Four years ago the United States got a bit unlucky with its World Cup draw. It had to go through three very solid teams and had no time to ease into the tournament. But in this edition of the women’s World Cup, the USWNT got the absolute luckiest draw it could have possibly hoped for.
Its first two opponents, Thailand and Chile, are ranked 34th and 39th, respectively, by FIFA. They’re two of the weakest teams at the World Cup, and would have both been picked to finish last in just about any other group had they not been drawn together. The USWNT beat Chile 3-0 and 4-0 in a pair of friendlies last year, and has not lost to a team outside the top 15 during Jill Ellis’ tenure.
The Americans play Thailand on Tuesday, then Chile on Sunday. Things finally get spicy for the USWNT on June 20, when it plays Sweden. It would be shocking if both teams didn’t have six points and a large goal differential going into that match.
So is there anything to keep an eye on in USWNT vs. Thailand?
Uhhhh... no, not really. More likely than not, this game will provide no indication of what players might be the Americans’ best performers at the World Cup, nor should it reveal any problems. The USWNT should be able to play poorly and still win by multiple goals. And even a 10-goal win isn’t an indication that the USWNT is going to score a lot against Sweden.
Sounds a bit arrogant, typical American
Yeah, I know. And if the results that Italy and Argentina were able to pull off against Australia and Japan are any indication, the middle-tier teams are getting a lot better. But Thailand has lost 11 of its last 12 matches, and the USWNT simply doesn’t screw up games like this. If Thailand (or Chile) beats the USWNT, it’s a bigger upset than Buster Douglas vs. Mike Tyson or 1980 USA men’s hockey vs. USSR. If Thailand avoids defeat, you can appreciate that you got to see the best sporting upset of your lifetime.
Tobin Heath is gonna nutmeg some fools tho, right?