On December 8, 2018, at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Official Draw in Paris, the U.S. Women’s National Team was drawn into Group F alongside Thailand, Chile and Sweden.
With the World Cup less than three months away, and the USA’s first group match on June 11 coming into focus, here are five things to know about the USA’s group stage in France.
Good to See You AgainFamiliarity will be on the USA’s side in France as the Americans have played all three of its group opponents within the last three years. It faced Thailand in 2016, Sweden in 2017 and Chile (twice) in 2018.
Against Thailand, the U.S. won their only match to date by a score of 9-0
on Sept. 15, 2016. The game was U.S. legend Heather O’Reilly’s final
international game. It was also the first game for the U.S. Women following
the 2016 Olympics Games.
The USA dominated the game vs. Thailand in 2016.
In the summer of 2017, the U.S. traveled to Gothenburg, Sweden, to face the home side abroad on June 8, winning 1-0 on a goal from Rose Lavelle. Before that matchup, the teams met in Brazil at the Olympics, where the USA fell on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw through regulation and overtime.
The two matches against Chile were the first matches between the teams. The USA won both games, 3-0 on Aug. 31 in Carson, Calif. and 4-0 on Sept. 4 in San Jose, Calif.
Thailand (vs. USA on June 11 in Reims)Thailand will feature at a second consecutive World Cup tournament after making its Women’s World Cup debut in 2015, putting in a respectable performance. Thailand qualified for France with some solid play during their regional tournament.
At the 2018 AFC Women’s Cup, Thailand almost pulled off a massive upset when it faced top-ranked Australia in the semifinal as the teams battled to a 2-2 draw, but only after Alanna Kennedy tied it for Australia in second-half stoppage time. Australia then defeated Thailand in a penalty shootout to advance to the championship match while Thailand went to the Third-Place match, where it fell to China PR, 3-1.
Chile (vs. USA on June 16 in Paris)This summer, Chile will participate in its first Women’s World Cup at the senior level. Chile was a surprise qualifier to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. La Roja Femenina finished second behind Brazil at the 2018 Copa América Femenina, which it hosted last April, to earn its first World Cup berth.
Chile's Endler (above) made several spectacular saves vs. the USA when the teams met in 2018.
One of the main reasons for Chile’s success at the Copa America was the play of their captain, 27-year-old goalkeeper Christiane Endler. The six-foot Endler, whose father is from Germany and whose mother is from Chile, holds both Chilean and German passports. She played college soccer in the USA at South Florida and currently plays for one of the world’s top clubs in Paris Saint-Germain.
Sweden (vs. USA on June 20 in Le Havre)The USA and Sweden are two of only seven countries to have competed in every edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup – Brazil, Germany, Japan, Nigeria and Norway are the others.
Currently ranked ninth in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings, Sweden, a U.S. opponent during the past four FIFA Women’s World Cup group stages, was also the USA’s first Women’s World Cup opponent when FIFA’s premier women’s competition began with the 1991 event in China. While the teams have never met in a Knockout Round match, the USA holds a 3-1-1 record vs. Sweden in the teams’ five previous World Cup games.
Bonjour, Northern FranceAll three cities the U.S. will play its group games in are located across the north of France with Reims located just a 90-minute drive northeast of Paris and Le Havre a little more than a two-hour drive northwest of the French capital.
The USA will conclude Group F play vs. Sweden on June 20.
The USA opens its 2019 World Cup campaign vs. Thailand in Reims on June 11 (3 p.m. ET, FOX Sports, Telemundo), then continues on to Paris to face Chile on June 16 (12 p.m. ET, FOX Sports, Telemundo), and wraps up group play on June 20 (3 p.m. ET, FOX Sports, Telemundo) in Le Havre vs. Sweden.