The Sports Examiner

FOOTBALL Preview: U.S. Victory Tour continues Thursday vs. Portugal before more than 45,000 in Philly

Big crowd expected at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Thursday

Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field will see a record crowd of more than 45,000 for the second match of the U.S. Women’s National Team’s “Victory Tour” on Thursday (29th) vs. Portugal at 7 p.m. Eastern time (TV: FS1).

It’s the biggest crowd ever for a “stand-alone” friendly for the U.S. women, meaning a game not attached with any others (in a doubleheader) or part of a tournament. The prior high was also in Pennsylvania in 2015 – during that season’s Victory Tour – when the U.S. defeated Costa Rica, 8-0, in front of 44,028 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

The American women have a 7-0 record vs. Portugal all-time and played last year in December in Estoril (outside of Lisbon), with Jessica McDonald scoring the only goal of the game for a 1-0 win.

Coach Jill Ellis, finishing her stint as U.S. head coach during the Victory Tour, called up forward Kristen Hamilton and defender Casey Short for this match for added depth. “With the injuries we currently have to several World Cup players, and with two of our main priorities on the Victory Tour being spreading around the minutes and keeping players healthy for their clubs during this critical playoff push, it made sense to call in Casey and Kristen to give us options and depth for these games against what will be a tough Portugal team.”

Portugal did not make the 2019 World Cup field, but will play two matches vs. the U.S. during the Victory Tour: on Thursday in Philadelphia and on 3 September at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota (8 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2). The Tour will finish with games vs. South Korea on 3 and 6 October in Charlotte, N.C. and Chicago.

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