The U.S. women’s national team opens the 2023 World Cup against Vietnam in New Zealand on Friday. The Americans begin their campaign for a third straight World Cup victory, which would be a record, and fifth overall. The USWNT is also undergoing a generational shift, with more than half the roster playing in their first major international tournament.
Less than a minute into their World Cup opener, the U.S. women’s national team, already hampered by injuries, is having issues.
Forward Trinity Rodman landed hard, and awkwardly, on her back just 30 seconds into the game when she was taken out by a Vietnam player. In obvious pain, Rodman stood up and walked off the field on her own power right after a stretcher came out on to the field. She stood on the sideline for a minute to catch her breath before going back in.
WORLD CUP CENTRAL: 2023 Women’s World Cup Live Scores, Schedules, Standings, Bracket and More
The starting lineup for the USWNT’s first World Cup game, against Vietnam, is out.
The biggest notes: Midfielders Julie Ertz and Savannah DeMelo are in, while midfielder Rose Lavelle will start on the bench. Trinity Rodman, who came off the bench to score two goals in the Americans’ 2-0 win over Wales in the USWNT’s send-off game, will also start, alongside fellow forwards Alex Morgan and Sophia Smith. Megan Rapinoe, the hero of the 2019 World Cup, is also available off the bench.
Here’s the USWNT’s full lineup:
Alyssa NaeherCrystal DunnJulie ErtzNaomi Girma Emily Fox Lindsey Horan (C)Savannah DeMeloAndi SullivanTrinity RodmanSophia SmithAlex Morgan
When does the USWNT play?
The Americans play their first Group stage game Friday at 9 p.m. ET. They face Vietnam.
How to watch USWNT in World Cup
Looking for what channel to watch the 2023 World Cup on? Fox will broadcast the tournament in the U.S. on both its main channel and FS1. It’s also available to stream on FoxSports.com and the Fox Sports app. Spanish-language coverage will be on Telemundo.
See the TV listing for every game and add them to your calendar of choice here!
Yes, the unquestioned star of the 2019 World Cup, Rapinoe is back for the 2023 World Cup. It will be her last.
Preside Joe Biden will be watching Friday night, and probably cheering extra loud for Rapinoe. Last July, Biden awarded Rapinoe the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
USWNT schedule World Cup
The Americans are scheduled to play three group games.
- Friday, July 21: USWNT vs. Vietnam, 9 p.m. ET
- Wednesday, July 26: USWNT vs. Netherlands, 9 p.m. ET
- Tuesday, Aug. 1: USWNT vs. Portugal, 3 a.m. ET
Where is the 2023 World Cup being played?
For the first time in women’s World Cup history, the tournament will be hosted by two countries, Australia and New Zealand. (The 2022 men’s World Cup was hosted by Japan and South Korea and in 2026, it will be hosted by the U.S., Mexico and Canada.)
Many people associate Australia and New Zealand with surfing, sandy beaches and stunning swimming spots, all happening in sunny weather. But it’s winter in the southern hemisphere, which means temperatures will be anything but scorching.
What will the weather be like at the 2023 World Cup in New Zealand and Australia?
Auckland is 16 hours ahead of the East Coast of the United States.
Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, better known as the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, is in New Zealand to cheer on the USWNT, according to his wife.
Emhoff visited practice earlier this week and before making the trek all the way to Auckland, he FaceTimed with USWNT captains Alex Morgan and Lindsey Horan, asking about the wide age range of this year’s roster. He assured Morgan and Horan they’d be able to hear him cheering during the Americans’ first game.
Penalty kicks dominate early World Cup games
Penalty kicks have ruled the first five games of the World Cup … sort of.
Each of the games played so far in Australia and New Zealand have featured a penalty kick, though only one team has managed to capitalized. Australia defender Steph Catley scored in the 51st minute against Ireland Thursday, giving the Matildas a 1-0 win to open group play. It was an especially big win for the host country considering it will be without star forward Sam Kerr for at least a couple games due to a calf injury.
But probably the most noteworthy penalty kick came courtesy of Canada’s Christine Sinclair, who on Friday was trying to become the firs player in history to score in six different World Cups. In the 49th minute of Canada’s opening game against Nigeria, Sinclair, who has scored more international goals than any player, man or woman, had her chance to etch her name in the record books — but she missed, due in part to a brilliant save by Nigeria keeper Chiamaka Nnadozie.
The game ended in a 0-0 draw, a shocking result for Canada, which won gold at the Tokyo Olympics.
Understanding the different World Cup betting odds and wager types is paramount to learning how to bet on sports in general. Not only can bettors predict the winner of the event — BetRivers lists the Americans as +250 favorites — but there is also plenty of action around which player will take home awards such as the Golden Boot, which goes to the World Cup’s top goal-scorer.
In addition to shopping around for the best odds, the type of wagering you plan on doing will likely determine which online sportsbook is right for you. For example, sports betting apps such as FanDuel allow you to bet on the outcome of each individual game, while DraftKings offers a wide array of prop bets throughout the tournament — such as how many total goals will be scored in the game between the United States and Vietnam.
The 2023 World Cup marks just the ninth time the event has taken place. (The men’s World Cup, meanwhile, has been played since 1930.) The U.S. is seeking to become the first team, men’s or women’s, to win three consecutive titles. Germany, which won in 2003 and 2007, had a chance to do that in 2011 but couldn’t pull it off. The U.S. has won more women’s World Cup titles than any other country. Here’s a list of every women’s World Cup winner.
- 1991: United States
- 1995: Norway
- 1999: United States
- 2003: Germany
- 2007: Germany
- 2011: Japan
- 2015: United States
- 2019: United States
There are eight groups, four teams per group, with the top two seeds from each group advancing to the knockout round. The groups are as follows:
- Group A: New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Switzerland
- Group B: Australia, Canada, Nigeria, Rep. of Ireland
- Group C: Costa Rica, Japan, Spain, Zambia
- Group D: China, Denmark, England, Haiti
- Group E: Netherlands, Portugal, United States, Vietnam
- Group F: Brazil, France, Jamaica, Panama
- Group G: Argentina, Italy, South Africa, Sweden
- Group H: Colombia, Germany, Morocco, South Korea
The World Cup starts with Group play and finishes with knockout rounds. There are eight groups, four teams per group, with the top two seeds from each group advancing to the knockout round. In Group play, each team plays three games. There are four rounds in the knockouts: round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and the final.
There are 32 teams in the World Cup.
The Americans are the overwhelming favorite to win the World Cup, which would be their third consecutive title. Virtually every sportsbook is in agreement that the United States is most likely to emerge victorious. For reference, a $100 bet on the USWNT to win it all at +225 odds would yield $225 in winnings, plus the original $100 wager.
Here is a full list of odds for each team to win the World Cup, according to Caesars Sportsbook:
- United States +225
- England +375
- Germany +650
- Spain +700
- France +800
- Australia +1200
- Sweden +1400
- Netherlands +1800
- Canada +2500
- Brazil +2500
- Japan +3000
- Norway +6500
- Denmark +8000
- South Korea +10000
- Portugal +10000
- Italy +15000
- New Zealand +15000
- China +15000
- Haiti +15000
- Colombia +15000
- Ireland +20000
- Zambia +25000
- Switzerland +25000
- Argentina +30000
- South Africa +50000
- Costa Rica +50000
- Jamaica +50000
- Nigeria +75000
- Morocco +75000
- Vietnam +100000
- Panama +100000
- Philippines +100000
With a wide array of legal online sportsbooks and sports betting apps operating in the majority of U.S. states, there is no shortage of options for wagering on the World Cup.
USA TODAY readers can claim exclusive promos with a number of operators that offer World Cup betting — including BetMGM, which is offering a $1,000 first-bet deal for our readers. If you sign up through this link, BetMGM will give you first-bet insurance of up to $1,000 if your first bet of at least $10 doesn’t click. The funds would be provided back to you as bonus bets with a 1x rollover requirement and no minimum odds restrictions. You can click any of the sportsbook links we’ve provided in this story to claim unique offers and promos for World Cup betting.
Who’s on the USWNT World Cup roster?
The 2023 World Cup roster is one of, if not the, most diverse in U.S. women’s soccer history. This year marks a passing of the torch, as a new generation of soccer talent makes its World Cup debut and tries to continue the Americans’ win streak. Of the 23-player roster, 14 will be playing in their first World Cup. You can learn more about each player from the U.S., as well as some of the standout international stars.
- Goalkeepers: Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars); Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage); Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit).
- Defenders: Alana Cook (OL Reign); Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns); Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage); Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave); Sofia Huerta (OL Reign); Kelley O’Hara (NJ/NY Gotham); Emily Sonnett (OL Reign).
- Midfielders: Savannah DeMelo (Racing Louisville); Julie Ertz (Angel City); Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon); Rose Lavelle (OL Reign); Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham); Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit); Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit).
- Forwards: Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave); Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign); Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit); Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns); Alyssa Thompson (Angel City); Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham).
Perusing expert predictions is a key part of preparing your World Cup betting slip in order to get an understanding of how teams match up with one another and their chances at making deep runs in the tournament.
Here are our expert predictions from the team at USA TODAY:
- Winner: United States.
- Final: United States 2, Germany 1.
- Golden Ball: Sophia Smith, United States.
- Golden Boot: Alexandra Popp, Germany.
- Biggest surprise: Crystal Dunn makes an appearance in the U.S. midfield.
- Winner: United States.
- Final: United States 3, Germany 2.
- Golden Ball: Sophia Smith, United States.
- Golden Boot: Sophia Smith, United States.
- Biggest surprise: Megan Rapinoe comes off the bench late in the semifinals to score the game-winning goal.
- Winner: United States.
- Final: United States 3, England 1.
- Golden Ball: Alex Morgan, United States.
- Golden Boot: Rachel Daly, England.
- Biggest surprise: Powered by its star player, Sam Kerr, and the emotional exhilaration of playing in front of the home crowd for every game, it wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see Australia advance as far as the semifinal.