It’s Time: USA Starts Qualifying on Road to France 2019

After two post-Olympic years of growth and progress, on Oct. 4, 2018, the U.S. Women’s National Team will begin its quest for a spot in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup when it takes on Mexico inside the confines of Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. The USA will also be pursuing a sixth Concacaf World Cup qualifying title.

Placed into Group A at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship alongside Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago, the USA will be looking to advance out of the group and into the all-important semifinals in Frisco, Texas.

The 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship features eight countries divided into two groups of four with each group’s top two finishers after round-robin play advancing to the semifinals. The two finalists and the winner of the third-place match will qualify directly to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. The fourth-place finisher will earn a spot in a two-game playoff against Argentina, which finished third in South America qualifying, for a final berth to the tournament.

2018 WCQ Schedule







Oct. 4, 2018


7:30 p.m.

Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park

FOX Sports

Cary, N.C.

Oct. 7, 2018


5 p.m.

Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park

FOX Sports

Cary, N.C.

Oct. 10, 2018

Trinidad & Tobago

7:30 p.m.

Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park

FOX Sports

Cary, N.C.

Top of the Region
There has been a total of seven Concacaf World Cup Qualifying tournaments contested for women’s soccer, dating back to the first one hosted by Haiti in 1991.

The USA has been crowned champion on five occasions: 1991, 1994, 2002, 2006 and 2014. In 2010, the USA lost to Mexico in the semifinal and had to win the third-place match to earn a home-and-away playoff against Italy to book its World Cup spot, which it did with a 2-0 aggregate victory. As host of the 1999 Women’s World Cup, the USA did not compete in the 1998 edition which was won by Canada. The Canadians also won the tournament in 2010.

Besides the one setback in Cancun, Mexico in 2010, the U.S. Women have been incredibly successful during qualifying. Throughout 28 total qualifying matches, it has outscored opponents 158-5, and has only lost once.

A Solid Mix Comes Together in North Carolina
Continuing the theme that has been seen on the U.S. WNT roster for the last two years, this 20-player squad brings together a mix of familiarity and novelty. Evenly split up the middle, 10 players on the roster have previous WCQ experience, while 10 are new to World Cup qualifying. Only four have never participated in any regional competition at the senior level. These players are: Defenders Abby Dahlkemper, Hailie Mace, Casey Short and midfielder Rose Lavelle. The remainder 16 players have, if not at World Cup qualifying, at least been part of a Concacaf Olympic Qualifying roster.

Of the ten players with previous Women’s World Cup qualifying experience, four have played in multiple qualifying tournaments. This will be the fourth World Cup qualifying tournament for forward Carli Lloyd, while forwards Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe and defender Becky Sauerbrunn will compete in their third.

The other players who were on the team for the 2014 qualifying tournament are: Morgan Brian, Julie Ertz, Ashlyn Harris, Tobin Heath, Kelley O’Hara and Christen Press. Crystal Dunn, who was named to the roster for the 2014 tournament before an injury ruled her out, will be playing in her first World Cup qualifying competition at the senior level. She was replaced by Julie Johnston, now Ertz, on that 2014 roster, but Ertz did not see action.

U.S. WNT Player

WCQ Tournament Appearances
Games Played (Tournament Year)

Carli Lloyd

14 (2006, 2010, 2014)

Megan Rapinoe

10 (2010, 2014)

Alex Morgan

7 (2010, 2014)

Christen Press

5 (2014)

Becky Sauerbrunn / Tobin Heath

4 (2010, 2014) / (2014)

Morgan Brian

3 (2014)

Kelley O’Hara

2 (2014)

Ashlyn Harris

1 (2014)

Scoring Goals Is What They Do
The six U.S. forwards on the USA’s qualifying roster have combined for 28 of the 37 goals this year. All six have played in a world championship, and five of them have played in multiple world championships. Alex Morgan leads the USA in scoring this year with 10 goals, followed by Mallory Pugh with six and Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe with four each.

In U.S. WNT World Cup qualifying history, Lloyd leads the USA with seven goals, while Rapinoe has three and Heath, Morgan and Press have two each.

Alex Morgan has scored 10 goals so far in 2018 to lead all goal scorers.

Watch it on FOX
FOX Sports, the home of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, will show 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship across the FOX Sports family of networks. For viewers on the go, matches can be streamed live via and the FOX Sports app.