The Russian Women’s National Team (Photo: FAU)
Texas will be hosting two international friendlies in April as Russia will take on the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT). The first match will be at Toyota Stadium in Frisco on April 6th while the second will be at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston three days later, April 9th.
The matches take place right before the start of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season begins, allowing hype to build ahead of what will be an historic fifth season for the NWSL and women’s soccer in the United States.
For Russia the matches are vital preparation as they prepare to compete in the 2017 Women’s Euros. The task for Russia in the Netherlands will be difficult as they have to take on Germany, Italy and Sweden in Group B, having played Germany in qualifying behind them as the second place side in Group 5.
While the United States will be using the matches against Russia as preparation for their hosted tournament, the SheBelieves Cup. That tournament will bring strong teams as German, France and England will come to US soil.
As is so often the case with the USWNT they have a strong record against Russia, having won seven matches and one draw against them. The two teams last played in 2014 when the United States won a double header series 7-0 and 8-0.
The UNSWNT has an incredible record in Texas, having won every match they have ever played in the state. At Toyota Stadium they have won all three matches, beating Canada 6-2 and 1-0 in 2007 and 2014 while they beat New Zealand 2-1 in 2012. At BBVA Compass Stadium they have won the only match they played there beating China 4-0 in 2012. The average attendance in matches in Texas is 13,170.
This could well be the last chance fans in Texas will have to see a United States national team play, due to the discriminatory SB6 that will be going before the state legislature. A similar bill in North Carolina cost them all NCAA events, and while US Soccer didn’t take events away from North Carolina, US Soccer president Sunil Gulati suggested that they would not give matches to the state due to the law. “Given the legislation, I’ve asked the people who handle our games to reconsider,” he said in a Washington Post interview. That may be why these matches were announced now, to get the matches scheduled before SB6 passes to have a defense when that measure passes.