After a hard-fought 2-1 victory against rising European power Spain, the U.S. Women’s National Team will return to Paris to face France in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal (3 p.m. ET; FOX and Telemundo). In the Round of 16, the USA’s mettle was tested against a physical Spain side that conceded two penalty kicks that were both converted by U.S. captain Megan Rapinoe. The USA and France met earlier this year in the teams’ first game of 2019 with France coming away with a 3-1 win at Stade Ocèane in Le Havre on Jan. 19. The USA started five players in the January tête-à-tête with France who did not start against Spain in the Round of 16. The quarterfinal match against France will be U.S. head coach Jill Ellis’ 125th in charge of the USA, giving her the record of most games coached in U.S. history, breaking a tie with April Heinrichs (124).
HOW THEY GOT HERE
USA – 1st in Group F
USA VS. FRANCE
— The USA has played France four times in France, compiling a 2-2-0 record.
— The USA is 17-3-3 all-time against France, but the last nine games following the meeting at the 2012 Olympics have produced a 4-3-2 record for the USA as France has risen into the world’s elite.
— Several U.S. players have played in France. Lindsey Horan played with and against many of the French players while at Paris Saint-Germain. Horan lived and played in Paris for three-and-half years. Alex Morgan played for three months for Olympique Lyon in 2017, helping the club to the League, Cup and Champions League title. Morgan Brian also had a brief stint with Lyon in 2018. Megan Rapinoe played in Lyon over 2013-2014 while Tobin Heath did a short stint for PSG during a six-month period in 2013.
— Alex Morgan has six career goals against France, one in the World Cup, two in the Olympics, one in the SheBelieves Cup and two in a friendly match.
— Carli Lloyd has two goals against France, one each at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
— Over the last five matches vs. France, the U.S. has scored one goal in four of them and zero in the other. Since the beginning of 2015, only Alex Morgan (1), Carli Lloyd (1) and Mallory Pugh (2) have scored against Les Bleues.
— The USA’s first loss to France came on Feb. 8, 2015, a 2-0 setback in Lorient, France that kicked off the 2015 schedule for both teams. The USA avenged the loss with a 2-0 victory in the championship game of the 2015 Algarve Cup in Portugal as Julie Ertz (neé Johnston) and Christen Press scored. The USA’s second loss came at the 2017 SheBelieves Cup, while the third took place in the teams’ first match of 2019, a 3-1 U.S. defeat in Le Havre on Jan. 19.
— The USA and France also met at the 2018 SheBelieves Cup, a 1-1 draw in an evenly-played game that saw a few quality chances for both teams in what was a tight match. Mallory Pugh scored for the USA in the 35th minute while Eugénie Le Sommer scored for France just four minutes later.
— Twenty-one of the 26 U.S. players included on the roster that traveled to France earlier this year are on the U.S. World Cup roster, including 10 who started at Stade Ocèane.
— For France, 12 of the 13 players who played against the USA in January are on their WWC roster, including all 11 starters and one substitute. Overall, 19 of France’s 23-player January roster are in their WWC squad.
— The USA played France twice in 2016, winning 1-0 each time, at the SheBelieves Cup on March 6 in Nashville, Tenn., on a goal in second half stoppage time from Alex Morgan, and then in group play of the 2016 Olympics in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on a goal from Carli Lloyd.
— The USA and France also faced each other twice in June 2014, a 1-0 U.S. victory in Tampa, Florida, on a goal from Sydney Leroux and a 2-2 draw in East Hartford, Connecticut, as Alex Morgan scored both goals, equalizing twice to cancel out scores from Louisa Necib (on a penalty kick) and Amandine Henry.
— Before those games, there came an epic pair of matches in world championships. The USA defeated France 3-1 on July 13, 2011, in the FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal in Monchengladbach, Germany. The U.S. also won the Olympic curtain raiser 4-2 on July 25, 2012, in Glasgow, Scotland, as the USA came back from a 2-0 deficit with Alex Morgan scoring twice, and Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd contributing a goal each.
— Before the 2-2 draw in 2014, the first tie between the teams came at the Four Nations Tournament in Guangzhou, China, in 2006, a 0-0 draw.
USWNT IN THE RECORD BOOKS
— The U.S. is unbeaten in their last 14 Women’s World Cup matches (11W-3D), winning the last nine in a row. They could become only the second team to win 10 consecutive WWC matches, matching Norway’s run from 95 to 99.
— After the win vs. Spain, the U.S. WNT is now 37-4-6 all-time in the Women’s World Cup, outscoring its opponents 132-36 in 47 games. The 37 wins, 47 games-played and 132 goals scored are all FIFA Women’s World Cup records.
— The United States is the only nation to make it past the quarterfinal match as host of the World Cup.
U.S. WNT WORLD CUP TIDBITS
— Five USA players own double-figure World Cup caps: Lloyd (22), Krieger (14), Morgan (15), Rapinoe (15) Heath (13) and Sauerbrunn (11).
— The first U.S. goal against Spain was the fourth goal in the opening 15 minutes of this WWC. France (3) is the only other country with more than one in that time.
— Alex Morgan had a performance for the ages against Thailand in the opening game of the World Cup, tying a World Cup record with five goals while adding three assists. The five scores upped her career total to 106 and within one goal of tying Michelle Akers for fifth on the USA’s all-time goals list.
— Morgan has scored in 72 career games for the USA and in those matches, the U.S. team has never lost, going 62-0-10. Morgan is one of only three players in U.S. history with 40 or more goals who has never lost a game in which she has scored (Heather O’Reilly and Tisha Venturini are the others).
— Morgan famously scored in both the semifinal and championship games of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany at her first senior World Cup and scored once in Canada at the 2015 Women’s World Cup, that goal coming against Colombia in the Round of 16 during a tournament in which she was working her way back from injury.
— Morgan (who has eight World Cup goals) needs two goals to become the 11th player (and fourth American) to score 10 goals at the World Cup. Only two other countries have more than one, Germany (3) and Brazil (2).
— After her brace of PKs against Spain in the Knockout Round on June 24, Megan Rapinoe has 47 career goals which moves her into 13th place on the all-time U.S. scoring list past Julie Foudy and into a tie with Heather O’Reilly and Tisha Veturini for 12th place all-time. She has score six career World Cup goals.
— She has been directly involved in 12 goals in her 15 appearances at the Women’s World Cup (six goals, six assists). Since the start of the 2011 tournament, only Carli Lloyd (13) has had a hand in more WWC goals for the USWNT than Rapinoe.
— Abby Dahlkemper has played the full 90 in 10 of 13 games this year and has played the most minutes of any U.S. player through the first four games of this World Cup with 352. She has started 39 of her 44 caps.
— Alyssa Naeher has 28 career shutouts in her 50 caps. In the matchup against Spain in Round of 16, she became the fourth goalkeeper in U.S. history to earn 50 or more caps.
IN FOCUS: France
FIFA World Ranking: 4
UEFA Ranking: 3
Women’s World Cup Appearances: 4 – 2003, 2011, 2015, 2019
Best Women’s World Cup finish: Fourth place (2011)
Record vs. USA: 3-17-3
Head Coach: Corinne Diacre
FRANCE WOMEN’S WORLD CUP ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Solene Durand (EA Guingamp), 16-Sarah Bouhaddi (Olympique Lyon), 21-Pauline Peyraud-Magnin (Arsenal, ENG)
DEFENDERS (8): 2-Eve Perisset (Paris Saint-Germain), 3-Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyon), 4-Marion Torrent (Montpellier HSC), 5-Aissatou Tounkara (Atlético Madrid, ESP), 7-Sakina Karchaoui (Montpellier HSC), 10-Amel Majri (Olympique Lyon), 19-Griedge Mbock Bathy (Olympique Lyon), 22-Julie Debever (EA Guingamp)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 6-Amandine Henry (Olympique Lyon), 8-Grace Geyoro (Paris Saint-Germain FC), 14-Charlotte Bilbault (Paris FCF), 15-Elise Bussaglia (Dijon FCO), 17-Gaetane Thiney (Paris FCF), 23-Maeva Clémaron (FC Fleury 91)
FORWARDS (6): 9-Eugenie Le Sommer (Olympique Lyon), 11-Kadidiatou Diani (Paris Saint-Germain), 12-Emelyne Laurent (EA Guingamp), 13-Valerie Gauvin (Montpellier HSC), 18-Viviane Asseyi (Girondins Bordeaux), 20-Delphine Cascarino (Olympique Lyon)
— France won Group A at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, defeating Korea Republic (4-0), Norway (2-1) and Nigeria (1-0), in that order. France opened the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Paris at Parc des Princes, the site of the quarterfinal showdown with the USA.
— Les Bleues needed extra time to get past Brazil in the Round of 16, winning 2-1 thanks to Amandine Henry’s 107th-minute winner of a set play.
— So far in the World Cup, Les Bleues are 4-0-0, having outscored their opponents 9-2 with only four players (Le Sommer, Renard, Henry and Gauvin) accounting for all nine goals, five of which have come from set pieces.
— Although several veterans and other top talents have retired since the last World Cup, France has some highly experienced players including Thiney, who plays for Paris FC and a dynamic forward in Le Sommer of Olympique Lyon. They are France’s main scoring threats, having combined for more than 120 international goals.
— Towering center back Wendie Renard is one of the most dangerous players in the world on set plays having already scored from two in the 2019 WWC.
— Goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi is the long-time starter. She was France’s starter in the 2015 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.
— Like the USA, France has been in transition with some younger players who have come up through the youth National Team ranks, including: defender Griedge M’bock Bathy, defender Grace Geyoro, defender Aissatou Tounkara and midfielder Kadidiatou Diani. All were all major parts of the France team that won the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. Diani scored four times in the tournament and M’bock Bathy once.
— Since the start of 2017, France has lost just four times. Two losses came against England at the 2017 Euros (1-0), and the 2018 SheBelieves Cup (4-1), while the other two were against Germany in a friendly in Germany on Nov. 20, 2017, a 4-0 setback and the 1-0 defeat in Laval in Les Bleues second match of 2019.
— France has seven players on its roster from four-time defending UEFA Women’s Champions League champs Olympique Lyon, which is once again finished atop the Division 1 Feminine. Those are former Portland Thorns midfielder Amandine Henry, who helped the Thorns to the 2017 NWSL title, GK Sarah Bouhaddi, defenders Amel Majri, Griedge Mbock Bathy and Renard as well as forwards Delphine Cascarino and Le Sommer. Three other clubs: EA Guingamp, Paris Saint-Germaine and Montpellier all have three players each in the side.
— France’s head coach is former star player Corinne Diacre. She debuted for France at the age of 18 and compiled 121 caps for Les Bleues. She played in the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 1997, 2001 and 2005 European Championships, where she was the team captain.
— Diacre gained some worldwide notoriety when she took over as the coach of the French men’s professional club, Clermont Foot, in 2014. She coached the Ligue 2 side until 2017 when she took over the France Women’s National Team and is charged with the large and important task of leading her home country through the Women’s World Cup on home soil.
— Diacre named players to the World Cup Team from nine different French clubs – as well as Atletico Madrid in Spain and Arsenal in England – reflecting her philosophy of expanding the French player pool in order to compete for the title at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
— Les Bleues have lost only once in France since the beginning of 2016, compiling a record of 31-1-3 at home over that time. After defeating the USA in Le Havre to open 2019, France lost 1-0 to Germany in Laval, but since then have gone on a nine-game win streak, outscoring opponents 27-4.
— France ended 2018 on a seven-game win streak in which they outscored their opponents, 27-1.
— In 2018, France saw 15 players get on the scoresheet, led by Eugénie Le Sommer’s nine goals. Gaëtane Thiney had five assists to go along with three goals. Thiney was one of three French players with multiple assists and the only player with more than two.