USWNT drawn into Group E for 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup
AUCKLAND/TĀMAKI MAKAURAU, New Zealand – The U.S. Women’s National Team will face World Cup debutant Vietnam, Netherlands and the Group A Playoff Winner — either Portugal, Thailand or Cameroon — in Group E at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup taking place from July 20-Aug. 20 in 10 stadiums and nine host cities, five in Australia and four in New Zealand.
The U.S. will open Group E play against Vietnam on July 22 at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau, which will also serve as the host venue for the Opening Ceremony of the 2023 World Cup on July 20 when New Zealand plays Norway. The USA then faces Netherlands on July 27 at Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara, followed by the Group A Playoff Winner on Aug. 1 at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau.
The U.S. Women’s National Team has played 713 matches in its history but has never played a match in New Zealand.
The meeting with the Netherlands marks the first time in FIFA Women’s World Cup history that the two finalists from the previous tournament will meet in group play. This will be the ninth FIFA Women’s World Cup that has been contested.
The USA playing two matches at Eden Park will be a boon for U.S. fans as the seating capacity of 50,000 fans makes it the third largest stadium in the tournament. The Wellington Regional Stadium seats 33,500 fans. The USA will play the entirety of the group stage in New Zealand. In order to optimize the specific match details for the benefit of supporters, teams and the media, the final kickoff times for all 64 matches will be confirmed shortly.
U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM
2023 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP SCHEDULE – GROUP E
|July 22||Vietnam||Eden Park; Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau|
|July 27||Netherlands||Wellington Regional Stadium; Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara|
|Aug. 1||Group A Playoff Winner||Eden Park; Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau|
”I’m excited about our draw because this is where the real preparation starts,” said U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski. “Now, it’s about getting ready for the actual opponents. Vietnam is a team we have never faced before but we know they came out of a challenging qualification process in Asia and will be incredibly energized to play their first ever match at the World Cup. The Netherlands is a team we know well so it’s two quality teams in the second match of the group stage and it’s going to be a fun, exciting game. And of course, we will have to wait until February to see our third and final opponent, but whoever makes it out of the playoff is going to be battle-tested and will present some unique challenges that we will need to be prepared to handle. I know all the players and coaches are energized about our group and we’re really looking forward to getting to work to prepare for our three opponents.”
The Final Draw was held at the Aotea Centre in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau, New Zealand, setting the schedule and the groups for what will be the largest FIFA Women’s World Cup in history with an expanded field of 32 teams. It will also be first FIFA Women’s World Cup in the southern hemisphere and the first to be co-hosted by two nations.
As the top-ranked team in the world, the USA was among the eight seeded teams in the tournament and prior to the Final Draw was placed in Pot 1 with the seven other seeds, including hosts New Zealand and Australia, which were placed atop Groups A and B, respectively. After the hosts were placed into their groups, the seeds were then drawn and placed in position 1 in their corresponding group. The other seeds were five European teams: Sweden, Germany, England, France and Spain. The USA was the fifth team to be drawn overall and third at random after co-hosts New Zealand and Australia, and was placed in Group E.
Prior to the Final Draw, the remaining teams were also placed into pots in descending order according to their FIFA rankings.
The USA then drew Netherlands from Pot 2, Vietnam from Pot 3 and the Group A Playoff Winner from Pot 4. The Group A Playoff Winner will be decided between Feb. 18-23, 2023. Thailand and Cameroon play in the first match of the playoff on Feb. 18 with Portugal facing the winner of that contest on Feb. 22 to determine the team which will advance to the World Cup. The U.S. will face Vietnam for the first time ever and could potentially face Cameroon for the first time should they win the Group A Playoff.
While the USA will face Vietnam for the first time, it also has a relatively brief history with the Dutch, even if recent meetings have been epic. The USA has played the Netherlands just 10 times and just seven times in the past 16 years, but the three most recent meetings were a 2-0 win in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final in Lyon, France, a 2-0 win in a friendly in Breda, Netherlands in November of 2020 in the first post-COVID era match for the USA, and a dramatic penalty kick shootout win in the quarterfinals of the Olympics in Japan after a 2-2 tie in regulation.
Under FIFA’s standard rule, no group could include more than one team from the same qualifying zone except Europe, which will have 11 teams in the tournament – and possibly 12 teams pending the results of the Inter-Confederation Play-Off. Each group therefore had to have at least one European team but no more than two. As a result, three of the eight groups – A, D and G — have two European teams.
Group A: New Zealand, Norway, Philippines and Switzerland.
Group B: Australia, Ireland, Nigeria and Canada.
Group C: Spain, Costa Rica, Zambia and Japan.
Group D: England, Group B Playoff Winner, Denmark and China PR.
Group E: USA, Vietnam, Netherlands and the Group A Playoff Winner
Group F: France, Jamaica, Brazil and the Group C Playoff Winner.
Group G: Sweden, South Africa, Italy and Argentina.
Group H: Germany, Morocco, Colombia and Korea Republic.
USA’S GROUP E OPPONENTS:
VIETNAM (JULY 22; EDEN PARK; AUCKLAND/TĀMAKI MAKAURAU):
- Current FIFA World Ranking: 34
- FIFA Country Code: VIE
- 2023 World Cup Qualifying: 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Play-off Winners
- World Cup appearances: 1st
- Best World Cup Finish: N/A – Debut
- Overall Record in World Cup Matches: N/A – Debut
- Record vs. USA: N/A – 1st Meeting
- Last Meeting vs. USA: N/A – 1st Meeting
- Coach: Mai Đức Chung (VIE)
- Championship Honors: Three-time AFF Women’s Championship Winners (2006, 2012, 2019)
- Leading World Cup Qualifying Scorers: F Huynh Nhu (2 goals), F Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung (2)
- Fast Facts: Vietnam is one of five nations making its Women’s World Cup debut at the Australia/New Zealand 2023… Vietnam qualified for its first ever World Cup at the Senior Team level, men’s or women’s, by winning the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Play-off in early 2022 … Vietnam advanced to the knockout rounds of the Asian Cup as one of the best third-place teams, but lost to China PR 3-1 in the quarterfinal round to go to the playoff where it defeated Thailand (2-0) and Chinese Taipei (2-1) to clinch the final direct World Cup berth out of Asia.
NETHERLANDS (JULY 27; WELLINGTON REGIONAL STADIUM; WELLINGTON/TE WHANGANUI-A-TARA):
- Current FIFA World Ranking: 8
- FIFA Country Code: NED
- 2023 World Cup Qualifying: UEFA Qualification Group C Winners
- World Cup appearances: 3rd – 2015, 2019
- Best World Cup Finish: Runners-up (2019)
- Overall Record in World Cup Matches: 7-1-3
- Record vs. USA: 1-1-8
- Last Meeting vs. USA: July 30, 2021, in Yokohama, Japan (2-2 draw, USA advanced to Olympic Semifinal 4-2 on penalty kicks)
- Coach: Andries Jonker (NED)
- Championship Honors: World Cup Runner-Up (2019), European Champions (2017)
- Leading World Cup Qualifying Scorers: F Vivianne Miedema (8 goals), M Jill Roord (7), M Danielle van de Donk (4)
- Other Key Players: M Sherida Spitse, M Lieke Martens, GK Daphne van Domselaar
- Fast Facts: The Netherlands qualified for its third consecutive Women’s World Cup by winning UEFA Qualifying Group C, securing the group with a 1-0 win over Iceland on September 6 … The Netherlands reached the Round of 16 in 2015 before finishing Runner-up to the USA in 2019 … Andries Jonker was named head coach in August of 2022, replacing Mark Parsons who was sacked following the 2022 Women’s EURO at which the Netherlands lost in the quarterfinals after winning the tournament in 2017 … Jonker had previously served as an interim head coach for the Netherlands in 2001 … The USA and the Netherlands have met three times in the last three years – the 2019 World Cup Final (2-0 win for the USA), a friendly in November of 2020 (2-0 win for the USA) and the quarterfinals of the delayed Tokyo Olympics (2-2 draw, USA advanced 4-2 on penalties) … The only prior meeting between the teams at the World Cup came in the 2019 Final, a 2-0 victory for the USA in Lyon, France… 26-year-old forward Vivianne Miedema is one of the most prolific scorers currently in the women’s game, with a remarkable 95 goals for the Netherlands in 115 caps.
GROUP A PLAYOFF WINNER (AUG. 1; EDEN PARK; AUCKLAND/TĀMAKI MAKAURAU):
- Info TBA
For a complete tournament schedule, visit FIFA.com.
- The USA is one of four confirmed Concacaf representatives at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The USA won the 2022 CONCACAF W Championship in Mexico that sent the four semifinalists Down Under. Canada was the runner-up, Jamaica finished third and Costa Rica finished fourth.
- Two more Concacaf nations have the chance to qualify as the 10-team FIFA Inter-Confederation Playoffs will send three more teams to the World Cup. Panama and Haiti will represent Concacaf at that tournament, which will be held from Feb. 18-23 in New Zealand. Haiti was drawn into Play-Off Group B while Panama is in Group C.
- The U.S. is the only country to have reached semifinals of every FIFA Women’s World Cup and has won a record four World Cup titles (1991, 1999, 2015, 2019).
- Despite winning six of the eight previous tournaments (two for Germany and four for the USA), the USA and Germany have never met in a FIFA Women’s World Cup Final but did meet in the semifinal of the 2015 tournament.
- The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be played at 10 venues across nine cities:
- Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau (50,000 capacity)
- Dunedin Stadium Dunedin/Ōtepoti (34,748)
- Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara (33,500)
- Waikato Stadium in Hamilton/ Kirikiriroa (25,800)
- Stadium Australia (83,500) and Sydney Football Stadium (42,500) in Sydney/Gadigal
- Melbourne Rectangular Stadium in Melbourne/Naarm (30,050)
- Perth Rectangular Stadium in Perth/Boorloo (22,500)
- Brisbane Stadium in Brisbane/Meaanjin (52,500)
- Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide (22,000)
- The 90,185 fans at the Rose Bowl for the USA’s victory against China PR in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final represented the largest single-game attendance in the tournament’s history. That record will not be broken next summer. The largest venue at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is Stadium Australia, which seats 83,500, and will host one Round of 16 match, one quarterfinal, one semifinal and the World Cup Final.
- The USA is 40-6-4 all-time in the Women’s World Cup, outscoring its opponents 138-38 in 50 games. The 40 wins, 50 games played, and 138 goals scored are all FIFA Women’s World Cup records.
- The USA’s most lopsided victory in the tournament was a 13-0 win against Thailand to open the 2019 tournament.
- Michelle Akers scored five goals against Chinese Taipei in 1991 and Alex Morgan scored five against Thailand in 2019, tying for most in a single match in tournament history.
- Carli Lloyd’s hat trick in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final is one of just two three-goal games for the USA in Women’s World Cup history. Carin Jennings scored three times against Germany in the semifinal of the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
- Kristine Lilly holds the record of most World Cup games played, playing 30 games in five World Cups while goalkeeper Briana Scurry earned a record 10 shutouts over four World Cups.
- The USA officially clinched a spot in this year’s World Cup with a 5-0 victory against Jamaica on July 7 combined with Mexico’s 3-0 loss to Haiti at the 2022 Concacaf W Championship. The USA capped off qualifying with a 1-0 win against Canada in the title game on July 18 on a penalty kick goal from Alex Morgan. That victory also secured the USA a berth in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
- Seven teams in the 2023 World Cup field – Brazil, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Norway, Sweden and the USA – have qualified for every Women’s World Cup contested and will be making their ninth appearances on the sport’s grandest stage.
- This will mark the fifth consecutive World Cup in which the USA has faced an opponent from Asia in its opening game of the tournament. The USA opened the World Cup against Korea DPR in both 2007 (2-2 draw) and 2011 (2-0 USA win), faced off against Australia in the first group match in 2015 World Cup (3-1 USA win) and then opened the 2019 World Cup group against Thailand in France (13-0 USA win).
- Five teams in this year’s field – Morocco, Philippines, Republic of Ireland, Vietnam and Zambia – will be making their Women’s World Cup debuts.
- Play-Off Group B Winner (Chile, Senegal or Haiti) was drawn into Group D and the Play-Off Group C Winner (Chinese Taipei, Paraguay, Papua New Guinea or Panama) was drawn into Group F.