Women’s World Cup — what we learned on Day 6


When I began coaching girls soccer more than a decade ago, one of the first books I grabbed on the subject was “Even Pellerud on Coaching and Leadership in Women’s Soccer”.

Pellerud had coached Norway to the 1995 World Cup title and was fresh off a remarkable 2003 semifinal run with Canada (where the Canadians led Sweden through 78 minutes before falling 2-1). Like the style of play he advocated, the book was very direct, saying the key to winning in the women’s game was about having superior athletes, being in the best physical condition, and – above everything else – putting pressure on the opponent all over the field (it was very similar to the mentality of an early U.S. coach, Anson Dorrance, who wrote a piece for the book as well).

As the years passed and I became more experienced, Pellerud’s ideas seemed more and more antiquated. They promoted an ugly style of play and were pretty sexist in many ways when it came down to it. Despite the success on the field, eventually Pellerud wore out his welcome in Canada, ended up coaching Trinidad and Tobago for four years, and seemed like he might drift into the sunset until Norway, who failed to get out of the group stage for the first time at a World Cup in 2011 (while trying to play a style with more possession), brought him back with open arms in 2012.

Somewhat amazingly, the results followed as Norway made it all the way to the final of the 2013 European championships (losing to Germany) and rolled through 2015 World Cup qualifying with just one hiccup against the Netherlands.

Still, Thursday looked like the day where Pellerud might finally get some more comeuppance against a Germany team that, quite frankly, made his team look silly in the first half, taking the first 17 shots of the match. It didn’t matter how physical or athletic Norway was, they couldn’t sniff the ball, Germany was almost teasing them at every turn.

[MORE: Complete coverage of 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup]

But it was only 1-0 at the half and a funny thing happened. Pellerud had seen that Gry Tofte Ims just couldn’t keep the ball, and replaced her with veteran Solveig Gulbrandsen, who had retired five YEARS ago (while in WPS) and – now at the age of 34 – is likely not as athletic or physical. With a slight tweak of formation, suddenly Norway at least had a toehold on the game, Germany was not able to go through them at will, and thanks to a perfectly placed free kick by Maren Mjelde, Norway was able to grab a point against what appear to be the tournament favorites.

Yes, they were out-shot 27-4 according to FIFA, but by the end, Norway was able to get up to 48 percent possession, and if you watched the game, they certainly deserved a point from their second-half performance. Much of the credit has to go to the wily veteran Pellerud, who made the correct adjustments both tactically and psychologically.

And so, for Thursday at least, I tip my cap to you, Even Pellerud. Unfortunately, my copy of his book has long since gone to book heaven.

-Ray Curren

What else did we learn Thursday in Groups A and B?

Canada are likely through: Two games in to their home World Cup, Canada have yet to look particularly good and have not scored from the run of play. But by drawing New Zealand 0-0 the Canadians now have four points and thanks to a generous formula for advancing and the way other groups are shaking up that is very likely already enough. They have already clinched a top three spot in Group A and among other scenarios, they will advance if Germany draws or beats Thailand and neither England not Mexico beat France or England. Other scenarios apply as well, but for all intents and purposes Canada will play at least one knockout match.

-Dan Lauletta

Germany is not invincible: In a way, that’s not the worst thing at this stage for Germany. It’s easy to forget that the Germans were 14-0-1 (including two titles) in their last 15 matches leading up to the shocking loss to Japan in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinals. They didn’t qualify for the Olympics thanks to UEFA’s lack of a qualifier, won the 2013 Euros (although they did lose to Norway in the group stage), and then rolled through 2015 World Cup qualifying without really being tested. They won’t be tested against Thailand, will probably win their second round game easily, and then will likely face France in the quarterfinals (which will be a shame, but it is what it is). So a little humble pie at this stage might not be the worst thing in the world going forward.


[KASSOUF: Stakes high for much-hyped USA-Sweden]

Live by the spot, die by the spot: As I watched Canada’s tournament-opening win over China after the fact, the result already known, I could not help but think about how much pressure suddenly fell on Christine Sinclair’s shoulders when she stood over the stoppage time penalty. After four years of buildup and 90 minutes of sweat, the fate of the opening match rested on her foot. Sinclair converted. The stakes were not quite as high for New Zealand’s Amber Hearn since her turn at the spot was only a third of the way into Thursday’s match. But Hearn, New Zealand’s all-time leading scorer, missed. Her spot kick rattled off the crossbar–a piece of wood that had a particularly busy night–and an hour later the Ferns were still looking for their first ever World Cup win and first goal of the tournament. Everyone misses penalties but Hearn will long rue that one of New Zealand are unable to beat China which they must do in order to progress out of group play for the first time.


The road not taken: “It is what it is,” but Norway and Pellerud have to like how this is setting up for them. Barring a miracle, Germany will finish first, Norway second, which will likely give Norway a match-up with England, who looked lifeless in its opener. It would then set up a possible quarterfinal with host Canada, who also hasn’t looked stellar through two matches, and based on karma alone, Pellerud has to like his team’s chances. Even then, Germany, France, and the United States will all be on the other side of the bracket. Maybe karma is paying it forward for the Caroline Graham Hansen injury as well.

Sloppy finish for Netherlands: China’s stoppage-time goal stands out as the highlight moment of the 1-0 win over the Netherlands, but there should be an awful lot of head scratching at Dutch headquarters as they prepare to finish the group against Canada. For starters, they appeared to set up tactically as if they were okay not scoring against an admittedly stingy Chinese defense. But the goal sequence was a study in poor discipline and shape. First they allowed China loads of room and space in the middle of the park. That is not the worst tactic especially on tired legs, but in doing so it implies tight marking and aggressive defending further back. Instead the Netherlands defense allowed a switching ball to be played to Wang Lisi at which point communication appeared to break down between defender Merel Van Dongen and keeper Sari Van Veenendaal. That was more than enough for Lisi to finish and leave the Netherlands teetering on three points. So now the Netherlands will go into the Canada match knowing they need at least a draw or help on the scoreboard to get to the last 16.


Joy for Thailand, heartbreak for Ivory Coast: My immediate reaction after the wild and entertaining (if not very well played) 3-2 win by Thailand over Ivory Coast was disappointment for the Ivorians. As I said after the Germany match, I think they’re better than they’ve shown, but the lack of defensive organization (even if two of the goals were clearly offside) and goalkeeping were just too much to overcome, even if they were the more talented team. But on the other hand, what a moment for Thailand. Four-foot-11 Orathai Srimanee has played more futsal than soccer in her career, but scored her first two international goals to lead her country to victory. If Thailand is able to miraculously advance, who knows what this could mean not just for women’s soccer, but soccer in general in Thailand.


USMNT upcoming schedule – Nations League, friendlies, Gold Cup


After reaching the last 16 of the 2022 World Cup, the USMNT have a big 2023 coming up as they aim to build off a successful showing on the world’s biggest stage.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

For the next few months CONCACAF Nations League takes center stage, while the program is very much in transition as Anthony Hudson takes temporary charge and both the GM (Brian McBride) and Sporting Director (Earnie Stewart) left in recent months.

[ MORE: USMNT roster for Nations League features Gio Reyna, no Tyler Adams ]

As for now, here is the USMNT’s upcoming schedule for 2023, with plenty more games to be added based on their potential qualification for the 2023 Gold Cup on home soil.

How to watch USMNT

TV channels in English: HBO Max, TNT
TV channels en Español:
Universo, Telemundo Deportes
Streaming en Español: Peacock

USMNT upcoming schedule

* Friendly | ** CONCACAF Nations League | *** 2022 World Cup


vs. Serbia* — Jan. 25, 10 pm ET — Loss 2-1 | Recap & highlights
vs. Colombia* — Jan. 28, 7:30 pm ET — Draw 0-0 | Recap & highlights
at Grenada** — March 24, 8 pm ET — St. George’s, Grenada
vs El Salvador** — March 27, 7:30pm ET — Orlando, Florida
vs Mexico* — April 19, 10:22pm ET — Glendale, Arizona – More details 

2023 Gold Cup from June 16 to July 19 (USMNT yet to qualify)

USMNT games in 2022

vs. Morocco* — June 1 — Win 3-0
vs. Uruguay* — June 5 — Draw 0-0
vs. Grenada** — June 10 — Win 5-0
at El Salvador** — June 14 — Draw 1-1
vs Japan* — Sept. 23 (in Dusseldorf, Germany) — Loss 2-0
vs Saudi Arabia* — Sept. 27 (in Murcia, Spain) — Draw 0-0

USMNT at 2022 World Cup

Group B
vs. Wales*** — Nov. 21, 2 pm ET — Draw 1-1
vs. England*** — Nov. 25, 2 pm ET — Draw 0-0
vs. Iran*** — Nov. 29, 2 pm ET — Win 1-0

Last 16
vs. Netherlands*** — Dec. 3, 10 am ET — Loss 3-1

USMNT 2022 World Cup qualifying scores, recaps, analysis

at El Salvador — Sept. 2Draw 0-0
vs. Canada — Sept. 5 — Draw 1-1
at Honduras — Sept. 8 — Win 4-1

vs. Jamaica — Oct. 7 — Win 1-0
at Panama — Oct. 10 — Loss 0-1
vs. Costa Rica — Oct. 13 — Win 2-1

vs. Mexico — Nov. 12 — Win 2-0
at Jamaica — Nov. 16 — Draw 1-1

vs. El Salvador — Jan. 27 — Win 1-0
at Canada — Jan. 30 — Loss 0-2
vs. Honduras — Feb. 2 — Win 3-0

at Mexico — March 24 — Draw 0-0 
vs. Panama — March 27 — Win 5-1
at Costa Rica — March 30 — Loss 0-2 

Final CONCACAF World Cup qualifying standings

Canada — 28 points – (QUALIFIED) GD +16 – automatic qualification
Mexico — 28 points (QUALIFIED) GD +9 – automatic qualification
USMNT — 25 points – (QUALIFIED) GD +11 – automatic qualification

Costa Rica — 25 points (PLAYOFF) GD +5

Panama — 21 points (ELIMINATED)
Jamaica — 14 points (ELIMINATED)
El Salvador — 10 points (ELIMINATED)
Honduras — 4 points (ELIMINATED)

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Harry Kane breaks Rooney record, England outlasts Italy comeback bid

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Harry Kane broke Wayne Rooney’s record for goals in an England shirt, and the Three Lions outlasted a Luke Shaw red card and Mateo Retegui goal on his Italy debut to start EURO 2024 qualifying brightly with a 2-1 win in Napoli.

The win is England’s first in Italy since 1961.

England began its EURO 2024 quest the same way it finished its heartbreaking EURO 2020 campaign: facing Italy, now two-time champions of Europe, on Thursday.

[ LIVE: EURO 2024 qualifying scores – Italy vs England ]

Declan Rice buried a Harry Kane rebound off a corner kick, then Kane converted a penalty for his 54th England goal to break a tie with Rooney atop the Three Lions’ goals chart.

But Italy surged back to get a goal from Tigre’s Retegui on debut, and Shaw was awarded two yellow cards in three minutes to set England up to defend at least 10 minutes down a man.

Italy and England are joined in Group C by Ukraine, North Macedonia, and Malta. The sides that finish 1st and 2nd in the group will qualify for next summer’s tournament in Germany.

[ MORE: USMNT upcoming schedule – Nations League, friendlies, Gold Cup ]

Italy vs England player ratings: Stars of the Show

Harry Kane

Francesco Acerbi

Declan Rice

Bukayo Saka

Italy vs England player ratings

What’s next?

England hosts Ukraine at Noon ET Sunday, the same day Italy visits Malta at Ta’Qali National Stadium.

Declan Rice goal video: West Ham man pumps in rebound off corner

Harry Kane goal video: VAR-awarded penalty, converted

Mateo Retegui goal video: Argentine-born striker scores on debut

How to watch Italy vs England live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 3:45pm ET, Thursday (March 23)
Stadium: Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, Napoli

Italy lineup and squad

Goalkeepers – Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain), Alex Meret (Napoli), Claudio Carnesecchi (Cremonese), Wladimiro Falcone (Lecce)

Defenders – Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Inter Milan), Francesco Acerbi (Inter Milan), Emerson Palmieri (West Ham), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Leonardo Spinazzola (Roma), Alessio Romagnoli (Lazio), Rafael Toloi (Atalanta), Giorgio Scalvini (Atalanta), Alessandro Buongiorno (Torino)

Midfielders – Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain), Jorginho (Arsenal), Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Matteo Pessina (Monza), Sandro Tonali (AC Milan), Davide Frattesi (Sassuolo)

Forwards – Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Gianluca Scamacca (West Ham), Vincenzo Grifo (Freiburg), Wilfried Gnonto (Leeds), Simone Pafundi (Udinese), Mateo Retegui (Tigre)

England lineup and squad

Goalkeepers – Jordan Pickford (Everton), Fraser Forster (Tottenham), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)

Defenders – Kyle Walker (Manchester City), John Stones (Manchester City), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Reece James (Chelsea), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace)

Midfielders – Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Declan Rice (West Ham), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea)

Forwards – Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Phil Foden (Manchester City), James Maddison (Leicester), Ivan Toney (Brentford)

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EURO 2024 qualification schedule: EURO qualifiers results, standings


EURO 2024 qualifying is here, and you’re in the right spot for groups, fixtures, and results.

Italy outlasted England in penalty kicks to win EURO 2020 and is bidding to become the first repeat winner since Spain in 2008 and 2012.

[ MORE: Breaking down Premier League title race ]

England is still seeking its first European Championship and will be favored to emerge from Group C with aforementioned Italy as well as Ukraine, North Macedonia, and Malta.

Netherlands and France are also in a spicy group that has dark horse Republic of Ireland and former champions Greece, as well as Gibraltar.

A number of nations have guaranteed themselves no worse than a playoff spot due to their performances in the UEFA Nations League: Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Spain, Scotland, Georgia, Croatia, Turkey, Serbia, Kazakhstan.

EURO 2024 qualifying schedule

Thursday, March 23

Kazakhstan 1-2 Slovenia
Slovakia 0-0 Luxembourg
Italy 1-2 England – Video, player ratings as Kane breaks Rooney record
Denmark 3-1 Finland
Portugal 4-0 Liechtenstein
San Marino 0-2 Northern Ireland
North Macedonia 2-1 Malta
Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-0 Iceland

Friday, March 24

Bulgaria vs Montenegro — 1pm ET
Gibraltar vs Greece — 3:45pm ET
Moldova vs Faroe Islands — 3:45pm ET
Serbia vs Lithuania — 3:45pm ET
Austria vs Azerbaijan — 3:45pm ET
Sweden vs Belgium– 3:45pm ET
Czech Republic vs Poland — 3:45pm ET
France vs Netherlands — 3:45pm ET

Saturday, March 25

Scotland vs Cyprus — 10am ET
Israel vs Kosovo  — 1pm ET
Armenia vs Turkey — 1pm ET
Belarus vs Switzerland  — 1pm ET
Spain vs Norway — 3:45pm ET
Croatia vs Wales — 3:45pm ET
Andorra vs Romania — 3:45pm ET

Sunday, March 26

Kazakhstan vs Denmark — 9am ET
England vs Ukraine — Noon ET
Liechtenstein vs Iceland — Noon ET
Slovenia vs San Marino — Noon ET
Slovakia vs Bosnia and Herzegovina — 2:45pm ET
Northern Ireland vs Finland — 2:45pm ET
Luxembourg vs Portugal — 2:45pm ET
Malta vs Italy — 2:45pm ET

Monday, March 27

Montenegro vs Serbia — 2:45pm ET
Netherlands vs Gibraltar — 2:45pm ET
Poland vs Albania — 2:45pm ET
Austria vs Estonia — 2:45pm ET
Sweden vs Azerbaijan — 2:45pm ET
Moldova vs Czech Republic — 2:45pm ET
Hungary vs Bulgaria — 2:45pm ET
Republic of Ireland vs France — 2:45pm ET

Tuesday, March 28

Georgia vs Norway — Noon ET
Wales vs Latvia — 2:45pm ET
Romania vs Belarus — 2:45pm ET
Switzerland vs Israel — 2:45pm ET
Kosovo vs Andorra — 2:45pm ET
Turkey vs Croatia — 2:45pm ET
Scotland vs Spain — 2:45pm ET

EURO 2024 qualifying standings

Group A


Group B

Republic of Ireland

Group C

North Macedonia

Group D


Group E

Czech Republic
Faroe Islands

Group F


Group G


Group H

Northern Ireland
San Marino

Group I


Group J

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Premier League title race: Current form, key fixtures, injuries, odds, predictions


The Premier League title race is going down to the wire in the 2022-23 season and there are some huge games coming up between now and the final day on May 28.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

Can Arsenal win the first Premier League title since 2003-04? Will Manchester City win three in a row to make it five titles in the last six seasons under Pep Guardiola? For a while it looked like Manchester United could come from nowhere to stun everyone and secure their first title in a decade, but they have regressed in recent weeks.

Below is a look at the key fixtures, current form, odds and predictions for the contenders to be crowned Premier League champions.

Remaining fixtures for title contenders

Arsenal (69 points through 28 games): Leeds (H), Liverpool (A), West Ham (A), Southampton (H), Man City (A), Chelsea (H), Newcastle (A), Brighton (H), Nottingham Forest (A), Wolves (H)

Manchester City (61 points through 27 games): Liverpool (H), Southampton (A), Leicester City (H), Brighton (A), Arsenal (H), Fulham (A), Leeds (H), Everton (A), Chelsea (H), West Ham (H), Brentford (A)

Manchester United (50 points through 26 games): Newcastle (A), Everton (H), Nottingham Forest (A), Chelsea (H), Tottenham (A), Aston Villa (H), West Ham (A), Wolves (H), Bournemouth (A), Brighton (A), Fulham (H)

Key fixtures that will decide the Premier League title

Saturday, April 1: Manchester City vs Liverpool – 7:30am ET
Sunday, April 2: Newcastle vs Manchester United – 11:30am ET
Sunday, April 9: Arsenal vs Liverpool – 11:30am ET
Wednesday, April 26: Manchester City vs Arsenal – 3pm ET
Thursday, April 27: Tottenham vs Manchester United – 3:15pm ET
Saturday, April 29: Arsenal vs Chelsea – 12:30pm ET
Saturday, May 6: Newcastle vs Arsenal – 10am ET
Saturday, May 20: Manchester City vs Chelsea – 10am ET

Current form (As of March 20, 2023)

Arsenal’s last 5 results: WWWWW
Manchester City’s last 5 results: WWWDW
Manchester United’s last 5 results: DLWWD

Current Premier League table

Premier League standings


Head to NBC Sports’s soccer standings home page

Key injuries

Arsenal: Mohamed Elneny (no return date), Takehiro Tomiyasu (knee), Eddie Nketiah (ankle), William Saliba (back)

Manchester City: None

Manchester United: Donny van de Beek (knee – out for season), Christian Eriksen (ankle – out until late April), Anthony Martial (hip injury)

Premier League title odds (As of March 11, 2023)

(Betting odds provided by our partner, BetMGM ) BetMGM is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on BetMGM for the first time after clicking our links.

Arsenal: -110
Manchester City: -110
Manchester United: +3300
Liverpool: +50000
Tottenham: +50000
Newcastle United: +50000

Prediction for Premier League title race

1. Manchester City – 87 points (Win the title on goal difference)
2. Arsenal – 87 points
3. Manchester United – 78 points