The National Women's Soccer League inserted themselves into the WoSo conversation this morning, finally releasing the complete 24-game schedule for all 10 teams. With opening day just six weeks away, the natives were getting restless. Shortly after, the Breakers revealed that they'd be expanding the main stand at Jordan field for 2017, bringing the sideline capacity to around 3,000 seats. Good times. But this week is about international football, and it's game day.
SheBelieves Cup Match Day 1
England v France 4PM Eastern
I wrote yesterday about each of the teams in this tournament. Fifth-ranked England takes on third-ranked France to kick off the 2017 SheBelieves Cup in Chester, PA at 4PM. American audiences have been told that all matches will be available on Fox's Fox Sports Go app, and it's a good sign that the match is listed on the Fox Sports Go website.
BOLD (bad) Prediction:
These teams feel very even to me, but I think the Lionesses are slightly ahead of the curve in coming together as a team. Rain is possible during these matches, and field conditions may be wet even if it's not raining. I'm taking England to win a tight match late. England 2-1 France.
USA v Germany 7PM FS1
On the actual TV at 7PM, the USA will seek to atone for their somehow-didn't-lose-but-still-lost stumble in last summer's tournament that must not be named. Both teams will look different on the field, with Jill Ellis continuing her 3-back 5 midfielder 2 forwards formation evolution, and Germany looking for their younger players to step into some big boots.
BOLD (bad) Prediction:
This match feels like it is going to get off to a fast start. I'll be surprised if solid, polished defense is on display here; Germany is missing some pieces and the USA is facing top class competition for the first time against their new system. So, how about a goal inside 10 minutes? How about a few more in the first half? Adjustments at the half work in both directions, but a sub with pace makes the difference at around 82 minutes. USA 3-2 Germany.
From the pre-game through the final whistle, unless you watch the game without sound, you're going to hear (or read) plenty of chatter that you'll probably have heard before. Did you know, for example, that Lindsey Horan skipped college to go play for PSG in France? Yes, you know. So, instead of rolling your eyes when you hear something for the 426th time, collect your friends and play #WoSoBingo. Six cards in PDF format are ready to go.