Finally, the United States steps onto the field for its first 2019 Women’s World Cup match. They’ll take on Thailand at 12 PM PT, with Reign FC’s Megan Rapinoe expected to start and Allie Long ready to sub in if called upon.
The game will broadcast on FOX.
The U.S. enter the match at the top of FIFA’s world rankings, while Thailand is ranked 34th. By all accounts, this should be an easy match for the U.S. But as Japan showed us on Monday — playing to a 0-0 draw against 37th-ranked Argentina — we shouldn’t take any match for granted.
The two teams don’t have much of a history. In fact, the USA and Thailand have met just once. That came after the 2016 Olympics, and the U.S. won the match 9-0. Still, Thailand took Australia to penalties in World Cup qualifying. And in a May friendly, they frustrated France for 60 minutes before the World Cup hosts managed to put in three goals.
After Thailand, the U.S. has Group F opponents Chile and Sweden to prepare for, with their match against ninth-ranked Sweden falling last in the group stage. Points and goals over these first two matches are crucial.
What to Watch
- Getting through a bunker: How the U.S. wins (assuming they do) will be the important. They have plenty of time to work themselves into the tournament, but the squad would do well to get some early momentum and confidence — especially in their attack. Thailand will almost certainly bunker behind the ball. Can the U.S. move well enough to break through?
- Goals in open play: Taking advantage of set pieces is great, but I want to see how many goals the U.S. can score in open play.
- Midfield play: The U.S. midfield should be one of the most dominant in women’s soccer, but recent attacks have been more direct and bypassed the midfield. One reason is that Jill Ellis sometimes starts players with similar strengths, muddying their roles in the midfield. Thailand won’t be the best test, but the U.S. has to start dictating rhythm through their three midfield players.
Becky Sauerbrunn gets a rest due to a mild quad strain. Reign FC’s Megan Rapinoe unsurprisingly gets the start.
In case you missed one or two goals (which would be understandable because you know, 13‼️) we’ve got some highlights.— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) June 11, 2019
It’s the content you deserve. pic.twitter.com/zwZ2Xd31nO
How to Watch
USA v. Thailand
Location: Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims
Date and time: June 11, 2019, 12 PM PT
TV: Fox (English), Telemundo (Spanish)
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