U.S. women’s national team to face England, France in pre-World Cup tuneups

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On Thursday the USWNT announced they will play England and France before next summer’s World Cup in Canada.

The U.S. women’s national team will play France on Feb. 8 and then England on Feb. 13, as both nations are also heading to the 2015 World Cup.

Details for the game against France have been announced, as the U.S. will play France in the northwest city of Lorient at the 18,500-seat Stade du Moustoir. A venue for their game against England has yet to be announced, but the Three Lionesses did play Germany at Wembley Stadium in November in front of a record crowd for a women’s game in soccer’s homeland, as over 45,000 people turned up.

U.S. head coach Jill Ellis is looking forward to the challenge of travelling overseas to face England and France.

“These games are exactly what we need,” Ellis said. “Our goal leading up to the World Cup is to play some of the best team. These are two opponents that will test us and certainly two teams we could meet in Canada. Both teams are exceptionally well-organized, have a high level of athleticism and will pose some excellent challenges.”

The USWNT last visited France in 1995, where they played in a four-team tournament, while the last time they met the French national team was twice in 2014 as they won 1-0 in Tampa, Fla. and drew 2-2 in East Hartford, Conn.

England and the U.S. have only ever met once on English soil, with the USA losing 2-1 back in 2011.

With the draw being made for the 2015 women’s World Cup this Saturday, all three nations will be eager to find out which groups they are in. Regardless, they have already secured top quality friendlies before the tournament begins, as England will also play France in April.