The ninth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off on Thursday as co-host New Zealand takes on Norway in the first match of the tournament.
New Zealand will look to make a lasting impression on its home crowd as the Ferns begin their World Cup Campaign. Co-hosts Australia also begin their World Cup campaign early Thursday morning when the Republic of Ireland visits Stadium Australia.
Australian and Chelsea forward Sam Kerr will be carrying the expectations of a nation as the star player for the Matildas is also the team’s top scorer with 62 international goals.
The 29-year-old is fresh off of a fantastic club season leading Chelsea with 12 league goals and lifting the Women’s Super League.
It’s the first time the tournament will have 32 countries competing for the world title which will see nations such as Haiti, Portugal, and Republic of Ireland among eight others that make their debut.
World Cup actions continues Friday with the U.S. women’s national team going head-to-head with Vietnam.
The USWNT arrives as the two-time defending champion and will seek a third-consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup title this summer entering the the tournament as favorites to lift the coveted trophy. The Americans should receive a stern test from Vietnam, who will be fighting for any chance to earn at least one point.
The Stars and Stripes will depend heavily on its mixture of experience and youth with Sophia Smith, Trinity Rodman and Alyssa Thompson all making their World Cup debuts. Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe are among the veteran stars in the squad as well.
In the United States, two of the world’s most decorated clubs meet when La Liga giants Barcelona clash with Serie A side Juventus.
Timothy Weah begins his summer schedule since arriving at Juventus while Sergino Dest will also be hoping for involvement in his return to the Catalan club. Weston McKennie is not part of the Old Lady roster as his future remains unknown in Italy.
On the East Coast, English Premier League giants Arsenal and Manchester United storm MetLife Stadium in their preseason friendly.
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Here is a look at This Week’s Top 5 Matches to Watch, as well as a full rundown of This Week’s Soccer on TV and Online:
This Weekend’s Top 5 Matches to Watch
1. United States vs. Vietnam
7/21 – 9 am – Fox Sports Network, fuboTV
The USWNT’s quest for its third-consecutive World Cup title begins on Friday against Vietnam.
2. Barcelona vs. Juventus
7/22 – 10:30 pm – ESPN+, ESPN App
Two of the world’s most sought after clubs clash in California for the start of a busy preseason schedule.
3. Arsenal vs. Manchester United
7/22 – 5 pm – ESPN+, ESPN App, fuboTV
English giants Arsenal and Manchester United visit MetLife Stadium for their preseason friendly in front of a sold-out crowd.
4. Australia vs. Republic of Ireland
7/20 – 6 am – Fox Sports Network, fuboTV
World Cup Co-hosts Australia kick-off their campaign against the Republic of Ireland in hopes of collecting three points.
5. New Zealand vs. Norway
7/20 – 3 am – Fox Sports Network, Fanatiz USA, fuboTV
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup begins Thursday morning with co-hosts New Zealand facing off with Norway.
HERE for this weekend’s schedule: