The USWNT will begin their title defence with an opening group game against Thailand as they embark on a fourth World Cup victory in France
The United States women’s team will face off against Thailand as the final two teams to make their 2019 Women’s World Cup debuts in the Group E in Reims.
Jill Ellis’ side will be eager to defend their World Cup title this summer in France as they have been handed a relatively manageable group that also includes Sweden and Chile.
The USWNT has never lost their first World Cup game, though they don’t always get off to a perfect start – in the previous seven World Cups, they have won five openers and drawn two.
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be broadcast on BBC Four and it can be streamed live online using BBC Sport Live and BBC Sport iPlayer
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BBC Four||BBC Sport Live, BBC Sport iPlayer|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Naeher, Harris, Franch|
|Defenders||Sauerbrunn, O’Hara, Dahlkemper, Krieger, Davidson, Sonnett, Dunn|
|Midfielders||Mewis, Brian, Ertz, Horan, Lavelle, Long|
|Forwards||Pugh, Lloyd, Morgan, Rapinoe, Heath, McDonald, Press|
Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher starts her first World Cup, taking over after backing up Hope Solo.
Ellis has no other major injury concerns, and boasts a wealth of experience with veteran Carli Lloyd and star forward Alex Morgan appearing in her third World Cup.
Confirmed USWNT starting XI: Naeher, O’Hara, Ertz, Dahlkemper, Dunn, Lavelle, Mewis, Horan, Heath, Morgan, Rapinoe.
|Goalkeepers||Sengyong, Charoenying, Mutanawech, Sornpao|
|Defenders||Saengkoon, Chinwong, Sritala, Phancha, Phetwiset, Srangthaisong, Saengchang|
|Midfielders||Khueanpet, Intamee, Chucheun, Thongsombut, Punyosuk, Boothduang, Sungngoen|
|Forwards||Nildhamrong, Srimanee, Pengngam, Dangda, Sornsai, Chetthabutr|
Nuengrutai Srathongvian has the benefits of a full squad for their opening game against the USWNT.
Confirmed Thailand starting XI: Charoenying, Phetwiset, Saenkhun, Chinwong, Srangthaisong, Sung-Ngoen, Boothduang, Phancha, Intamee, Thongsombut, Nild.
Betting & Match Odds
The USWNT have odds of winning 1/41 according to bet 365 , while a draw is priced at 28/1 to prevail and a Thailand win is available at 80/1.
Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more .
The USWNT and Thailand have met just once before after the 2016 Olympics, in the farewell game for former midfielder Heather O’Reilly. The USWNT won 9-0 in Ohio with O’Reilly scoring. Lloyd – who is the oldest player on the USWNT’s current roster at 36 years old – scored a hat-trick. Seventeen of the 18 American players who played in that match are included in the 2019 World Cup team including Tobin Heath, Christen Press, Crystal Dunn and Morgan.
Expectations are high for the USWNT amid the turbulence of their senior men’s side, along with FIFA confirming that all three of the USWNT’s World Cup group stage games have sold out – starting with today’s match that has a capacity of 21,127.
Ellis’ side will need to start their title defence in the strongest way possible after favourites France and England won both of their opening group games, though last tournament’s finalists Japan were held to a 0-0 draw against Argentina.
The defending champions, however, will need to be wary of Thailand’s threat. With one AFC Women’s Asian Cup title, four AFF Women’s Championship titles and five Southeast Asian Games gold medals, the team is the most successful football team in Southeast Asia.
USWNT star Morgan had previously gone to the same college at the University of California-Berkeley with Thailand forward Mirand Nild, stating: “I just met her in the hallway, so it’s already friendly. I introduced myself to her. I was the proactive one, so I already have the edge on that. I’m really excited to see some fellow Cal Bears … For Miranda, it’s just such a great opportunity. She’s a player that’s shown really well with the Thai team.”
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The head coach then responded to criticism from former USWNT goalkeeper Solo about how Ellis ‘cracked under pressure.
“I mean, comments are comments,” Ellis said. “For me, personally, listen, I feel over the past five years I’ve made a lot of important decisions. I have processes to make those decisions.
“And at this point everything that we focus on is about this group of players that are here now. Pundits out there, that’s part of it, and part of the message [inside the U.S. team] is always to focus on the internal part of the game.”