U.S. Women’s National Team announces venues for Tournament of Nations

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SEATTLE, WA - JULY 27: Head coach Jill Ellis of the United States looks on against Australia prior to the 2017 Tournament of Nations at CenturyLink Field on July 27, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (May 16, 2018) – The United States Women’s National Team is gearing up for the Tournament of Nations.

U.S. Soccer announced on Wednesday the cities chosen to host upcoming matches. Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas, Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford, Connecticut and Toyota Park in Brideville, Illinois, are the chosen venues for the Tournament of Nations.

U.S. Soccer will host the national teams of Brazil, Australia, and Japan.

U.S. Women’s National Team announces venues for Tournament of Nations

The tournament follows the same format as the SheBelieves Cup, annually held in March. There are four national teams and whoever comes out with the most points lifts the trophy.

In last year’s Tournament of Nations — which was the inaugural year — Australia claimed the title.

U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Jill Ellis said the hosting the best national teams in the world through the SheBelieves Cup and the Tournament of Nations is “exactly what we need to test ourselves and to compete to get on the top of a podium.”

“Friendlies are important, but there’s nothing like the competitive format these tournaments provide us,” Ellis said. “Australia, Brazil, and Japan are three very different teams that challenge us with their respective styles and personnel and it will be another fantastic tournament for our fans to watch.”

In terms of coming back to Kansas City, Jay Berhalter, chief commercial officer of U.S. Soccer, said that the fans in Kansas City have “really stepped up.”

“That really put Kansas City on the map,” Berhalter said, during a press conference Wednesday. “Real supporters of the game are here and we’re excited what they will bring this summer with the U.S. Women’s National Team.”

Meanwhile, Ellis said that the players “love” coming to Kansas City.

“It’s a very comfortable place for us,” Ellis said. “The fans and the field are the two leading qualifiers for what we want. They’re both fantastic here. We’re excited to come back and we’re hoping to get a good crowd to come and cheer us on against Japan. Oblivious Japan there’s a big rivalry. It’s going to be a doozy. Both teams are gearing up. They just qualified and I’m very much looking forward to playing them.”

The United States will face off against Japan first, on July 26. Then, the United States will take on Australia on July 29 and Brazil on Aug. 2.

Ellis is hoping to get some tactical preparations figured out before October’s 2019 FIFA World Cup qualifying against teams like Mexico and Costa Rica.

“Obviously the goal for us is to qualify,” Ellis said. “This tournament that U.S. Soccer has put on has helped facilitate that for us. We’re playing some of the best teams in the world prior to qualifying. They’re all very different styles, which lends us to help us prepare for different types of teams in qualifying.”

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