Local soccer fans waiting for an opportunity to see defending FIFA Women’s World Cup champions Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan up close will have an opportunity to do so at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Tuesday evening.
Wambach, Morgan and the rest of the U.S. women’s national soccer team will participate in a 5 p.m. training session at the Superdome that is open to the public and free to attend. The U.S. is preparing to face China in an exhibition at the Superdome on Wednesday night — kickoff is set for 7 p.m., and the match will be televised on Fox Sports 1.
The match against China will be the last in a cross-country tour celebrating the United States’ victory at the 2015 women’s World Cup in Canada in July. It was the Americans’ first World Cup title since they claimed one on home soil in 1999, and the trophy won this summer will be on display outside of Gate C at the Superdome on Tuesday from 4:30 p.m. to 6.
The trophy will also be on display at Spanish Plaza outside the Riverwalk until 3 p.m. Tuesday, and it will be shown off in Champions Square on Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. until 7.
In the eight matches played so far during the tour, which began in the middle of August, the U.S. have scored 40 goals on their opponents while conceding only two. The U.S. have won seven of the matches and drawn one as they prepare for the North American, Central American and Caribbean Olympic qualifying tournament in February.
The United States’ most recent match was Sunday in Glendale, Arizona, where they defeated China 2-0 with goals by Crystal Dunn (39th minute) and substitute Christen Press (81st minute).
Wednesday will mark the third time since the summer that the U.S. have played China, whom the Americans defeated 1-0 during the 2015 World Cup quarterfinals. It will also be the last national team appearance by Wambach, who announced her retirement from pro soccer in October.
In 154 matches for the U.S., the 35-year-old Wambach has scored 184 times, the most international goals ever by a pro soccer player, male or female. In addition to the World Cup title this summer, Wambach has helped the U.S. capture two Olympic gold medals.
Wambach is scheduled to speak with reporters ahead of Tuesday’s practice.
Meanwhile, earlier Tuesday, the Saints hosted at least some members of the U.S. team at their headquarters in Metairie. Carli Lloyd — who scored a hat trick in the U.S.’s 5-2 victory over Japan in the World Cup final this summer — took a picture next to the Super Bowl trophy the Saints won at the end of the 2009 season and published it on Twitter.
“Sorry I missed you today,” Lloyd wrote in a tweet addressed to Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
Nonetheless, Brees left a signed ball behind for Lloyd, which she was holding next to the Super Bowl trophy in her picture.
“Carli, I’m a big fan of you and your accomplishments,” Brees wrote to Lloyd on the ball. “Who Dat!”
Lloyd tweeted at Brees, “Thanks so much for the signed ball. Big fan! Best of luck!”
Lloyd was recognized as the most valuable player in this summer’s World Cup and was the tournament’s leading scorer with six goals. Brees, for his part, was the MVP of the Saints’ Super Bowl victory.
In another picture on Twitter, Lloyd and teammates Jaelene Hinkle, Samantha Mewis and Stephanie McCaffrey posed with Saints coach Sean Payton, punter Thomas Morstead, kicker Kai Forbath and long snapper Justin Drescher. Morstead’s wife and one of his sons were also in the picture.
“Excited for tomorrow’s game,” Morstead wrote on his Twitter account, above the picture and next to the hashtag “KickersAndPunters.”