U.S. Soccer: What to Watch from the Women's National Team in June

Nathan McCarterFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2013

September 1, 2012; Rochester, NY, USA; USA forward Alex Morgan (13) hugs  teammate Abby Wambach (14) as Wambach scored her second goal in a friendly match against Costa Rica at Sahlen's Stadium. United States won the match 8-0. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The U.S. women's national team has three matches scheduled for June, and the first will be on Monday, June 2 against Canada. It is a part of U.S. Soccer’s Centennial Celebration weekend.

The rematch of the exciting Olympic semifinal will be held at BMO Field in Toronto, Canada.

Following the battle against Canada, the USWNT will return home for two matches against South Korea on June 15 and June 20. Those matches will take place in Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.) and Red Bull Arena (Harrison, N.J.), respectively.

All three matches will be televised.

The first thing fans can expect is not to see Hope Solo between the posts for the Canada match. She recently made her NWSL debut for the Seattle Reign FC following wrist surgery. However, she won't suit up for the USWNT right away.

Solo will join the team in Canada for training and revaluation on her wrist. If all goes well, it is likely you will see her in goal for the two matches against South Korea in mid-June.

Midfielder Megan Rapinoe will also not be in Canada for the rematch. Head coach Tom Sermanni made the call not to place her on the training roster since she is still in France with her club Lyon. She, too, will be back for the matches against South Korea.

Other than the two veterans the USWNT will look similar to past rosters, and the friendly against Canada will be hotly contested. Something Sermanni knows, per US Soccer.com:

“It’s always an important match when you play a neighbor, and with the strong contingent of Canadian players in the new league and how close the competition has become between the two countries over the past few years, there’s an intensity about this game far greater than a typical international friendly,” said Sermanni. “I know our players are really looking forward to the match and to the crowd, but also to getting back together as a national team and continuing to evolve in a positive direction.”

One of the most intriguing decisions for Sermanni will be who he places in goal for the match against Canada. That will give an insight in to whom he plans to play behind Solo in the near future. He has played Nicole Barnhart, Jill Loyden and Ashlyn Harris in recent matches.

The rivalry between the U.S. and Canada is growing as Canada continues to get better. This match is a must-see, and with the rise of Christen Press the USWNT keeps adding firepower. The USWNT is 4-0-1 in its five matches against Canada on their home soil.

What will fans want to watch for for the other two matches? Goals. Lots of goals.

The USWNT should have no problem scoring on the overmatched South Koreans, and that will give Abby Wambach a chance to catch and pass Mia Hamm's international scoring record. She enters June with 155 career goals—three behind Hamm's all-time record.

And should Wambach not find the back of the net that often, Canada and South Korea still have to deal with the red-hot Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux and Press.

The USWNT defense will also be interesting to watch. They have performed better in recent months than they have in the past few years. Stalwarts Rachel Buehler and Christie Rampone will be on the roster, and the addition of Kelley O'Hara and Whitney Engen has helped shore up the back line.

Top-notch defender Ali Krieger has also returned to the squad following an injury that kept her from competing for a year. She has been back in top form in 2013.

Fans will want to watch the Canada match for the hard-nosed competition. It will be a competitive battle between two of the world's best teams. After that, tune in for absolute fun as the USWNT will terrorize South Korea with its incredible offense.

June will give USWNT fans plenty of action to see.