USA-Portugal: What's at stake for U.S. women

For years, the USA went to Portugal in late winter to play in the Algarve Cup.

This is a change: a single friendly against Portugal Thursday in Estoril, a suburb of Lisbon, the first of two games in Europe to complete the year.

Here's what is at stake ...

Unbeaten season. The USA enters the Portugal game -- the first meeting between the two teams since 2001 -- with a 16-0-2 record and 26-game unbeaten streak dating back to August 2017 when it lost to Australia at the Tournament of Nations. Only twice before has the USA gone unbeaten and played more matches: 2015 (22-0-3) and 2006 (18-0-4).

2019 roster spots. The games against Portugal and Scotland next Tuesday in Paisley will give Jill Ellis a chance to look at several players who have not been regulars in 2018 but will be in contention for roster spots in 2019.

Right now, probably 20 players (including injured Stanford defender Tierna Davidson) are locks to go to France for the World Cup. That leaves three spots up for grabs -- including the third goalkeeper spot -- over the next six months.

Seven of the 22 players in Europe weren't on the U.S. team that swept the Concacaf Women's Championship in October.

The squad includes two uncapped players: Danielle Colaprico, who plays for Adelaide United in Australia on loan from the Chicago Red Stars, and the University of North Carolina's Emily Fox, the lone collegian released during the NCAA Division I women's postseason.

(Five players from the World Cup qualifying squad aren't with the team in Estoril for various reasons: Morgan Brian, Tobin Heath, Hailie Mace, Kelley O'Hara and Christen Press.)

U.S. Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns; 0/0), 24-Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 18/0), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 37/0).
DEFENDERS (7): 7-Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 28/0), 19-Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 73/24), 25-Emily Fox (Univ. of North Carolina; 0/0), 12-Merritt Mathias (NC Courage; 1/0), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals; 147/0), 14-Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0), 2-Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns; 24/0).
MIDFIELDERS (7): 22-Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars; 0/0), 8-Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 71/18); 9-Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns; 61/7), 16-Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 18/6), 20-Allie Long (Seattle Reign; 39/6), 3-Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 40/8), 6- Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 10/0).
FORWARDS (5):10-Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 262/105), 21-Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 1/0), 13-Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 151/97), 11-Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 41/12), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign; 144/41).

Portugal Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Rute Costa (SC Braga), Inês Pereira (Sporting CP), Patrícia Morais (Sporting CP)

DEFENDERS (6): Carole Costa (Sporting CP), Matilde Fidalgo (SC Braga), Diana Gomes (SC Braga), Monique Gonçalves (CA Ouriense), Mónica Mendes (AC Milan, ITA), Sílvia Rebelo (SL Benfica)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Ana Borges (Sporting CP), Vanessa Marques (SC Braga), Andreia Norton (SC Sand, GER), Fatima Pinto (Sporting CP), Tatiana Pinto (Sporting CP), Ana Santos (CA Ouriense), Dolores Silva (Atlético Madrid, ESP)
FORWARDS (7): Telma Encarnação (CS Marítimo), Ana Leite (Bayer Leverkusen, GER), Laura Luís (SC Braga), Carolina Mendes (Sporting CP), Claudia Lima (Valadares Gaia FC), Diana Silva (Sporting CP), Jéssica Silva (Levante, ESP)

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