Five Things to Know: Thailand

As the USA gets ready to play its 50th different opponent in international competition when it faces Thailand on Sept. 15 at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio (8pm ET on ESPN2), here are five things to know about the Chaba Kaew.

Newcomer to the World Stage
Thailand participated in its first Women’s World Cup at the senior level in 2015 in Canada. It qualified by finishing fifth in the Asian Qualifying tournament to grab the last spot in the tournament. Thailand put in a respectable World Cup performance, falling 4-0 to long-time power Norway before picking up its first win in a FIFA competition with a 3-2 victory against Ivory Coast. Thailand then fell 4-0 to then world No. 1 Germany and bowed out of the tournament with distinction.Thailand’s historic victory against the Ivory Coast featured two goals from Orathai Srimanee and one from Thanatta Chawong. Both players are on the roster to face the USA.

First Meeting
The match on Thursday, Sept. 15 in Columbus, Ohio, will mark the first meeting between the USA and Thailand. Thailand is the 50th different country the USA has played in its history, which began in 1985 when the USA played its first international match.

Prior Experience
Thailand head coach Spencer Prior is a former English  professional player, who played more than 500 matches at various levels of English soccer. He played for seven different clubs, including stints with Leicester City and Manchester City. Near the end of his career, Prior moved to Australia and was the assistant coach for the Matildas under former U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni from 2011-2013 and head coach of the Australia U-20 WNT from 2012-2013.

USA and the AFC
Additionally, Thailand will be the seventh country from the Asia Football Confederation that the USA has played after Australia, China PR, Chinese Taipei, Japan, North Korea and South Korea.

USA and Thailand YNT Connection
Thailand hosted the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup (which was the last FIFA women’s tournament held at the U-19 level before it moved to the U-20s in 2006). The USA finished third in that tournament, which was won by Germany. Becky Sauerbrunn, Ashlyn Harris and Angie Woznuk made the All-Tournament Team in that World Cup. Woznuk won the Silver Ball and the Bronze Boot in that tournament.