The United States - World Cup holders, the most successful country in the history of the competition, and number one ranked team on the planet - kick off their 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup campaign on Tuesday as the last of the opening round of games gets underway.
Thailand are the first Group F opponents tasked with stopping the USWNT as they look to become only the second team ever to successfully defend a Women's World Cup title.
How to Watch
The game, which is going to be an afternoon kick off for those watching Stateside, will be the second of the tournament played at Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims after Norway comfortably beat Nigeria at that venue in Group A on Saturday night.
|When Is Kick Off?||Tuesday 11 June|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||21.00 (CET)/20.00 (BST)/ 15.00 (ET)|
|Where Is it Played?||Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BBC Four (UK) - Fox/Telemundo (US) - fuboTV|
In 2 days we will be kicking off right now.... arriving fashionably late to the World Cup. LFG!!— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) June 9, 2019
Despite arriving in Europe earlier this month, the USWNT didn't actually make the trip over to France until after Friday night's opening game between France and South Korea.
Alex Morgan will take centre stage for the Americans for the first time at a World Cup and arguably has something still to prove on this stage. Megan Rapinoe hasn't played any minutes for NWSL club side Reign FC so far in 2019 as a result of injuries and trying to preserve her fitness. Carli Lloyd, meanwhile, is now 36 years of age and may have a reduced role.
Thailand hopes will be pinned on US-born forward Miranda Nild, who also goes by her Thai name Suchawadee Nildhamrong, and currently plays college soccer for UC Berkeley.
She and fellow American-born back-up goalkeeper Tiffany Sornpao are the only players in the 23-strong squad who do not play club football for teams in Thailand.
USA: Naeher; O'Hara, Sauerbrunn, Dahlkemper, Dunn; Lavelle, Ertz, Horan; Heath, Morgan, Rapinoe
Thailand: Charoenying; Phetwiset, Chinwong, Sornsai, Srangthaisong; Khueanpet, Boothduang; Sungngoen, Intamee, Thongsombut; Nildhamrong
The two teams could hardly be in more contrasting form ahead of this one, with the United States on a six-game winning streak and beaten only once in their last 39 games stretching back to 2017. Their two most recent losses have been against France, which could be important later.
What is perhaps interesting is that they have typically been much weaker on the road over the last couple of years, winning by a single goal against Sweden, Norway, Scotland, Portugal and Spain, drawing against Canada and losing against France when they have left American soil, compared to the routine thrashings they usually dish out at home.
Thailand are on a bad run and have lost all but one of their last 12 games - the sole victory was a 4-0 thrashing of Hungary in the 2019 Cyprus Cup where they finished eighth out of 12 teams.
USA & Thailand Results So Far in 2019:
|USA 3-0 Mexico, May 26||Belgium 6-1 Thailand, June 1|
|USA 5-0 New Zealand, May 16||France 3-0 Thailand, May 25|
|USA 3-0 South Africa, May 12||Nigeria 3-0 Thailand, March 6|
|USA 6-0 Belgium, April 7||Italy 4-1 Thailand, March 4|
|USA 5-3 Australia, April 4||Thailand 1-2 Mexico, March 1|
|USA 1-0 Brazil, March 5||Thailand 4-0 Hungary, February 27|
|USA 2-2 England, March 2||-|
|USA 2-2 Japan, February 27||-|
|Spain 0-1 USA, January 22||-|
|France 3-1 USA, January 19||-|
Even accounting for the USWNT being less imperious away from home, this should still be a straightforward opener for coach Jill Ellis and her team to navigate. Thailand are among the lowest ranked teams in France and have struggled to score goals since last summer.
USA 5-0 Thailand