The pressure is on the United States Women’s National Soccer team to repeat their FIFA World Cup Championship of 2015. If the U.S. women retain the Cup, they will join Germany as the only team to win back-to-back championships.
Action for the defending World Cup holders begins Tuesday, June 11 in Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims. In this first round match, the USA women will face off against Thailand.
Stakes are high for the women of Thailand. As of late, they have been on a losing streak, winning only one of their last dozen games. In contrast, the United States team has been beaten once in their last 39 games. This loss came at the hands of the French women’s team in January 2019.
Winning on the road is a slight concern for the USWNT, who are not as dominant when away from America. The team eked out five victories by a single goal and played to a draw when outside of their nation’s borders.
The Thailand women’s team has two American born members on the team, forward Miranda Nild (also known as Suchawadee Nildhamrong) and back-up goalkeeper Tiffany Sornpao. The pair are the only members of the Thailand team who do not participate in football clubs in Thailand. While Sornpao’s may not play because of her back-up status, look for strong play from Nild as she looks to lead her team in her first World Cup.
There are no great surprises from the United States who will field a strong team featuring the skills of Alex Morgan. In her third World Cup appearance, Morgan will need to dig deep and lead her team. Morgan’s co-captains Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd may not have pivotal roles, especially in this first round match-up. Rapinoe has battled injuries, and at 36, Lloyd may reduce her role for the time being.
Many experts view this as a David/Goliath like warm-up for the United States women. However, it is important for the defending World Cup holders to avoid the temptation of looking past their opponents from Thailand.
To catch the USWNT in action, tune into Fox at 3:00 pm EST or live stream the match-up on fuboTV.