|Venue: PayPal Park, San Jose Date: Sunday, 9 July Kick-off: 21:00 BST
|Protection: Stay on BBC One Wales, BBC Radio Wales and stay textual content commentary on BBC Sport web site & app.
Angharad James says Wales will face the final word take a look at of their progress once they tackle a “phenomenal” USA aspect in San Jose on Sunday (21:00 BST).
Wales will play exterior Europe for the primary time, having been invited to play the star-studded American staff of their last World Cup warm-up recreation.
The USA will go looking for a 3rd straight World Cup title when this yr’s event begins on 20 July.
“They’re double world champions for a motive,” stand-in captain James mentioned.
“They’ve expertise and children, and once you watch them play it is thrilling. It is quick and it is enjoyable. To play towards that can be nice for us, to see the place we’re at and possibly how far we nonetheless need to go.
“They’re fast, they’re athletic, they’re technically good. The mix they’ve is phenomenal.”
Although there may be nothing at stake however pleasure, Wales’ go to to the 18,000-capacity PayPal Park – residence of MLS aspect San Jose Earthquakes – is a notable fixture of their historical past given the calibre of the opposition.
It’s a mark of the strides taken in Welsh ladies’s soccer in recent times that they’ve been deemed worthy opponents for the USA, who start their World Cup marketing campaign towards Vietnam on 22 July.
Their squad for the event options skilled veterans akin to Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan – each of whom have been World Cup winners in 2015 and 2019 – in addition to rising stars within the form of forwards Sophia Smith and Trinity Rodman.
“I believe they’re in a transitional part, fairly much like us, the place they’re attempting to carry youthful gamers by,” added James, who will lead Wales within the absence of the suspended Sophie Ingle.
“We all know no matter staff they put out, they’re going to be robust.”
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder James, 29, has performed with or towards various the USA’s gamers having had spells at North Carolina Braveness and Orlando Delight.
Jess Fishlock, Wales’ most-capped footballer, has even higher data of the American squad having spent a lot of her profession at OL Reign – however was injured playing for her club side on Friday and there are doubts over what half she’s going to play.
James says Gemma Grainger’s staff should be ready to face “a very totally different model of soccer” this weekend from what they’re used to in Europe.
“The sport over right here is so totally different, the way in which the Individuals play and the league is so transitional – they’re very athletic and technically good as effectively,” James added.
“That is one thing I am acquainted with. I’ve put that throughout to the ladies, as has Jess, that it is a totally different kettle of fish over right here.”
The USA have received eight successive video games since an uncharacteristic run of three straight defeats final autumn, once they have been overwhelmed in friendlies by England, Spain and Germany.
Wales are undefeated in six matches since their hopes of constructing a primary main championship look on the 2023 World Cup got here to an finish of their play-off last defeat to Switzerland final October.
They broke new floor by reaching the play-offs, overcoming Bosnia-Herzegovina within the semi-final after which going forward in Zurich, just for the Swiss to return again to triumph deep in additional time.
Wales will return to aggressive motion later this yr, once they face residence and away fixtures towards Germany, Iceland and Denmark in a troublesome Nations League group.
The long-term purpose is to qualify for the 2025 European Championship – and Grainger believes the journey to California will assist her staff’s trigger.
“USA are back-to-back world champions due to the qualities they’ve,” the Wales supervisor mentioned.
“Their send-off recreation earlier than the World Cup can be a hype occasion for his or her entire nation, so to be part of that’s good.
“While the off-pitch can be thrilling, it is going to be the on-pitch that I’ll actually trying into and seeing if we will adapt.
“For me the measure can be, did we apply the rules that we wished to use? As a result of once we play towards high groups, we’ve got received to be courageous sufficient to play the way in which we wish to play.”
Liverpool midfielder Ceri Holland is one other participant in Wales’ squad with expertise of soccer in America, having spent 4 years taking part in in school stage in Kansas.
She says Grainger’s aspect ought to take pleasure in being within the highlight as Wales play the USA for the primary time.
“We’ll go into the sport as underdogs for the impartial, however we all know we’ve got the power on this squad to compete towards anyone,” Holland mentioned.
“We go into it with no strain on us. The strain will all be on them, in entrance of a sell-out crowd earlier than the World Cup.
“We’ll simply go on the market, play our recreation and hopefully we will put a little bit of a present on.”
Wales’ trigger shouldn’t be helped by the absence of Chelsea midfielder Ingle, who’s suspended after being despatched off in April’s pleasant with Portugal.
One other influential participant, Rachel Rowe, is lacking by damage, whereas Wales are ready to see what half Fishlock can play.
The 36-year-old had all the time meant to hitch up with the squad late having been on membership obligation on Friday, with the NWSL season ongoing despite the fact that the USA’s World Cup gamers are away with the nationwide staff.
However Fishlock was compelled off within the twenty third minute of Reign’s 1-0 loss to Orlando Delight, having gone down off the ball and acquired therapy on the sphere for a number of minutes earlier than being changed.
She has met up with the Wales squad, however it stays to be seen if she will be able to function within the recreation.
Residence captain Becky Sauerbrunn is lacking from Vlatko Andonoski’s squad by damage, as are ahead Mallory Swanson and midfielders Sam Mewis and Catarina Macario.