The Women’s World Cup draw is nigh upon us; the United States will learn the route they must follow through group in order to make knockouts. Will it be three butt-puckeringly stressful games in a row, or will there be some breathing room? Here’s a quick guide on best- and worst-cast scenarios and a link to the livestream.
A refresher: for the 2019 WWC, there are four pots for 24 teams, with teams allocated to pots in order based on their latest FIFA ranking. As host, France is automatically the first team in Group A. Teams will be drawn out of the pots and placed groups A-F. You can find the match schedule here.
When is the draw?
Saturday, December 8
12 PM ET (18:00 Paris time)
How to watch
Here’s the livestream. There will also be updates on FIFA’s twitter and facebook.
You can also watch the stream on FS2 and Telemundo. (Sign up for streaming here)
Best case scenario
Travel is always a concern, particularly when a 1% edge can make the difference in some of these games. But for Americans used to criss-crossing the United States, even hopping from one end of France to the other may not necessarily be that much of a disadvantage given the country is roughly the size of Texas. Still, we’re talking fine margins of victory here, and so the best possible group in terms of travel is Group F, with whoever is assigned as team F1 only having to hop around the north of France from Reims to Paris to Le Havre. The winner of Group F also gets to go back to Reims for their round of 16 game.
In terms of opponents, looking at the countries in each pot and given that you can’t put countries from the same confederation in a group (except UEFA, since they have so many slots), an ideal group might look like:
Worst case scenario
The worst group in terms of travel is probably D. Group D goes from south coast Nice to northern border Le Havre and back to Nice, then up to Valenciennes for R16.
The most stressful group in terms of opponents could look something like this:
Of course, none of the countries in Pot 2 are exactly pushovers and plenty of them could provide nightmare fuel for a United States group. Japan, Sweden, and Brazil are all gonna be nailbiters, and Spain and Norway have a lot of potential for trouble. Pot 3 doesn’t have a ton of obvious easy choices either besides Thailand, although they’re all teams who, if the United States met them in a friendly, you would expect a win.
Best- or worst-case scenario, as we all know, anything can happen at the World Cup. So tune in for the draw and then start your stress-o-meters.