The day has finally arrived. It's the opening World Cup 2015 match for the U.S. Women's National Team. The United States squad comes in as one of the favorites to win it all, but the team's performances leading up to the World Cup have been a mixed bag. That includes a 0-0 draw with South Korea in the USWNT sendoff match just a few weeks ago.
If the U.S. want to move out of the Group of Death at the top, they'll need to start with a convincing win against Australia, which come in at 10th in the FIFA World Rankings.
Many of us will be watching this match at Capitol Cider. If you cannot join us, follow along and chat about the match right here.
What to Watch
- Speed up top: Australia's front line, led by captain Lisa De Vanna, is one of the fastest in this tournament. The USWNT has been challenged by speedy teams in the past, so this will be an important test. The U.S. may adjust its strategy to start this match, as its system typically relies on fullbacks Ali Krieger and Meghan Klingenberg to push forward into the attack.
- First-half finishing: The U.S. has had a hard time finding the back of the net in the first half this year. While the USWNT defeated Mexico 5-1 in May, the match was 1-1 going into the second half. If the U.S. wants to get far in the tournament, they are going to need to find that creative spark earlier.
- Youth v. experience: Australia's average age is 23.8, while the U.S. comes in at 29.5. This match could be a test of youth versus experience. But don't be fooled: while Australia comes into this World Cup younger, a lot of these players have World Cup experience, as the country brought an incredibly young squad to the 2011 World Cup.
How to Watch
Match date/time: Monday, 4:30 p.m. PT
Venue: Investors Group Field, Winnipeg, Canada
TV: Fox Sports 1, NBC Universo (Spanish)
Online: FOX Sports Go and FOX Soccer 2 Go (a paid service that requires no TV subscription); NBC Deportes En Vivo(Spanish)