The United States Women’s National Team is off to France! Earlier Saturday, the draw for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup took place in Paris, and the USWNT, along with the rest of the world, looked on to see where they would be playing in the group stage and which teams they would face.
In the end, the USWNT were drawn to Group F and slot F1, and they will be joined by Sweden, Thailand, and Chile. So, the WNT will open up their World Cup on June 11th in Reims against Thailand. They then continue to Paris on June 16th, where they will battle Chile at the Parc des Princes. Finally, they end the group stage in Le Havre on June 20th against Sweden, in a match that could determine who wins the group.
What this means is that the AO travel package will be centered in Paris from June 10-21! It means easy logistics for those on the package, as Le Havre and Reims are short trips from the French capital. Thailand, ranked 28th in the world according to the FIFA World Rankings that were released Friday, is a team that has steadily improved over the years. In September 2016, the WNT faced Thailand at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus. That match was a doozy, a 9-0 victory that included a hat trick from Carli Lloyd, a brace from Alex Morgan, and goals from Christen Press, Heather O’Reilly, Tobin Heath, and Crystal Dunn. Still, Thailand has kept battling and have emerged as one of Asia’s best, and surprised many in earning a trip to France, and they shouldn’t be underestimated.
Chile, ranked 39th, is a team that’s super scrappy and plays with tenacity. No fear exists in them, and they’re a team that’s going to run right at you and try to beat you physically. The WNT played Chile in two friendlies back in August in LA and San Jose, winning 4-0 and 3-0 respectively. This is Chile’s first Women’s World Cup, so they’re going to be pumped to play in this tournament and try to make some noise. The experience the WNT gained from those matches back in August will be a help for preparations when they face Chile in Paris on June 16th.
Finally, Sweden is a familiar opponent for the WNT. Back in the 2015 Women’s World Cup, we played Sweden in the group stage in Winnipeg, and it was a tough 0-0 draw. You may remember that Sweden almost won that game, when they had a chance on net in the 76th minute. Meghan Klingenberg, standing on the goal line, famously headed Sweden’s chance up into the air off the underside of the crossbar and out of the goal to save the WNT and preserve the scoreless draw. Sweden also knocked the WNT out of the 2016 Olympics, winning on penalties in the quarterfinals. They also had Pia Sundhage, the former USWNT coach, as their head coach, and this is a team that traditionally gives us issues. The teams last faced each other in Gothenburg in June 2017, when a Rose Lavelle goal was the difference in a 1-0 victory for the WNT.
Here’s the rest of the draw, which is obviously important for knockout stage projections. Logistically, the WNT will remain in the north of France for the entirety of the tournament up to the semifinal and final, which will be in Lyon, should they finish 1st or 2nd in the group. Want more information on the World Cup package we have? Head to http://www.americanoutlawstravel.com to place your deposit and to learn more about our upcoming fun in France as we support the WNT in their quest for a 4th star!