The United States returns to the Women’s World Cup as favorites to win the trophy for the third consecutive tournament, a feat that has never been accomplished.
Only four teams in history have been able to win the World Cup again, which the USWNT has done after victories in 2015 and 2019. The Italy men’s team did so in 1934 and 1938, followed by the Brazil men’s team (1958, 1962) and the Germany women’s team (2003, 2007).
The expectations are stratospheric for this group, which means they also have a target on their back, as every team they face will want to take them down.
That starts with Vietnam in Auckland, New Zealand on Friday night as its path to history begins.
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How can you watch USA vs. Vietnam?
USA vs. Vietnam will begin at 9 pm ET on Friday on FOX, with coverage beginning at 8 pm ET. Fans can tune in to watch the party here.
Who plays for the USA team?
A star-studded list includes:
- Goalkeepers: Aubrey Kingsbury, Casey Murphy, Alyssa Naeher
- Advocates: Alana Cook, Emily Fox, Crystal Dunn, Naomi Girma, Sofia Huerta, Kelley O’Hara, Emily Sonnett
- Midfielders: Savannah Demelo, Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Kristia Mewis, Ashley Sanchez, Andi Sullivan
- Forwards: Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Trinity Rodman, Sophia Smith, Alyssa Thompson, Lynn Williams
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Who plays for Vietnam?
The list includes:
- Goalkeepers: Tran Thi Kim Thanh, Khong Thi Hang, Dao Thi Kieu Oanh
- Defenders: Churong Thi Kieu, Luong Thi Thu Thuong, Tran Thi Thu, Hoang Thi Loan, Tran Thi Thuy Nga, Le Thi Diem My, Tran Thi Thu Thao, Nguyen Thi My Anh, Tran Thi Hai Linh
- Midfielders: Nguyen Thi Tuyet, Tran Thi Thuy Trang, Thai Thi Thao, Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy, Duong Thi Van, Nguyen Thi Thanh Nha
- Forwards: Huynh Nhu, Pham Hai Yen, Nguyen Thi Thanh Nha, Ngan Thi Van Su, Vu Thi Hoa
How has the United States fared in recent World Cups?
As mentioned, the USWNT is the team to beat, having won back-to-back World Cups after victories in 2015 and 2019.
The latest victory came after a 2-0 win over the Netherlands in the final, which took place in France in 2019. Megan Rapinoe scored a penalty kick in the 61st minute of the match, and Rose Lavelle followed with a goal eight minutes later to take a commanding second-half lead.
In 2015, Carli Lloyd became the first player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup finals match, scoring in the third, fifth and 16th minute against Japan. Lauren Holiday (14th minute) and Tobin Heath (54th minute) added their own goals in a 5-2 win.
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How has Vietnam fared in the World Cup?
This is foreign territory for Vietnam, which became the first team in the country’s history (men’s, women’s or senior) to qualify for the World Cup.
So, they will make their World Cup debut in this game on Friday night. They qualified in February 2022 and will no doubt have a tough time facing this experienced USWNT team.
This match will also be the beginning of the end for Rapinoe, who announced that this would be the last World Cup of her illustrious soccer career.
Rapinoe has been a crucial piece of the success this USWNT team has enjoyed over the years, scoring eight total World Cup goals, including six in five games in 2019, as well as four total assists.
The 38-year-old is someone Lloyd told Fox News Digital should be proud of what she’s been able to accomplish over the years. However, the journey is not over yet: she wants to reach the top.
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«There is no one like Megan Rapinoe. There will never be anyone like Megan Rapinoe,» Lloyd said. «She’s helped this team be so successful over the years, and we were part of some amazing memories together. Definitely some disappointing moments together as well. But I think she’ll leave feeling proud of what she’s meant to the team over the years. It’s been great to see her game continue to improve and I’ve been lucky to play with her for so long.»