Cup qualifying–set to begin in October, these matches will be one of the last opportunity for Jill Ellis to evaluate her squad before the games begin to really mean something.
As such, you can expect to see a blend of veterans and youth against Japan.
Up front will be the familiar names. Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, Crystal Dunn, Christen Press, Amy Rodriguez, Julie Ertz, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd are all on the 23-player roster for the Tournament of Nations, and though some will get rest opportunities, many will likely slot into the Starting XI.
Defensively is where the team’s youth comes in, especially if Becky Sauerbrunn, who suffered a leg injury a couple weeks ago, isn’t able to go. Outside of Sauerbrunn, all of the defenders on the ToN roster (Abby Dahlkemper, Tierna Davidson, Merritt Mathias, Casey Short, Emily Sonnett) have fewer than 22 national team caps.
Another interesting player to watch is McCall Zerboni in the midfield. The NC Courage 31-year-old has made just two appearances at the senior level, but she has impressed over the last year and could be a darkhorse to make the World Cup roster.
The United States has faced Japan three times since their dominant 5-2 win in the 2015 World Cup final, going 2-1-0 in those matches (one of those wins was called in the 76th minute due to weather). They most recently met at the 2017 Tournament of Nations, with Rapinoe, Morgan and Mallory Pugh all finding the back of the net in the 3-0 win.
Japan, though, enters with some favorable momentum, as they are fresh off winning the 2018 Women’s Asian Cup in April. They beat Australia, a team that has recently given them plenty of problems, in the final, 1-0.