Preview: Welcome back to the Round of 16, Canada and USWNT

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Preview (June 22, 2019) — Monday is a big day for CONCACAF. Forget the Gold Cup right now. Out of the three CONCACAF nations to appear at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, two are heading to the Round of 16. Jamaica crashed out of the group stage in their first-ever trip to the tournament. Meanwhile, the USWNT are looking to keep their crown.

On the other hand, Canada is looking to makeup for lost time. They hosted the tournament back in 2015 and made it through their first knockout stage match. However, after hosting England in the quarterfinals, Canada bowed out. They’ll need to pick up momentum against Sweden — and a win — to help make it through the quarterfinal crisis.

Let’s take a look at both matchups for the USA and Canada, which will be held on Monday.

  • USWNT vs. Spain — 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT on FOX Sports 1
  • Canada vs. Sweden — 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT on FOX Sports 1

USA vs. Spain: Part 2 in 2019

This year, the USWNT went an unusual route with their January camp. Instead of staying in sunny California like they normally do, the United States Women’s National Team took a trip to Europe. They were defeated by France, but then bounced back to play another match.

Against Spain, the USWNT had a confidence boosting victory of 1-0. Christen Press scored the game-winning goal against La Roja. However, she’ll likely take a backseat if Alex Morgan is healthy to return. However, should Morgan find herself not ready to go, Press could be the first-choice bench player to get the nod.

This Spanish team is different from the one in January.

Jennifer Hermoso has found her rhythm for the Spaniards and managed to score twice against South Africa. Meanwhile, the African nation wasn’t just a breeze-through team and a solidified win for Spain. The entirety of Group B was wide open and brimming with talent.

The USWNT need to keep a tight defense on Hermoso, but avoid giving Spain too much room to work with. Hermoso against Crystal Dunn will be the battle to watch for Spain, as Hermoso might take to Dunn’s left side since Dunn is not a natural left back.

 Canada vs. Sweden: Will Sinclair find another?

Sweden has been inconsistent at the World Cup.

They were expected to put up close to the United States’ 13 goals against Thailand. However, they only managed one goal and Thailand slipped another past goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl. Meanwhile, against the United States, Sweden let an early goal from Lindsey Horan past them, while Jonna Andersson scored an own goal.

Meanwhile, Canada is coming off a sub-par group stage. They defeated the Netherlands with a narrow scoreline and defender Kadeisha Buchanan was the only player to score against Cameroon.

Christine Sinclair has been eyeing Abby Wambach’s international record. It’s almost all everyone talks about when she steps on the pitch for Canada. She got one step closer to the all-time goal scoring record with her 182nd goal against the Netherlands. However, it wasn’t enough for Canada to win and take first place in Group E.

However, now Sinclair needs two more goals to tie Wambach’s record of 184. Sweden will likely keep a close eye on Sinclair, which could open up the floodgates for players like Jessie Fleming and Nichelle Prince.

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