The 2019 Women's World Cup final is set Sunday as the United States women's national team goes for its fourth title when it takes on underdog the Netherlands in Lyon. Watch the final at 11 a.m. ET on fuboTV (Try for free).
Both teams enter the final undefeated, having yet to even draw a game. The U.S. is the more tested team, knocking off France and England in the knockout stage, while the Dutch enter with a day's less of rest and having played 30 minutes of extra time in the semifinal against Sweden.
Here are five things to know about the final:
1. The USWNT isn't favored by much
Surprisingly, the United States is only favored by a goal, according to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. I expected the U.S. to be favored by at least a couple goals. You've got a team in the U.S. that won the last edition of the World Cup, has beaten contenders England and France and should be at full strength against a team that really has some issues in defense and is playing in its first ever World Cup final. Nobody expected to Netherlands to be here, so for the Dutch to hold just a +1 line is quite the surprise.
2. If the Netherlands wins, it will be a historic upset
You can argue that this would be the biggest upset in Women's World Cup final history. The most recent upset was the 2011 final in which Japan beat the U.S. in penalty kicks, but that to me wasn't as massive a upset as this one would be. Japan had made every World Cup leading up to that and had slowly been improving into a threat on the global scale. They followed that title up with making the final in 2015, where they lost the rematch to the U.S.
The Netherlands have never been this far and are just in their second World Cup. When Japan made their first final, it was their sixth tournament. There are clearly two different levels of experience on the biggest stage between the 2011 winners and the 2019 hopefuls.
3. Megan Rapinoe is expected to play in this one
The big storyline for the U.S. is the status of Megan Rapinoe, who didn't play in the semifinals with a hamstring injury. She has since been training with the team and the expectation is for her to go. We'll likely see her start, but also don't be surprised if she comes off the bench with Christen Press starting.
as a "minor strain," and it feels more precautionary than anything else. Expect her to play.
4. Lots of history at stake for USA
There are many records the United States is looking to break on Sunday, and a win would be a historic moment for the sport, not just in the United States. Here are some of the achievements on the line:
- With a win, the United States would win its fourth World Cup title, while no team has more than two. Aside from the U.S., only Germany has multiple (two) World Cup titles.
- A victory would see the USWNT become the second women's national team to go back-to-back with World Cup titles after Germany.
- A win would mean the only national team, men's or women, with more titles than the United States would be the Brazil men with five crowns.
- Jill Ellis would become the only national team manager to win two World Cup titles.
5. The U.S. would go from gold standard to platinum standard
The USWNT is the gold standard at the moment with its three World Cup titles and absolute dominance over the last several years. But a win here would be massive in distancing itself from Germany.
Expecting to play Germany in the final, the U.S. could have found itself level with the Germans with three titles. While that still would have been an astonishing achievement, this U.S. team doesn't want to share the podium with anybody. They don't want to be the co-best country in women's national team history. They want to distance themselves and leave no doubt as to which team is the best in history. On Sunday, they can do just that with a record fourth title.