Five takeaways from USWNT’s World Cup win

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The U.S. women’s national team are certified ballers and they dominated the 2019 World Cup in France from start to finish.

[ MORE: USWNT World Cup glory ]

From their incredible focus on the pitch to their stand for changes in how women’s sport is treated off the pitch, this is without doubt a truly special squad of players.

What did we learn about Jill Ellis’ squad this summer following their back-to-back World Cup victories?


USWNT played not to lose, and within themselves. Well done, Jill Ellis

When the exciting thing to do is play five forwards and go all-out for the win, people get upset when you don’t do that. Even though it isn’t the correct thing to do. USWNT head coach Jill Ellis (who is the first-ever coach in the women’s game to win consecutive world titles) has constantly had doubters due to the way she sets up the U.S. to play. Purists out there want the USWNT to play like Barcelona in their prime while pummelling teams. Ellis stood her ground and stuck with her philosophy, and her players carried out her instructions to a tee.

The U.S. never trailed in the entire competition and the main takeaway is that they never looked like beating themselves. There were no silly errors. No rash decisions to cost them goals. Nobody really looked out of their comfort zone. Ellis made big calls by moving players in and out of the lineup and got them all spot on. The USWNT may have played not to lose, but they weren’t scared of losing. They knew what they were good at — getting the ball out wide quickly, dominating in the air, turning opposition defenses — and played to their strengths. That is the sign of a perfectly well-oiled machine.


They had the best and second-best team at the World Cup. Now they must be rewarded

“We have the best team in the world, and the second-best team in the world,” Ali Krieger said before the USWNT beat Sweden to cap off their perfect group stage performance. Was it arrogant? Maybe a little. Was it correct? Yup. Ellis could rotate the likes of Christen Press, Lindsey Horan and Carli Lloyd into this lineup with ease and the second XI would have surely reached at least the quarterfinals in this competition.

The strength in-depth of this team was ridiculous and the rests Ellis was able to give Morgana and Rapinoe paid dividends for the semifinal and final. 1 to 23 this was a heck of a squad and plenty of players can feel aggrieved that they didn’t play more minutes.

With this USWNT standing as one to fight for equal pay with the USMNT, it is clear what needs to happen now. The U.S. Soccer Federation needs to make it happen, as the U.S. women’s national team is a juggernaut and one which deserves to be rewarded financially in alignment with how they are recognized internationally as one of the best-ever teams.


Ertz, Lavelle, Mewis a perfectly balanced midfield trio

This midfield trio was a perfectly blend for how Ellis wanted the USWNT to play. Rose Lavelle ran at the heart of opposition defenses whenever she could. Sam Mewis too got forward but also won her aerial duels and harassed opposition midfielders. Julie Ertz was outstanding throughout and moving her from central defense to holding midfield was a masterstroke.

These three were perfectly balanced and although many hated the way the USWNT sat back late in games to protect their leads, having Ertz able to drop into the defensive line and clear and head balls away made perfect sense. Horan was often the odd one out, but it’s hard to argue with the midfield trio as World Cup debutants Mewis and Lavelle will be around for many years to come.


Rapinoe, Morgan steal the headlines, but for how long?

We know that Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan are USWNT legends (not just for their goal celebrations) and both scored big goals at big moments during the World Cup glory. But can we ignore the fact that they both struggled at points during this tournament? Rapinoe is now 34 years old and although she won the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot at the tournament, the USWNT often looked more dangerous with Press and Tobin Heath out wide.

Rapinoe is a wonderful ambassador for the USWNT and will go down as one of the greatest sportswomen in history for the way she has stood up for what she believes in off the pitch, then backed it up with pivotal displays on it. But now may be a good time for her to pass the baton on to the next wave of USWNT stars. As for Morgan, her five goals in the opener against Thailand padded her stats as she only scored one more goal in the tournament. She won a key penalty in the final and put her body on the line as defenders clattered her time and time again, but you got the sense she was frustrated throughout much of the tournament. Morgan, 30, will still be around for a few more years but Mallory Pugh may well push her all the way for minutes between now and the 2023 World Cup.


The initial buzz is incredible, but now comes the hard part

From the celebrations in France throughout the summer with a huge U.S. fanbase, and neutrals, on their side, to the welcome home in the first 24-48 hours, it is clear the USWNT have stirred the emotions of so many people in the USA and further afield. Now comes the hard bit. The U.S. players were celebrating as they arrived at Newark Airport on the tarmac, with plenty of drinks flowing on the charter flight back from France. But there was no real time for them to chill out. The players then embarked on visiting pretty much every single TV network that is based in New York City to appear on morning shows to talk about their journey. And that journey, in many ways, has only just begun after becoming just the second team in history to win back-to-back World Cups.

What needs to happen now is crucial to not only the USWNT’s success in four years time, but how successfully the sport can grow in the USA. Having a strong, deep NWSL still remains a problem and investment is needed to grow the game across the U.S. at the professional level. France, England, Germany and even Spain are putting plenty of resources into domestic leagues and the U.S. needs to follow, and better that, if the national team will prosper. We already saw at this tournament that Europe has caught up with the U.S. plenty, if not enough, and in another four years time you can expect their squad to be even better. The NWSL needs to be the top women’s soccer league on the planet and the lasting legacy from this World Cup win should be that this group of players, and their federation, made that happen.

Grenada vs USMNT, live! Score, updates, how to watch, videos

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The USMNT will, for all intents and purposes, begin the 2026 World Cup cycle when they take on Grenada in CONCACAF Nations League action in St. George’s on Friday (8 pm ET).

[ MORE: Folarin Balogun to USMNT? “It’s something that will come to me” ]

Anthony Hudson will once again take charge of the USMNT, as he did in January with a mostly domestic-based squad of future prospects, as U.S. Soccer continues its sporting director and head coach searches.

[ MORE: Three key questions for USMNT in March ]

The USMNT currently sits 2nd in Group D after two games played — a 5-0 home victory over Grenada and a scoreless draw away to El Salvador in June — and two games left to play.

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

Here is everything you need for Grenada vs USMNT. 


How to watch Grenada vs USMNT live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 8pm ET, Friday (March 24)
Stadium: Kirani James Athletic Stadium, St. George’s
TV in English: TNT
TV/streaming en Español: Universo/Peacock

[ LIVE: CONCACAF Nations League scores – Grenada vs USMNT ]


USMNT squad

Goalkeepers (3): Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Zack Steffen (Middlesbrough), Matt Turner (Arsenal)

Defenders (8): Sergino Dest (AC Milan), Mark McKenzie (Genk), Tim Ream (Fulham), Bryan Reynolds (Westerlo), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach), Auston Trusty (Birmingham City)

Midfielders (7): Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Leeds United), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Alan Sonora (Juarez), Djordje Mihailovic (AZ Alkmaar)

Forwards (6): Taylor Booth (Utrecht), Daryl Dike (West Bromwich Albion), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Alejandro Zendejas (Club America)

EDIT: Tim Weah (Lille) was originally called up, but exited due to a head injury.

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USMNT upcoming schedule – Nations League, friendlies, Gold Cup

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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.

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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

2023

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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EURO 2024 qualification schedule: EURO qualifiers results, standings

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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

Spain
Scotland
Norway
Georgia
Cyprus

Group B

Netherlands
France
Republic of Ireland
Greece
Gibraltar

Group C

Italy
England
Ukraine
North Macedonia
Malta

Group D

Croatia
Wales
Armenia
Turkey
Latvia

Group E

Poland
Czech Republic
Albania
Faroe Islands
Moldova

Group F

Belgium
Austria
Sweden
Azerbaijan
Estonia

Group G

Hungary
Serbia
Montenegro
Bulgaria
Lithuania

Group H

Denmark
Finland
Slovenia
Kazakhstan
Northern Ireland
San Marino

Group I

Switzerland
Israel
Romania
Kosovo
Belarus
Andorra

Group J

Portugal
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Iceland
Luxembourg
Slovakia
Liechtenstein

Three key questions for USMNT in March

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The United States men’s national team returns to competitive action with an interim coach at the wheel and a spot in the CONCACAF Nations League finals still uncertain.

The Yanks clobbered Grenada at home in their first CNL group match but could only manage a 1-1 draw with El Salvador thanks in no small part to a sloppy pitch and a red card. The USMNT was also down several first-choice players including Christian Pulisic and Giovanni Reyna.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

The U.S. will be favored to advance and will hope to be in the catbird seat following Friday’s match with Grenada at Kirani James Athletic Stadium in St. George’s.

Grenada lost 3-1 to El Salvador away but drew Los Cuscatlecos at home and need to beat the visiting U.S. to qualify for Gold Cup.

But the USMNT’s aforementioned 1-1 draw with El Salvador looms large: Even if the Yanks were to falter in Grenada, they’ll be the Group D winner by beating Los Cuscatlecos on March 27 in Orlando.

Three key questions for USMNT in March

1. Center forwards still needed, but is there anyone ready for the task? The Nos. 1, 2, and 3 non-Reyna-related question for Gregg Berhalter when the World Cup ended was why he chose his center forwards, how he used them, and why they didn’t score goals. Haji Wright was the only CF to score at the World Cup and that was the first center forward goal in six USMNT matches. Jesus Ferreira scored four the previous game, but that was against Grenada and the FC Dallas star has three more goals in his 15 other caps. And Timothy Weah, a danger up top when called upon but often a wide man, is injured and will miss the international break.

So where will interim coach Anthony Hudson turn against Grenada and El Salvador?

World Cup cut Ricardo Pepi is back and so is Daryl Dike.

Meet the candidates and their forms:

  • Pepi, 20, is on loan at Dutch side Groningen from Augsburg. He started off hot with Groningen and has nine goals, though he’s scoreless in his last three matches.
  • Dike, 22, is fit and firing for West Bromwich Albion, where he’s scored four times in his last five Championship appearances, all starts.

This is one of those “prove it” camps, with Christian Pulisic and Giovanni Reyna among those helping to cue up chances for their center forwards. If you’re not gonna get the job done against Grenada and El Salvador, you’re missing the boat.

2. Who steps into the Tyler Adams role? Tyler Adams has unflinchingly been Leeds’ most consistent and steady player in a year of tumult, and he’s proven the same time and again in a USMNT shirt.

But he’s not here!

So there will be no “MMA” midfield of Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah, and Adams. The first two pieces are here from Leeds and Valencia, but it’ll be a third piece to complete the trio. Luca de la Torre of Celta Vigo and Alan Sonora of Juarez have been called into camp and Johnny Cardoso is the most defense-minded of the bunch if the team is to go “like-for-like.” Cardoso, 21, is starting for Internacional in Brazil, who trails only Gremio on the Gaucho table.

3. What’s the state of mind? Look, the “youth soccer” and “extremely childish” incident has made for plenty of discussion online, but the U.S. group seemed plenty bonded after Giovanni Reyna’s World Cup camp incidents had happened but were yet to be exposed by Gregg Berhalter at a “private” speech.

So, in theory, Reyna will arrive back into a USMNT camp in need of consistent effort and good attitude but as a member of the fold. The problem may be that the fold thought it left the World Cup with Berhalter either returning as head coach or with a search being conducted for a new coach.

It turns out, it’s only mostly the latter; Berhalter remains a candidate for the U.S. job and has been in Europe to see his “former” players. His assistant, Anthony Hudson, remains in charge of the first team on an interim basis and who can really know how much input Berhalter may currently have on the group.

All of that said, the USMNT is better than both of its opponents, regardless of venues, and should look superior to them even without Adams and Weah. Should is still pretty conditional, so let’s see what statement comes out of these two games in the favorites role, because it’s going to be quite a while before the Yanks are a clear underdog again.