Women’s World Cup 2019: Everything you need to know before the tournament kicks off in Paris

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Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath are hoping that the USWNT can repeat as World Cup champions. Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  • The 2019 Women’s World Cup kicks off on Friday, June 7, in Paris.
  • The United States Women’s National Team enters the tournament as the favourite but will face great competition from across the globe.
  • Below we break down everything you need to know about the tournament.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories

The 2019 Women’s World Cup is almost ready to kick off play.

The United States Women’s National Team enters the tournament as the favourite, having won the 2015 tournament in dominant fashion.

This year, the USWNT is hoping to repeat that success but will face some daunting competition from teams across the globe.

Below we break down everything you need to know about the tournament.


When does the 2019 Women’s World Cup begin?

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The Women’s World Cup trophy. Aurelien Meunier – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

The 2019 Women’s World Cup kicks off on Friday, June 7, with an opening match between host-nation France and South Korea.

After that, the group stage of the tournament will begin in full, with two or three matches a day for the next two weeks, leading up to the knockout rounds.


Where is the tournament being hosted this year?

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Parc des Princes in Paris will host the first match of the 2019 Women’s World Cup. Aurelien Meunier – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

France is the host-nation for the 2019 Women’s World Cup, with Parc des Princes in Paris hosting the opening match of the tournament.

Outside of Paris, eight other cities across France – Valenciennes, Le Havre, Reims, Rennes, Lyon, Grenoble, Nice, Montpellier – will host games throughout World Cup play.


Where can I watch?

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FOX will broadcast 22 games throughout the tournament, including every USWNT match. Either FS1 or FS2 will carry the rest of the games.

For those hoping to stream the tournament, FS1 is your best option and available through most streaming providers such as Playstation Vue, Sling, YouTube TV, and Hulu.


How do the Americans stack up this year?

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Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath celebrate. Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The USWNT enters the 2019 Women’s World Cup as reigning champions and favourites to defend their 2015 title.

Leading the attack will be Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, both veterans of the 2015 team. Alongside them, Mal Pugh, Julie Ertz, Carli Lloyd, and Tobin Heath will bring pressure all across the field, with plenty of goal-scoring potential. In net will be keeper Alyssa Naeher, supported by a well-rounded defence led by Crystal Dunn.

This squad is possibly the most talented team the Americans have ever put together, filled with veterans of international competition and goal scorers throughout the lineup.


Who are the other contenders?

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France’s Amandine Henry is fresh of a win at the Women’s Champions League final with her club team Lyon. VI Images via Getty Images

Unsurprisingly, the host nation of France is expected to be amongst the final teams playing in this year’s tournament, currently listed as co-favourites with the USWNT.

Oddsmakers also like the chances of Germany, England, and Japan to make a strong showing. Additionally, while they are currently something of an underdog, the United States budding rivalry with Sweden over the past few years should make for an extremely compelling matchup in the group stage.


What is the format of the Women’s World Cup?

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The Women’s World Cup draw determined the groups for the first stage of the tournament. Aurelien Meunier – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

This year, the Women’s World Cup includes 24 teams from around the world.

Those 24 teams are split into six groups for the first stage of the tournament.

  • Group A: France, South Korea, Norway, Nigeria
  • Group B: Germany, China, Spain, South Africa
  • Group C: Australia, Italy, Brazil, Jamaica
  • Group D: England, Scotland, Argentina, Japan
  • Group E: Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand, Netherlands
  • Group F: United States, Thailand, Chile Sweden

The group stage:

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USWNT star Alex Morgan. Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Every team will play every other in their group in a round-robin, giving each at least three matches at the tournament.

The top two teams from all six groups will advance to the knockout stage. Additionally, the four third-place teams that accrue the most points through the group stage will also earn a spot in the second stage, forming a bracket of 16 teams for the knockout round.


The knockout stage:

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The knockout round plays out in a standard tournament format, with the winning team advancing and the loser eliminated. Matches tied after 90 minutes will play 30 minutes of extra time, and finally a shootout to determine a winner.

In the semifinal round, the winning teams will advance to the final, and the losing teams will play in a third-place match.


When and where is the final?

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Lyon players celebrate a goal in their home stadium. JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images

The 2019 Women’s World Cup final will be held on Sunday, July 7 at Stade de Lyon in Lyon, France. The match will begin an 11 a.m. ET and 5 p.m. local time in France.


Should I watch?

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YES!

The Women’s World Cup is always thrilling, bringing the best out of athletes from across the world.

For casual sports fans who enjoy the camaraderie of watching teams that represent the United States compete, the women of the USWNT are great representatives, and after the men’s team failed to qualify for the World Cup last year, the women’s team will provide plenty to cheer for.


More USWNT coverage:

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WHERE ARE THEY NOW? The legendary 1999 U.S. Women’s National Team that won the World Cup

A US Women’s soccer player gave a great, NSFW speech in one of the team’s final tune-ups before the World Cup

What US soccer star and World Cup champion Julie Ertz eats in a typical day

Alex Morgan converted on a gorgeous volley in final game of the year to cap the USWNT’s undefeated 2018 campaign