Soccer

Women's World Cup fan diary: USA vs France

Women's World Cup fan diary: USA vs France

The biggest game of the Women's World Cup has arrived. The US Women's National Team take on host-nation France in the quarterfinals in a game deemed #LeGrandMatch.

The match is set to start at 3 p.m. on Fox at the Parc de Princes in Paris.

France gave the USWNT their only defeat of the calendar year, a 3-1 friendly loss in Le Havre. To make it to the quarterfinals, France defeated Brazil in extra time thanks to an Amandine Henry strike, and the USWNT survived a scare against Spain thanks to two converted penalty kicks from Megan Rapinoe.

The winner will take on England on Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Parc Olympique Lyonnais.

The USWNT has already requested that fans in the States take the day off from work, and have included a nifty video and letter for workers to give to their bosses and supervisors.

NBC Sports Washington will be downtown at Mackey's Pub with the D.C. chapter of the American Outlaws and fans who are skipping work to bring you as close to Paris, France as we can without crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Come join us!

STARTING LINEUP

Team USA is going with the same lineup they used against Spain in their first game of the knockout round.

No comment from fans yet on coach Jill Ellis not changing her lineup, but Washington Spirit’s own Rose Lavelle will be in the midfield.


Get your merch!

The American Outlaws are out in force in the basement of Mackey’s and have scarves and shirts for sale.

In enemy territory

Jeremie and Rachel couldn't get into the French Embassy's World Cup watch party and are bravely wearing Paul Pogba and Thierry Henry's numbers.


5' CROWD GOES WILD

Megan Rapinoe slots in a free kick and the fans are going bonkers in the basement!


Good luck charm

Sydney Leroux Dwyer's new daughter may be the good luck the USWNT needs. Her daughter Roux James was born this morning and has already witnessed a USA goal.


Enemy territory part deux

TF1 French TV is also out and about covering the game and they're here interviewing USA fans about their perspective on the team tonight.

Full capacity

The hottest happy hour this afternoon in D.C. appears to be Mackey's. We've reached standing room only right before half time.

Fuel up

In the words of former Caps bench boss Barry Trotz, "gotta hydrate." In this case, fans are using the break at half time to grab a bite to eat and hydrate on beer and soda.

46': Close but no cigar

Mackey's is ready to erupt after Tobin Heath's corner kick doesn't get into the net.


57': Heartstopper

France nearly converts off a cross from the end line, but with a few audible gasps and fans covering their mouths, the USWNT comes out unscathed. Nervy few moments.

62': Will you take this Rose?

Washington's Rose Lavelle is out and Lindsey Horan comes in, and Mackey's is thrilled with Lavelle's effort.

65': Put them away

Megan Rapinoe puts home a volley and Mackey's goes full-throated on the USA chants!

"Pinoe is now the President of the United States. I don't make the rules," said one fan.

Wikipedia clearly agrees.


75': VAR strikes again

Tobin Heath slots one in, but it's ruled off-side and there's no VAR review. Displeasure courses through every fan's veins.


80': The empire strikes back

Wendie Renard converts off a header to make it 2-1, but Carli Lloyd comes in for Sam Mewis and the fans are loving the substitution.

88': Keep up the PRESSure

Rapinoe is off after contributing a brace, and Christen Press comes on to close the game out. Mackey's has become eerily quiet as they wait out the clock through 90' and five minutes of stoppage time.

90'+5: GAME OVER

Au revoir France! USWNT pull off the win, and the Mackey's faithful will see another game as Team USA take on England Tuesday at 3 p.m.


Postgame: Pay your dues

Alexi Lalas bet big on France beating the USWNT. Never bet against them again.

MORE SOCCER NEWS:

The Big Twenty: DC United wins MLS Cup

The Big Twenty: DC United wins MLS Cup

For the next three weeks, NBC Sports Washington will be rolling out the 20 biggest stories in DMV sports in the past 20 years. Here is No. 19.

A new phenom. A new coach. A renewed hope that DC United could return to glory and capture their first MLS Cup title since 1999.

That is exactly what transpired as the 2004 MLS season brought the fourth championship in team history to DC United.

The offseason started with the departure of Ray Hudson behind the bench, replaced by retired Chicago Fire star Peter Nowak. One of the best players in the early days of MLS, Nowak had retired from playing in 2002 before taking a job in the Chicago front office. When DCU’s ownership came calling, Nowak jumped at the chance to take over the most highly-decorated team in the league’s young history.

In the same month that Nowak took the helm, DC United brought 14-year-old phenom Freddy Adu aboard, becoming the youngest American to ever sign a contract in any professional league. The youngster carried plenty of hype into his first professional season and finished third on the team with five goals while playing in every match.

The retirement of longtime club legend, and last remaining member of the inaugural 1996 team, Marco Etcheverry at the end of the 2003 season brought an end to the initial Golden Age of DC United when the club collected eight trophies across all competitions in the first three years of its existence. 2004 marked the start of a second golden age with the team winning another four trophies to add to the trophy case in the next four years.

The regular season started slowly for United with a 5-8-6 record in the first 19 games of the season. The team rebounded in August and rode a 6-2-3 close to the season to the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Forwards Alecko Eskandarian and Jaime Moreno shouldered the scoring load for the Black-and-Red with 10 and seven goals respectively as DC got set for a Conference Semifinal matchup with the New York/New Jersey Metrostars in the first round of the postseason.

United ran through the MetroStars with back-to-back 2-0 victories, booking its place in the Eastern Conference Final with the New England Revolution. A riveting back-and-forth game saw United take the lead three separate times only for the Revolution to equalize thrice themselves. All level at three after 90 minutes and extra time, the game was decided in the first-ever penalty shootout in MLS history. In the sudden-death sixth round, United’s Brian Carroll scored and goalkeeper Nick Rimando saved a Clint Dempsey penalty to advance to the club’s fifth MLS Cup in the first nine years of the league.

Kansas City Wizards emerged from the Western Conference to face the Black-and-Red in MLS Cup 2004 played at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA. Kansas City took an early lead before DC scored three goals in seven minutes and held on for the fourth title in the club’s eight-year history, and to date, the last time the club has lifted the MLS Cup.

Washington Spirit trade USWNT forward Mallory Pugh for draft picks

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Washington Spirit trade USWNT forward Mallory Pugh for draft picks

The Washington Spirit traded U.S. Women's National Team forward Mallory Pugh to Sky Blue FC on Thursday.

In the deal, the Spirit received the No. 4 overall pick in Thursday's NWSL draft, which they used to select UCLA junior forward Ashley Sanchez. The Spirit also acquired the No. 4 and No. 8 picks of the second round and a 2021 first-rounder.

Washington initially announced that the trade was for a "player to be named later." A post on the team's Twitter account thanking Pugh eventually confirmed the news.

"Thank you @MalPugh for everything you have done for the club and this city. Best of luck with @SkyBlueFC," read the tweet.

Pugh, 21, played in 19 games with seven starts for the U.S. national team in 2019, and her six goals tied for fifth on the team. She made three appearances and scored one goal with one assist as the U.S. claimed gold in the World Cup. She had 10 goals and four assists in three seasons with the Spirit.

Like Pugh, Sanchez is also a member of the USWNT program. After being selected on Thursday, she said the process of turning pro was stressful.

"It was a little stressful, but I'm just really excited," Sanchez said. "This is what I've always dreamed about. And to be at a team like Washington, it's really humbling."

Sanchez led UCLA with 15 assists in the 2019 season, tying her own school single-season record from the previous season, and she was second on the team with seven goals. Sanchez is UCLA’s all-time assists leader with 42 and was a 2018 first-team All-American.

"Ashley is one of the most dynamic players to ever play at UCLA," said UCLA head coach Amanda Cromwell. "It's remarkable that she broke our career assists record as a junior. We know Ashley's success as a Bruin will help her in her endeavors as a professional and national team member. We are excited for her future and wish her the best of luck."

In the second round, the Spirit drafted USC's Natalie Jacobs and Washington State's Averie Collins. They drafted Kansas' Katie McClure in the third round and Sanchez's UCLA teammate Kaiya McCullough in the fourth.