Without a World Cup, Olympics or a qualifying campaign, all the uSWNT's matches in 2017 matches will be friendlies. However, the collective bargaining agreement that is still to be agreed to with US Soccer remains the main talking point.
For the players, they will likely take the chance to focus instead on the game itself, especially the young players hoping to stand out in 2017. The USWNT’s next action comes in March against England, Germany and France in the SheBelieves Cup, a friendly tournament hosted by the USA and featuring top-10 FIFA-ranked teams.
After those matches the calendar had been empty for the rest of 2017 until Friday when US Soccer announced a pair of friendlies. The Russian Women’s National Team will visit for a set of two games in April, both in MLS stadiums: first, a trip to Dallas, TX on April 6, followed by a match in Houston on April 9.
Russia is currently ranked 23rd by FIFA, with the USA still in first place despite not winning the Olympics in 2016. Russia will be hoping to improve from their last trip to America back in 2014, in which they lost both matches by an aggregate score of 15-0. Competition against the US squad is the perfect challenge prior to this summer’s Euros.
Luckily for the NWSL, both the SheBelieves Cup and these Russian friendlies will be over prior to any league action for the 2017 season.
If a CBA is agreed to by the time these Russian friendlies complete and NWSL action kicks off, it may be a while before US Soccer schedules another match for the side. The question of whether or not players would accept call-ups or strike after a certain point is one that US Soccer needs to avoid.