USWNT to open 2018 against Denmark

The U.S. Women’s National Team will open 2018 with a January friendly against the runners-up from this summer’s UEFA Women’s Euro tournament, Denmark. To be played in San Diego at County Credit Union Stadium (formerly Qualcomm Stadium), the match will kick off at 4:30 p.m. PT on January 21.

The two teams have met 24 times overall (16-5-3 in the U.S.’s favor) but haven’t played each other since meeting up at the Algarve Cup in March of 2014. The Danes dealt the USWNT a 5-3 loss, setting the record for most goals scored against the Americans in a match.

Denmark will look to replicate that result against the top-ranked U.S. team after a year of success. The team advanced to the Euro championship this summer with knockout stage wins over Germany (2-1) and Austria (3-0 on penalties) before ultimately falling 4-2 to the Netherlands in a thrilling final.

The 13th-ranked Danes finished out 2017  with a pair of 2019 World Cup qualification wins over Hungary (6-1) and Croatia (4-0), but due to the team’s dispute with the federation, a qualifier against Sweden was forfeited when the team chose not to play. Now that a four-year collective bargaining agreement has been reached, however, the team will operate as usual.

Danish captain Pernille Harder will lead her squad against the U.S. in January. | Source: TF-Images via Getty Images

For Jill Ellis’s squad, the friendly will begin the final year of tinkering before the next major tournament. After losses to England and France, and narrow wins over Germany, Norway, and Sweden, a test against a top European squad will help the U.S. coaching staff evaluate the team’s preparedness for France 2019. Testing some of the younger defenders against one of the world’s best strikers in Danish captain Pernille Harder will also give Ellis a better idea of how to shape the roster for the following year.

The action will play out January 21 on ESPN. Tickets will go on sale beginning at 10 a.m. PT on Friday, December 1.