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USWNT facing Vietnam in first Group E match at FIFA Women’s World Cup

The U.S. Women’s National Team will take on FIFA Women’s World Cup debutant Vietnam in its opening match of the tournament at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau.

The match kicks off at 1 p.m. local in Auckland on Saturday, July 22, which is 9 p.m. ET on July 21 for viewers stateside and will be broadcast on FOX, Telemundo, Universo, Peacock). Although the group stage opener will be the first meeting ever between the USA and Vietnam, it will mark the fifth consecutive World Cup in which the USWNT has faced an opponent from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in its opening game of the tournament.

The USA opened the World Cup against Korea DPR in both 2007 and 2011, faced off against Australia in the first group match in 2015 World Cup and then opened the 2019 World Cup group against Thailand in France.

VETERANS AND YOUNG STARS WILL REPRESENT THE USA

On June 21, the USA’s roster for the Women’s World Cup was officially announced, unveiling the 23 players who will represent the crest Down Under. The roster features nine players who were members of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship squad and 14 players who were named to their first World Cup roster.



U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS) – 2023 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP

GOALKEEPERS (3): Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit; 1), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 14), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 91)

DEFENDERS (7): Alana Cook (OL Reign; 25/1), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage; 29/1), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 132/24), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC; 16/0), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign; 30/0), Kelley O’Hara (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 157/3), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign; 75/1)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville FC; 0/0), Julie Ertz (Angel City FC; 118/20), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 129/27), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 88/24), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 51/7), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit; 25/3), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 45/3)

FORWARDS (6): Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC; 207/121), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 199/63), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit; 18/4), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 30/12), Alyssa Thompson (Angel City FC; 4/0), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 53/15)

LAST TIME OUT

The USWNT heads into the World Cup after most recently earning a 2-0 win against Wales in the team’s Send-Off match on July 9 in San Jose, Calif., where two second-half goals from forward Trinity Rodman, which marked her first career brace, led the team to victory in front of a sellout crowd of 18,000 fans. The USA will enter the World Cup with a 50W-6D-5L in 61 games under head coach Vlatko Andonovski.

(Youth Soccer Origins: See where each USWNT World Cup player got their start)

TAKING ON GROUP E

The USA will face World Cup debutantes Vietnam and Portugal in the group stage, along with 2019 Women’s World Cup runners-up Netherlands. The USA will play the entirety of the group stage in New Zealand and will open Group E play against Vietnam on July 22 at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau (1 p.m. local / 9 p.m. ET on July 21 on FOX, Telemundo, Universo and Peacock).Eden Park also served as the host venue for the Opening Ceremony of the 2023 World Cup on July 20 and the first match of the tournament between New Zealand and Norway, which was won by New Zealand 1-0. The USA then faces Netherlands on July 27 at Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara (1 p.m. local / 9 p.m. ET on July 26 on FOX, Telemundo, Universo and Peacock), followed by Portugal on Aug. 1 at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau (7 p.m. local / 3 a.m. ET on FOX, Telemundo and Peacock).

FAMILIAR VENUE FOR FIRST WORLD CUP MATCH

The USA will play its opening match against Vietnam at the famed Eden Park, New Zealand’s National Stadium. While best known for hosting rugby matches for the All Blacks and Black Ferns – New Zealand’s Men’s and Women’s National Rugby Teams, respectively – Eden Park also served as the site of the USA’s second match of 2023. The Americans closed out their January camp with a 5-0 victory over New Zealand in front of a then-record crowd of 12,721 fans on January 21 at the venue. Rose Lavelle scored twice and added an assist in the win for the USA.

SERIES HISTORY: USA VS. VIETNAM

The group stage opener in Auckland will be the first meeting all-time between the USA and Vietnam, making Vietnam the 57th different opponent the USWNT has faced all-time.

The USWNT is unbeaten in 15 consecutive matches against AFC teams at the FIFA Women’s World Cup and in its last 22 matches overall against AFC foes.

WORLD CUP FORMAT

The World Cup format calls for seven matches to win the tournament, including four in the knockout rounds, up from six matches it took to win the Women’s World Cups for all the tournaments from 1991-2011. The top two teams from each of the eight groups will qualify for the Round of 16. The USA is making its ninth appearance in a FIFA Women’s World Cup and is one of seven countries to appear in all nine editions of the tournament. The others are Brazil, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Norway and Sweden.

The USA has a history of strong starts at the FIFA Women’s World Cup and is unbeaten in its previous eight opening matches (6W-2D-0L). The USA drew its opening match in both 1995 and 2007 and has won its last three openers.

PINOE APPROACHES 200 CAP CLUB

Forward Megan Rapinoe enters the World Cup just one cap away from hitting 200, something just 13 players have accomplished in USWNT history. Rapinoe also currently sits in 10th place all-time on the USWNT scoring charts and is one of only seven players in USWNT history with 50+ career goals and 50+ career assists. She is the only player in the 50 goal/50 assist club with more career assists than goals.

USA WORLD CUP ROSTER NOTES

  • Alex Morgan is the top scorer on the USA’s World Cup roster with 121 goals. Megan Rapinoe has 63, Lindsey Horan has 27, Dunn and Lavelle each have 24 and Ertz has 20.
  • Eighteen players on this roster were on the USA’s 23-player roster for the 2022 Concacaf W Championship, at which the United States qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup as well as the 2024 Summer Olympics.
  • Morgan has the most experience in the Women’s World Cup, having played 18 matches while scoring nine goals, six of which came at the 2019 tournament.
  • Morgan and Rapinoe are tied for fourth all-time in USWNT history with nine World Cup goals each, trailing only Abby Wambach, Michelle Akers and Carli Lloyd.
  • Heading into her third World Cup, Alyssa Naeher ranks third all-time in both shutouts and wins by a USWNT goalkeeper at the Women’s World Cup.
  • Kelley O’Hara is just one of 12 players in USWNT history to be named to four Women’s World Cup Teams. She has been a part of the USA’s last seven world championship rosters.
  • Savannah DeMelo made her USWNT debut on July 9 in the team’s World Cup Send-Off match against Wales and is just the third player ever to make a U.S. World Cup roster without previously earning a cap. She also became the first player to debut for the USA in 2023.
  • With Kristie Mewis’ inclusion on the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster, the Mewis sisters become the first set of sisters to each represent the USA at a FIFA Women’s World Cup. Sam Mewis was part of the 2019 World Cup-winning team.

IN FOCUS: VIETNAM

FIFA World Ranking: 32
AFC Ranking: 5
World Cup Appearances: 1st (2023)
Best World Cup Finish: N/A
Record vs. USA: N/A
Head Coach: Mai Duc Chung (VIE)

VIETNAM WOMEN’S NATIONAL SOCCER TEM ROSTER BY POSITION

Goalkeepers (3): 1-DAO Thi Kieu Oanh (Hanoi WFC), 14-TRAN Thi Kim Thanh (Ho Chi Minh City WFC), 20-KHONG Thi Hang (Than Khoang San FC)

Defenders (8): 2-LUONG Thi Thu Thuong (Than Khoang San FC), 3-CHUONG Thi Kieu (Ho Chi Minh City WFC), 4-TRAN Thi Thu (Ho Chi Minh City WFC), 5-HOANG Thi Loan (Hanoi WFC), 6-TRAN Thi Thuy Nga (Thai Nguyen T&T WFC), 13-LE Thi Diem My (Than Khoang San FC), 17-TRAN Thi Thu Thao (Ho Chi Minh City WFC), 22-NGUYEN Thi My Anh (Thai Nguyen T&T WFC)

Midfielders (8): 7-NGUYEN Thi Tuyet Dung (Phong Phu Ha Nam FC), 8-TRAN Thi Thuy Trang (Ho Chi Minh City WFC), 10-TRAN Thi Hai Linh (Hanoi WFC), 11-THAI Thi Thao (Hanoi WFC), 16-DUONG Thi Van (Than Khoang San FC), 19-NGUYEN Thi Thanh Nha (Hanoi WFC), 21-NGAN Thi Van Su (Hanoi WFC), 23-NGUYEN Thi Bich Thuy (Ho Chi Minh City WFC)

Forwards (4): 9-HUYNH Nhu (Länk Vilaverdense, POR), 12-PHAM Hai Yen (Hanoi WFC), 15-NGUYEN Thi Thuy Hang (Than Khoang San FC), 18-VU Thi Hoa (Hanoi WFC)

VIETNAM NOTES:

  • One of the earliest teams to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Vietnam qualified for its first ever World Cup at the senior 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.
  • Vietnam is one of eight nations making its Women’s World Cup debut at Australia/New Zealand 2023, joined by fellow debutants Haiti, Morocco, Republic of Ireland, Panama, Philippines, Portugal and Zambia.
  • Head coach Mai Duc Chung has been a long-time coach for the Vietnam National Teams, coaching Men, Women and Youth at different stages in his career. He has helped Vietnam to six golds at the Southeast Asian Games, the most recent coming earlier in 2023, and the 2019 AFF Women’s Championship.