The 2023 Women’s World Cup has wrapped up the group stages and will move into the knockout stages this weekend. Of the 32 teams — the tournament’s largest-ever field — 16 now remain for bracket-style elimination games.
The knockout rounds are set. pic.twitter.com/MW0SLZvtxS
— U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (@USWNT) August 3, 2023
The top-ranked United States women’s national team doesn’t look as odds-on to win an historic third-straight title as it did before the tournament. The U.S. side was almost knocked out in its final group stage game against Portugal, with the Portuguese coming the closest to edging out the goalless draw.
Portugal was this close 😬 pic.twitter.com/UMIZnAqyib
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 1, 2023
The USWNT ended up in second behind the Netherlands in Group E.
Several perennial powerhouses of women’s international soccer didn’t make it out of the group stages, including Brazil, China, and two-time champions Germany.
Here are the important details to follow the coverage, and some places where you can go to watch the USWNT play around Philly.
When are the games?
For fans in the Philly area, the remaining games will mostly play out in the wee-to-early hours of the morning, with only two night games left: the round of 16 match between the Netherlands and South Africa this Saturday at 10 p.m. ET, and the quarterfinal between the winner of that game and either Switzerland or Spain on Friday, Aug 11 at 9 p.m. ET.
The games will air live on Fox, Fox Sports 1, with Spanish coverage on Telemundo and NBC’s Peacock streaming service.
For those who need their sleep, full replays will be available on both networks’ respective apps and on any streaming services that carry the channels.
The World Cup final kicks off at 6 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 20.
When does the U.S. play?
Had the USWNT finished top of its group, the team would have locked in the schedule the Dutch have (FIFA probably expected that outcome and scheduled the Group E winner’s matches specifically for an North American audience). But things didn’t go as expected and a second-place group finish means the U.S. will play Sweden at 5 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 6. Should the USWNT win, it would then face the winner of Japan vs. Norway in the quarterfinals on Friday, Aug. 11 at 3.30 a.m. ET.
One of the team’s talismans, Megan Rapinoe, announced that this will be her final World Cup, so expect plenty of tributes to her and the other team veterans gracing the big stage one last time.
It is with a deep sense of peace & gratitude that I have decided this will be my final season playing this beautiful game. I never could have imagined the ways in which soccer would shape & change my life forever, but by the look on this little girl’s face, she knew all along. pic.twitter.com/XGZ1T9i7Wy
— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) July 8, 2023
Anyone with Philly-area ties?
Schoolwise, Penn State’s Alyssa Naeher will start in goal for the U.S., while Rutgers’ Casey Murphy will be a backup.
Ireland’s Mariasa Sheva was also a Nittany Lion, along with Costa Rica midfielder Raquel “Rocky” Rodríguez, though both nations failed to progress from the group stages.
Scarlet Knight’s Chantelle Swaby and Tiernny Wiltshire will be representing Jamaica, which became the first Caribbean nation to make the last 16 of Women’s World Cup, eliminating Brazil– and six-time FIFA World Player of the year Marta– in the process.
Gaffer on a roll 😂🤸🏿♂️
— Official J.F.F (@jff_football) August 3, 2023
U.S. defender Alana Cook attended the Pennington School in Mercer County. Eagles fans will have Julie Ertz, wife of Super Bowl Champion Zach, to support as well.
The two Delaware Valley natives playing in the tournament — Haverton’s Sinead Farrelly and Sellersville’s Sheva — were both representing the now-eliminated Republic of Ireland.
The national team coach, Vlatko Andonovski, finished out his playing career in Major Indoor Soccer League with the Philadelphia KiXX.
Off the field, former USWNT star and Delran native Carli Lloyd is a part of Fox Sports’ tournament coverage, and she stirred up debate with her criticism of the U.S. team’s mentality after the group stages.
Fellow Rutgers alum and former men’s national team player Alexi Lalas is also an on-air analyst for the tournament, while former Union broadcaster JP Dellacamera and current Sixers play-caller Kate Scott are commentating matches.
Where can you watch the U.S. play?
For those who want to cheer on the U.S. with other fans in the early morning hours on Sunday, the American Outlaws Philly chapter will host a watch party at the Top Tomato Bar & Pizza in Center City for the Sweden game. Those interested need to RSVP beforehand.
We are trying to gauge interest for a watch party for the 5am round of 16 game this Sunday morning. Because of the time, RSVPs will be required & we will need a certain level of interest in order to justify asking the bar to open for us. Please RSVP here: https://t.co/5gg9e0YVUd
— AO Philly Chapter (@AOPhillyChapter) August 2, 2023
Did we miss your favorite spot to watch soccer? Let me know at email@example.com
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