Groups Announced Ahead of 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Eric Fishbin, National Sports Editor

The summer’s lingering 2018 FIFA World Cup hangovers from the men’s tournament are beginning to settle as the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Paris, France draws closer.

On December 8, the groups were announced for the upcoming competition and the U.S. national team was placed in Group F with Chile, Sweden and Thailand.

The tournament is still six months away, set to kick off on June 7, 2019, but preparations and tune-up matches are in the works as the U.S. national team looks to pick up where they left off in the New Year. The squad, unbeaten since July 2017, has not lost in 28 matches.

The three-time champions have high expectations heading into the tournament. In order to get ready, the team will play ten matches leading up to the World Cup.

The defending World Cup champions will open group stage against Thailand on June 11 in Reims, France. The second match is on June 16 against Chile in Paris. The group stage concludes with the U.S. versus Sweden, ranked ninth globally, on June 20 in Le Havre, France.

The path to the elimination round looks clear for the U.S. team. However, Group D and Group A may see more parity in the early stages of competition.

Group D includes England (world No. 4), Japan (world No. 8), Scotland (world No. 20) and Argentina (world No. 36). The fight for the top, as well as the battle for the second spot, will be interesting. Japan will challenge England while having to fight off Scotland.

Group A features a tight battle for the number two spot in the group between Norway and South Korea.

The group favorite, host nation France (world No. 3), should have no problems. However, Norway (world No. 13) and South Korea (world No. 14) could play a decisive match on June 17, the last match of the group stage.

The semifinals and finals will be hosted in Lyon, France, where the U.S. team will look to continue its tournament success.

Since 1991, the U.S. team has won three World Cups. This year the squad will chase its first back-to-back titles as it attempts to add to its trophy case.

Contact Eric Fishbin at [email protected].