With Sunday’s 3-0 win over Chile, the USWNT ensured that they will advance to the Knockout Stage of the 2019 Women’s World Cup. But, the remaining question is “Who will the US face in their first match of the Knockout Stage?” Today’s match against Sweden will determine that. Kickoff is at 12 noon PT on Fox.
The US holds a slight edge here due to their big win over Thailand last week. In order for Sweden to finish first in Group F, they will need to be Team USA. On the other hand, a tie or an American win will allow the USWNT to clinch the top spot in the group.
The history of these teams also seems to favor the US. The USWNT has a 3-1-1 head-to-head record against Sweden. Of course, past performance is not necessarily an indicator of future performance. In the words of ESPN’s Chris Berman, “That’s why they play the games!”
Should the US win or tie today’s match, they will face Spain, which took the second spot in Group B due to their +1 goal differential while China finished third because their goal differential was zero. That match would take place on Monday at 8 am PT.
If the Swedes beat the US, then it will be a North American matchup between the US and Team Canada. While this would be a classic matchup with Bruins on both sides, let’s hope we can save it for the Final. But, if the US has to play Canada, it will be on Monday at 11 am PT.
As far as the outlook of this game goes, I’m expecting a pretty low scoring match. That’s because Sweden has only given up one goal so far while the US hasn’t given one up yet. There is, however, a first time for everything and I think today will be the day the US gives up a goal, but just one. Meanwhile, the potent US attack will still be able to put the ball in the net enough times to win. I think we’re looking at a 2-1 USA win.
This is your 2019 Women’s World Cup USA vs. Sweden open thread.