In case you missed it… the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicked off in France and each of the 24 teams in the tournament have completed their first of three matches in the group stage. After 12 matches and 38 goals scored, here is where the six members of the Utah Royals FC participating in the tournament stand, who they face next and what they need to do to make it out of the group stage.
Rachel Corsie and Scotland
In their first FIFA Women’s World Cup match ever, Scotland fell 2-1 to their United Kingdom mates England. Holding the third-ranked team in the world to just two goals was no easy feat, and Corsie played a vital role in limiting England’s shots on goal as the starting centerback and captain for Scotland.
In their next match Scotland will face 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions Japan on June 14 at 7:00 a.m. MT. Based on the standings for Group D, Friday’s game is not a must win, but in order to give them comfort moving forward three points against Japan are needed.
Katie Bowen and New Zealand
In her third World Cup, Bowen started at midfield for the Football Ferns and played the whole 90 minutes. Despite a back-and-forth match against the Netherlands, a stoppage-time goal gave the Dutch the win 1-0 win.
On June 15 New Zealand will take on Canada and fellow Royals FC teammate Desiree Scott at 1:00 p.m. MT. New Zealand currently sit in last place of Group E, tied with Cameroon. They are in tight contention for the best-of-third rankings to move on from the group stage and a win over Canada would help lift their standings and keep them in the running for one of the top two spots in their group.
Desiree Scott and Canada
Desiree Scott earned her nickname as “the Destroyer” aiding in securing a clean sheet against Cameroon and a 1-0 victory for Canada.
On June 15 Canada will take on New Zealand and fellow Royals FC teammate Katie Bowen at 1:00 p.m. MT. After one match Canada is in first place of Group E, tied with the Netherlands, another win should secure them a spot in the next round of play.
Kelley O’Hara, Christen Press, Becky Sauerbrunn and the United States
In the final match of the first round in the group stage the defending FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions announced their arrival with an authoritative 13-0 victory over Thailand. O’Hara started the match for the Stars and Stripes and Press come on as a substitute in the 57th minute, both recorded assists on the night. Sauerbrunn was held out of the match for precautionary reasons as she returns to full health from a minor quad injury.
They will return to action on June 16 against Chile at 10:00 a.m. MT. Behind their dominant performance the United States sit atop the table for Group F based on goal differential. Barring a loss to Chile and Sweden the URFC trio will move on to the Round of 16 as one of the top-ranked squads.