Le Havre, France - After a 2-0 win today over Sweden in its final pool play game, the USWNT now advances to bracket play at the World Cup.
How they got here:
It has been all red, white, and blue at the top of Group F (USA, Sweden, Chile, Thailand). It all started with a 13-0 win over Thailand. That is not a football score (with a missed extra point). That is not a typo. That is indeed a soccer score. The U.S. controlled possession for 73% of the game, took 40 shots (20 on target), while holding Thailand to just two shots (both on target). Utter dominance.
Then came Chile, who like to pull back numbers and control the defensive end of the ball. Well, it was a great idea seeing as the U.S. has Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Tobin Heath lurking at forward, but those three did not record any minutes in that game and the U.S. still came away with the 3-0 victory.
Next, in what would probably be the closest game of the three pool play games, was Sweden. Both teams coming into this game already qualified for the next round. So not a lot on the line… except there was… In 2016, Sweden knocked the U.S. out of the 2016 Summer Olympics in the quarterfinals, the earliest the USWNT has ever been eliminated in a major tournament. The U.S. got its revenge with a little help from Portland Thorns’ players Lindsey Horan and Tobin Heath scoring both goals in a 2-0 victory.
Regardless, onto the next one.
How bracket play works:
It’s quite simple: survive and advance. Win or go home. The U.S. starts by facing Spain in the round of 16, who finished second in its group behind Germany.
Let the hypotheticals begin and if you’re a superstitious person, stop reading or knock on a lot of wood:
The U.S. would then face the hometown heroes of France in the quarterfinals, and then their opponent for semifinals and finals is to be determined.
The USWNT will face off against Spain on Monday, June 24, 2019 at 9 a.m. (PT).