USWNT vs. Thailand: 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup live stream, watch online, TV channel, prediction, pick, odds
The United States women's national team will begin its 2019 Women's World Cup campaign against an inferior Thailand squad
The U.S. women's national team, ranked No. 1 in the world, will debut at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup on Tuesday as part of Group F, taking on Thailand in a match where the U.S. is expected to put together a dominant effort. The reigning 2015 World Cup champs appear to be on a collision course to take on host France in the quarterfinals if both sides finish in first place (as expected) in the group stage. With Jill Ellis and company entering the game healthy and confident, expect the U.S. to come out strong and create countless scoring chances against an inferior team that is overmatched on paper.
Women's World Cup: USA vs. Thailand
- Date: Tuesday, June 11
- Time: 3 p.m. ET
- Location: Stade Auguste-Delaune II -- Reims, France
- TV channel: Fox and Telemundo
- Streaming: fuboTV (Try for free)
- LIVE updates:
- Odds: USA -5 (+105) | Thailand +5 (-125) | O/U: 5
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United States: In the history of the Women's World Cup, the U.S. has never lost its opener. The U.S. has five wins and two draws in World Cup openers, but since 2011 it has won every opener. In the 2015 tournament, the U.S. defeated Australia, 3-1, to kick things off. The only time these two teams have faced each other was after the 2016 Olympics, and the Americans ran away with a 9-0 victory in Columbus, Ohio. You can watch the highlights here.
Thailand: This is the hardest game this team face all tournament, and if it can salvage a point against the defending champs, this side may celebrate like they won the whole thing. The problem is, this one will likely get ugly and very quickly. They have won just one of their last seven games and are ranked No. 34 in the FIFA world rankings.
How will the U.S. line up?
- Starting XI: Alyssa Naeher (GK); Kelley O'Hara (DEF), Abby Dahlkemper (DEF), Julie Ertz (DEF), Crystal Dunn (DEF); Lindsey Horan (MID), Samantha Mewis (MID), Rose Lavelle (MID); Tobin Heath (FWD), Alex Morgan (FWD), Megan Rapinoe (FWD)
- Substitutes: Mallory Pugh, Becky Sauerbrunn, Morgan Brian, Carli Lloyd, Ali Krieger, Tierna Davidson, Emily Sonnett, Ashlyn Harris, Allie Long, Adrianna Franch, Jessica McDonald, Christen Press
What will the style of play be in attack?
This lineup focuses on playing down the wings, with Heath and Rapinoe flanking Morgan. Both are technically gifted players who will be tasked with finding Morgan in the box. Rapinoe will look to get to the end-line more, but don't be surprised to see Heath cut in plenty to try and work quick combinations with Morgan to produce a chance.
What will the style of play be in defense?
When you think of Dunn and O'Hara, those are two players who have played higher up the field in the past under Ellis. Because of the quality in the final third, this formation will allow them to get forward and join the attack, and that is where we will see Ertz slide a bit back to provide cover for the defense. When they are attacking, you'll see that back four become a back three, with Ertz joining Sauerbrunn and Dahlkemper.
Does this team have a weak spot?
If this team has any question marks, it might be Naeher in goal. She is more than capable, but she isn't as great of a goalkeeper as Hope Solo. Still, with a back line of Sauerbrunn and Dahlkemper to protect her, she shouldn't be all too busy in this one. It won't be a shock if Thailand fails to get a shot on goal. Naeher has 46 caps for the U.S. and was part of the 2015 World Cup team but never started a World Cup match.
How's the depth looking?
Amazing, actually. This team has players like Mallory Pugh, Carli Lloyd, Ali Krieger and Christen Press likely on the bench to start. While it wouldn't be a shock to see any of them start, those are four players that could start for nearly every other national team in this tournament. It's not that they aren't good enough, because they are fantastic players -- it's just that this team is incredibly deep. Pugh, 21, is the next big thing on the national team and has elite speed and technical ability, and she'll probably be the face of the team entering the next World Cup. Then you add Lloyd who is a veteran star that can produce a goal or an assist at any minute and a super sub like Press, and you've got the deepest team in the tournament.
FIFA said that all three of the USA's group stage matches are expected to be sellouts, according to U.S. Soccer. The stadium in Reims has a capacity of 21,127. It's an intimate atmosphere that is less than half of the size of where the U.S. will play its second game against Chile, which is the Parc des Princes, home of PSG. That stadium seats 47,929.
You can expect a USA-heavy crowd on Tuesday at the home stadium of Ligue 1 club Stade de Reims.
Behind the numbers
- Twelve players on the roster were on the 2015 World Cup roster.
- Five players have double-digit World Cup match appearances: Lloyd (18), Krieger (13), Morgan (12), Rapinoe (12) and Heath (10).
- In what may be a good omen, the team has an average age of 28 -- that's the same as in 2015.
- Six players on the roster have scored at a World up -- Lloyd (7), Morgan (3), Rapinoe (3), Heath (1), O'Hara (1) and Press (1).
- The U.S. is one of six countries to qualify for every Women's World Cup, joining Brazil, Germany, Japan, Norway and Sweden.
- 17 of the 18 players for the U.S. in the previous meeting with Thailand in 2016 are on this World Cup team.
The U.S. has a squad that is miles ahead when it comes to talent, ability and experience. That will be evident just five minutes in. Expect a comfortable victory but at least four goals, but it will be more.
Pick: USA 6, Thailand 0
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