U.S. Soccer has confirmed that the Australia women's national team will not participate in next week's scheduled friendlies in Detroit and Birmingham, Alabama, and that instead the World Cup champions will play Haiti.
Australia's players are in the midst of a strike over a pay dispute, and the players union said Wednesday that the Matildas would not be coming to the U.S. for the games, which were supposed to be rematches of the USA's opening group game at the Women's World Cup.
U.S. Soccer released the following statement on Thursday prior to confirming Haiti as the new opponent:
Earlier today, the Football Federation of Australia confirmed that they will not send a team to participate in the matches against the U.S. Women's National Team in Detroit and Birmingham due to the labor dispute with their players. Despite Australia no longer being the opponent, that does not mean the matches are cancelled.
Since we became aware several days ago that Australia might not travel to the U.S. to compete in the two matches, we have been in communication with other Federations about their Women's National Team serving as a replacement for both games. Those discussions are ongoing and we hope to have an agreement finalized soon.
The U.S. has played two victory tour matches thus far, routing Costa Rica 8-0 and 7-2 in Pittsburgh and Chattanooga, Tennessee, respectively. Games against Brazil are slated for Oct. 21 and 25 in Seattle and Orlando, while the remaining four matches on the tour have yet to be determined.