Tickets for the first stop on the USWNT’s Victory Tour are coveted items. The team’s friendly on September 1 against Costa Rica in Rochester, New York is a guaranteed sellout. Eager patrons have snapped up over two-thirds of tickets relative to the stadium’s capacity.
Most impressive? Tickets to the general public don’t go on sale until Friday.
Reports indicate that over 10,000 tickets have been sold in pre-sale events. Nearly 6,000 were purchased in the first 10 minutes.
Was there a similarly ravenous appetite for tickets following the team’s 2008 gold medal conquest? To a point. 13,176 people took in the USWNT’s first post-tournament match back at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Attendance nosedived thereafter. The side’s next six Celebration Tour matches commanded an average attendance of 4,457. Four of those matches were hosted at over-sized football stadiums which made turnout appear even punier.
Sahlen’s Stadium has become a familiar venue for well-attended USWNT homecomings. The first fixture on Women’s Professional Soccer’s post-World Cup schedule took place July 20, 2011 and saw the Western New York Flash host magicJack. Newly established national team stars Alex Morgan (pictured), Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe ventured to Rochester a mere three days after the U.S.’s loss to Japan in the World Cup final. The 15,404 fans on hand set a stadium attendance record.
That record might well fall come September 1. It could be the first of several attendance records set to be eclipsed by this team.
Cameroon vs Serbia, live! Score, updates, how to watch, stream, videos
As for Serbia, they were beaten by Brazil and although they hung in there until 30 minutes from time, they never had control of the game. That’s okay. Brazil are one of the favorites to win it all. Let’s now see if this golden generation of Serbian stars can get a big win to set up a showdown with Switzerland in their final group game.
Cameroon will be dangerous on the counter and their gameplan was pretty spot on against Switzerland and it will be the same against Serbia. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Bryan Mbuemo will cause all kinds of problems on the break and Andre Onana is going to have to excel in goal if the Indomitable Lions are going to get a huge win.
Serbia won’t be too disheartened to lose to Brazil in their World Cup opener but they now know this is basically must-win after Switzerland beat Cameroon in their opening game. Dusan Tadic, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic hold the key for Serbia who will have to be patient as they will see plenty of the ball.
Current FIFA world ranking: 43
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 8
How they qualified: Qualified from CAF playoffs
Coach: Rigobert Song
Key players: Andre Onana, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Vincent Aboubakar, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
Serbia quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 21
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 12
How they qualified: Qualified from UEFA via playoffs
Coach: Dragan Stojkovic
Key players: Aleksandar Mitrovic, Dusan Vlahovic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Dusan Tadic
The 2022 World Cup is underway from the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar and as the group stage continues, we’ve seen unexpected upsets and some new contenders emerge – but there’s still a long way to go until the tournament champions are crowned in late December.
Along the way, spectators have already seen most matches impacted in at least some capacity by VAR technology when it comes to determining penalties, possession and, frequently, offsides decisions. After introducing semi-automated offside technology at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, FIFA announced this summer that the tool would return for this year’s tournament. Read on to learn how offsides works and how VAR technology is utilized to make decisions at the 2022 World Cup.
A player is in an offsides position when they are in the opponent’s half of the field and any part of their head, body or feet is “nearer to the opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent.” Simply put, a player needs to be entirely in front of the last defender when their teammate passes them the ball. The offsides rule exists to keep players from lingering near their opponent’s goal to try and scoop up scoring opportunities.
The offsides rule does not apply when the player receives the ball directly from a corner kick, throw in or goal kick.
By now a familiar acronym to any fans of year-round leagues like the Premier League, VAR stands for “Video Assistant Referee.” It refers to officials off the pitch who are watching the match with access to multiple cameras, angles and data points, as well as slow-motion replay, who can weigh in on decisions including goals and penalties, with the objective of making officiating more accurate.
How does technology impact offsides calls at 2022 World Cup?
In Qatar, FIFA is using multiple forms of VAR technology to support officials in determining offsides. This includes 12 tracking cameras constantly collecting data on the limb position of each player, as well as “connected ball technology,” a sensor within the official match ball sending kick-point detection data to the video operations room. Per FIFA, “by combining the limb- and ball-tracking data and applying artificial intelligence, the new technology provides an automated offside alert to the video match officials inside the video operation room whenever the ball is received by an attacker who was in an offside position at the moment the ball was played by a teammate.”
After the video referee and the officials on the pitch have confirmed a decision, a 3D visualization of the offsides penalty is available to clearly communicate the infraction.
World Cup 2022 schedule, start time, dates, how to watch live
When: November 20, 2022 to December 18, 2022
Group stage game kick-off times: 5am, 8am, 10am, 11am, 2pm (all ET)
TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock
How to watch Saudi Arabia vs Mexico live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 2pm ET, Wednesday Nov. 30 Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail TV channels en Español: Telemundo Streamingen Español:Peacock (all 64 matches)
Key storylines, players to watch closely
The Saudis have arguably been the most fun team at the tournament amongst non-powers, always running and getting exceptional goalkeeping. Salem Al-Dawsari was very good in both games but his missed penalty before halftime against Poland looms large of a match that could’ve been 1-1 going to the break and instead ended 2-0.
Mexico has not scored at the tournament so far, and Raul Jimenez has only been used as a super sub. Hirving Lozano and Alexis Vega combined for just three shot attempts before being subbed out of the Poland loss, while Lozano and Henry Martin combined for two versus Poland (Vega attempted five). They need better up top to keep up their streak of making Round of 16 appearances at the World Cup.
Saudi Arabia quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 51
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC (Won Group B)
Coach: Herve Renard
Key players: Salem Al-Dawsari, Fahad Al-Muwallad, Mohammed Al-Owais
Mexico quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 13
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 16
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONCACAF (2nd place)
Coach: Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino
Key players: Guillermo Ochoa, Hector Herrera, Raul Jimenez