This match against France will be the first of two to take place in Europe as the USWNT will also take on Spain on Tuesday. These two matches will be critical for players looking to play their way in to the last spots on the World Cup roster. Players like Danielle Colaprico, Jessica McDonald, Emily Fox, and Jane Campbell, are all right on the edge of either just making, or missing the cut for the united States roster. They'll need to perform against two very good teams in France and Spain, in order for them to even be in the conversation when it comes time to build the final roster.
Not only will this give everyone a good idea of where certain players are, but also where the team is as a whole. While it's important that the team starts to play well now, they should not be peaking just yet. It;s important that the team starts to build a base that they can launch from, starting with this game against France. This is what ultimately led to the United States winning the World Cup four years ago. They did not start the year, or the tournament for that matter, very well, but they were able to find their rhythm and ultimately peaked in the semi-final against Germany, and the final against Japan.
In regards to France, they might just finally be figuring it out. The main problem with France was that while they've always had the talent, they could just never put it all together in a major tournament for whatever reason. That is however starting to change. They have a manager in Corinne Diacre who has got this team playing very well, winning their last seven games in a row, outscoring their opponents 27-1. These recent results combined with the tournament being at home, as well as the country being energized by the men's team winning the men's World Cup last summer, there is serious momentum behind this French team going into this summer's tournament.
The USWNT play France on Saturday, January 19, at 2:30 PM on Fox Sports 1. The match will be played in Le Havre, France.