Women's World Cup: Where best places are to watch Team USA in Bay Area


Women's World Cup: Where best places are to watch Team USA in Bay Area

One of the best parts of every World Cup are the reactions to big moments. 

Every four years, hardcore and first-time soccer fans are living and dying with every kick of the ball. If there's a winning goal in stoppage- or extra-time, you're just about guaranteed to see videos of those fans go viral. 

If the United States Women's National Team is able to win its first-ever back-to-back title in France, there are going to be plenty of those big moments. The USWNT plays in the group stage against Thailand, Chile and Sweden on June 11 (12:00 p.m. PT), June 16 (9:00 a.m. PT) and June 20 (12:00 p.m. PT), respectively, and the knockout stages commence on June 22. 

Luckily, the Bay Area is filled with places to watch the American women try to win another World Cup. Here are some of the best. 

Big-screen viewing

The San Jose Earthquakes are hosting viewing parties at Avaya Stadium every day the United States plays, as well as the remainder of the tournament. You can RSVP here. In the East Bay, Oakland's New Parkway Theater (474 24th St.) is doing the same, with matches from the men's Gold Cup and Copa America also being shown. 

Beginning on June 20, the San Francisco Parks Alliance and San Francisco Parks and Recreation will co-host watch parties for four games: USA-Sweden's Group F finale on June 20, the semifinals on July 2 and 3 and the final on July 7. The first three matches will be shown at Sue Bierman Park in the Embarcadero, while the final will be shown at Civic Center Plaza. 

American Outlaws

If you're looking to sing songs and dress up in red, white and blue, look no further than the unofficial supporters' group of U.S. Soccer. 

The American Outlaws have chapters in Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco, and Santa Rosa, and all four are hosting watch parties for every USWNT game. Here's where each chapter meets for games: 

  • Oakland: The Athletic Club, 59 Grand Ave.
  • San Jose: Jack's Bar & Lounge, 167 E. Taylor St.
  • San Francisco: McTeague's Saloon, 1237 Polk St.
  • Santa Rosa: The Toad in the Hole Pub, 116 5th St.

Where else can I watch? 

If suds are not your scene, but bubbles and vino are, DECANTsf (1168 Folsom St., San Francisco) is hosting watch-parties for all three games in the group stage. There are different specials by the glass and bottle for each game, based on the growing region in France where the USWNT is playing that day. 

Elsewhere In San Francisco, Mad Dog in the Fog (530 Haight St.), Danny Coyle's (668 Haight St.), Kezar Pub (770 Stanyan St.) will all be showing the game in The Haight, and you might find yourself jumping on the bandwagon of an international club team in the process.

[RELATED: USWNT's Bay Area ties run deep as World Cup quest begins]

The Old Pro (541 Ramona St.) and the Rose and Crown (547 Emerson St.) are nearby one another in Palo Alto, and the former can scratch your sports-bar itch while the latter gives you a pub experience. 

CommonWealth Cafe & Public House (2882 Telegraph Ave.), a well-known soccer bar in Oakland, gives you the best of both.

Team USA's Bay Area ties run deep as quest for World Cup title begins


Team USA's Bay Area ties run deep as quest for World Cup title begins

The United States Women's National Team begins its quest to repeat as World Cup champions Tuesday when they face Thailand in their first game in Group F.

Team USA, led by Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath, are seen as the favorites to repeat as Women's World Cup Champions. They'll face stiff competition, though, with host nation France, England and Australia all looking like valiant challengers to the Americas.

While the eyes of the nation will surely be locked on the Americans' quest to win their first back-to-back to titles in history, the Bay Area also should be locked into the month-long competition.

The Bay Area ties run deep within Team USA.

It starts with Morgan. The striker was a star during her four-year collegiate career at Cal. During her freshman season in Berkeley, she led the Golden Bears in scoring. She finished her career at Cal ranked third in school history in both goals (45) and points (107). The Bears made the NCAA Tournament during each of Morgan's four seasons.

Next comes midfielder Julie Ertz. The wife of former Stanford tight end and current Philadelphia Eagle Zach Ertz starred in college at Santa Clara University. From  2010-2013, Ertz made 79 appearances for the Broncos, scoring 31 goals during her time at Santa Clara.

Forward and Georgia native Kelly O'Hara came to the Bay Area in 2006 to attend Stanford University and she had a prolific career for the Cardinal. During her time in Palo Alto, O'Hara led the Cardinal to the College Cup in both her junior and senior seasons. In 2009, she was awarded the Hermann Trophy as collegiate soccer's top player. 

The Bay Area also plays a little bit of defense, though. Defender Tierna Davidson grew up in Menlo Park and attended Stanford from 2016-18. She was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team and made the All-Pac-12 Second Team. In 2017, Davidson was named the Pac-12's Defensive Player of the Year and also was named the 2017 College Cup's Most Outstanding Defensive Player after helping lead Stanford to the national title. She left Stanford and turned pro after fracturing her ankle during her junior season. 

We saved the player who had the most impressive stint in the Bay for last. Christen Press was an absolute star during her four years at Stanford. She finished as the program's all-time leader in goals scored with 71. She also broke numerous school records, including setting marks for assists, shots, points and goals in a single season. Press has scored 48 international goals since joining the national team in 2013.

[RELATED: Hope Solo rips Team USA head coach Jill Ellis]

Team USA has some new faces heading into the 2019 Women's World Cup, but they still face the same lofty expectations. It'll be up to some former Bay Area stars to make sure they repeat as champions.

Women's World Cup: Hope Solo rips into Team USA coach Jill Ellis


Women's World Cup: Hope Solo rips into Team USA coach Jill Ellis

Hope Solo doesn't have much confidence in Jill Ellis. 

The outspoken former United States Women's National Team goalkeeper blasted Ellis days before the team's opener at the 2019 World Cup in France, arguing that a second straight title won't have anything to do with the head coach. 

"Jill is not the leader I wish her to be," Solo told BBC 5 Live Sport (H/T CBS Sports). "She relies heavily on her assistant coaches. She cracks under the pressure quite a bit. But often that doesn't matter because the quality of the players on the U.S. team is superb. It doesn't matter who is coaching us because we will find a way to win. The United States knows how to find a way to win in spite of who the coach is."

In a co-written BBC Sport column published Friday, Solo said Ellis would not show players their mistakes "because she thinks it might affect their confidence."

"She told me time and again she didn't want to hurt anybody's confidence, so we won't look at goals and we won't look at defensive mistakes," Solo said. 

This is not the first time Solo has criticized Ellis since the most-capped keeper in the USWNT's history was suspended from the national team and her contract was terminated in 2016. Two years ago, Solo called Ellis a "poor leader and bad tactician" in an interview with "60 Minutes Sports." Solo's national team suspension stemmed from her controversial comments at the Rio Olympics, when she referred to Sweden's national team as "a bunch of cowards" after the Swedes advanced on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals of the tournament. 

Solo ultimately settled a grievance with U.S. Soccer in September 2017, but said a year ago she would not return to the national team until the federation started "abiding by federal law," in reference to pay disparities between the men's and women's teams. She has not played professionally since the Rio Olympics, saying she doesn't want to play for the U.S. Soccer-owned NWSL.

Solo filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the federation in August, and her former teammates did the same in March. A panel ruled this week that the lawsuits won't be combined, according to Bloomberg Law. 

[RELATED: USWNT has new faces, same lofty expectations at World Cup]

Ellis took over the USWNT's head coach on a permanent basis in May 2014, and Solo was the undisputed No. 1 for most of that time. She was suspended for a month in the lead-up to the 2015 World Cup, but allowed just three goals in seven games en route to the United States' first World Cup title since 1999. 

The Ellis-led squad -- sans Solo -- will begin its title defense on June 11 against Thailand in Reims, France.