PARIS — No subject what came about at the draw for the 2019 Women’s World Cup on Saturday evening, something used to be by no means going to modify: the United States ladies’s nationwide crew could be extensively thought to be the favourite to win, with the entire hope and expectation and force that includes that.
After all, the Americans are the protecting champions, having crushed Japan to win the former version of the match in Canada and take house the trophy for the 3rd time.
But Jill Ellis, the pinnacle trainer of the United States, objected to that framing of her squad.
“For us, it’s not about defending a World Cup,” Ellis mentioned. “This is a fully other crew, taking part in a special taste, a special device.
“It’s about attacking a World Cup.”
To that finish, Ellis used to be proud of the result of the draw, which positioned the United States in Group F with Sweden, Thailand and Chile.
Thailand and Chile, the Americans’ first two combatants, are slightly unaccomplished at the world level. And the Americans don’t play Sweden, with whom they’ve a historical past of tricky battles, till the 3rd recreation, through which level their development to the knockout level may just already be secured.
José Antonio Letelier, the pinnacle trainer of the Chilean nationwide crew, mentioned it can be a scramble for 2nd position within the workforce.
“It doesn’t matter who the opponent is, all of the groups would have been tough,” Letelier mentioned. “Of course, we got the toughest because we got the world champion.”
At a glitzy rite Saturday evening at La Seine Musicale, a acting arts venue within the western suburbs of Paris, the match’s 24 groups had been positioned into 4 pots in response to their international scores and then drawn into one in every of six teams. With the exception of Europe, which has probably the most groups within the box (9), nations from the similar confederation may just no longer be drawn into the similar workforce.
France, the host and any other some of the favorites to win the match, discovered it might play South Korea on June 7 in Paris to open the World Cup. Their different combatants in Group A will probably be Norway and Nigeria.
Germany, any other favourite, will meet China, Spain and South Africa in Group B. England, headlining Group D, drew its neighbor, Scotland, in addition to Argentina and the 2011 champion, Japan. Australia and Brazil characteristic in Group C, and Canada drew the European champion, the Netherlands, in Group E.
The United States will open the match in opposition to Thailand (the 29th-ranked crew on this planet, in line with FIFA) in Reims on June 11 and then face the World Cup inexperienced persons Chile (No. 38) on June 16 in Paris. Their recreation in opposition to Sweden (No. nine) is on June 20 in Le Havre.
“I like having Sweden in the third game,” Ellis mentioned. “I think that allows us to settle into the tournament.”
That 3rd recreation will probably be a rematch of the groups’ assembly within the 2016 Olympic quarterfinals. The Swedes, then led by means of the previous United States trainer Pia Sundhage, gained that day, a humbling defeat for the Americans and the primary time they’d did not medal within the World Cup or the Olympics.
The United States and Sweden have met 5 earlier instances in World Cup workforce phases (by no means in a knockout recreation), with the Americans retaining a Three-1-1 document in the ones contests.
Peter Gerhardsson, the pinnacle trainer of Sweden, attempted to position a non-public, sure spin on drawing the three-time international champions. For the entire historical past between the 2 groups, Gerhardsson, who took over for Sundhage in 2017, famous that he had no longer had the risk to train in opposition to the Americans.
“Going through my whole life as coach for Sweden and not meeting the U.S.A.?” Gerhardsson mentioned. “Now I meet them. That’s nice.”
The semifinals and ultimate, which can happen on July 7, will probably be performed in Lyon. And together with Paris and Reims and Le Havre, 5 different towns — Grenoble, Montpellier, Nice, Rennes and Valenciennes — may also lend a hand play host to the match’s 52 video games.
The 2019 champion will win $four million in prize cash, double the proportion from 2015. The prize cash for the 2018 males’s World Cup champion, France, used to be $38 million.
The Americans will get ready themselves to seek for that prize with a not too long ago introduced time table of 10 video games in 10 towns heading into the match subsequent summer time.
“We’re going to get a lot of answers, a lot of vetting, and try a lot of different things,” Ellis mentioned. “So I feel like we’re going to be battle-tested going into this World Cup with the schedule we’ve planned.”